Sourdough phulka/Roti is simple and traditional Indian flat bread with a touch of sourdough starter and made with just 4 ingredients.
Even though phulka, roti, chapati are Indian flatbread and made with almost same flour and water, still it has minute variations that make them different.
Main difference between Phulka, Roti and Chapati
Roti: When Indian bread on the pan expands with steam inside, it is called Roti. They are usually thick.
Chapati: When the Indian bread on the pan does not expand with steam inside, it is called as Chapati. They are usually thin. . While making the dough you need to add little oil along with whole wheat flour /atta, salt and water. Also, it is puffed up in the skillet and brushed with ghee or oil . Chapati is usually bigger in size and diameter than a ballooned Phulka.
Phulka: Phulka is a smaller round bread, prepared from wheat dough whose one side is cooked on a tawa and the other side directly on heat. The phulka puffs up into a ball due to accumulation of steam inside it when it placed in direct flame.
Ingredients of Pulka are similar like chapati with flour, salt, and water. However, I found that if you add little sourdough starter you do not need to brush them with ghee.
Both Chapatis and the Phulkas are best when it is served as soon as they are ready. Phulka especially, if not served immediately can lose all its puffiness and flatten, which is not the case with chapatti as they are already flat.
Phulkas are typically served 'sookha', meaning without any added ghee or oil.
Among phulka and chapati, phulka has less calories because of fact that it does not have any fat.
How to make sourdough phulka
You need only just 4 ingredients to make sourdough Phulka
Sourdough starter : I used whole wheat starter 100% hydration.
Whole wheat flour: I used Indian whole wheat flour (Atta). Use White Whole wheat flour if you cannot find atta.
Salt: It adds flavor I used sea salt, you can use pink salt or regular salt too
Water: You need to make a soft pliable dough. Around 75% hydration.
Benefits of Adding sourdough starter to this Phulka .
1) Sourdough adds extra layer of flavor.
2) It keeps phulka soft even after 24 hours without any addition of extra fat.
3) When you add the same ingredients with baking powder you can turn it into Whole wheat tortilla.
4) Since phulka is traditionally unleavened, sourdough starter makes it softer and increase it storing time.
5) Sourdough phulka can be served with any curry or you can use it as wrap with vegetable or meat or fish to make it a full meal
If you want to make chapati which requires no direct heating in the fire, try this recipe instead.
If you a tried this recipe, please tag me @nidhinikhi in Instagram and @zestysouthindiankitchen in Facebook. Love to see your creations.
- 2 cup 260g whole wheat flour + ¼ cup extra for rolling
- ¼ cup 50g Sourdough starter (100% Hydration of Whole wheat starter)
- ½ teaspoon 2g salt
- ¾ cup 185g water
- n a bowl add whole wheat flour, salt sourdough starter and water, and combine well to form a dough.
- Set aside for 15-20 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll them into round ball. Dump it into a bowl with ¼ cup flour you kept aside for rolling.
- Using a roller, spread the dough into 6-inch thin round. Make sure to spread thin, with a thickness of credit card or around ½ inch. Also dust the extra flour , so that you will not see any burnt flour in the griddle.
- Once you spread half of the dough heat a griddle or tawa. When you sprinkle water, it will sizzle and jumps that is sign that your girdle ready.
- Carefully place the spread disc and cook for 30 seconds or until you will blister or bubbles on the top, flip and cook the other side too for another 1 minute or until you see brown spots.
- Place directly into the flame. Phulka will puffed up.
- Remove from the fire and transfer to a tortilla container. Close the lid immediately this will make steam to trap inside and make soft chapati.
- This step is optional if you want you can brush them with oil or ghee. From next one onwards you need to brush only one side which spacing upward. Continue to cook chapati until you finish the entire dough.
- You can store sourdough phulka at room temperature for one -day and reheat in microwave for 15 seconds before serving
- Enjoy sourdough phulka with side dishes.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.