In search of the palatable <i>atta</i>

Imagine this is the India of the 1970s. The lush green of high-yielding rice and wheat varieties is spreading far and wide in the Indo-Gangetic belt. The much-awaited green revolution is on in full swing. Godowns in moffusil towns as well as cities are filled with sacks of imported pl-480 wheat thanks to the introduction of Mexican wheat germ plasm/varieties in India.

But there is a jarring note in this depiction of plenty. There are almost no takers for the contents of the overflowing Food Corporation of India wheat godowns. The reason: In the 1970s people were reluctant to use Mexican wheat varieties for preparing chapattis (flat, unleavened Indian bread). They found that the grains were reddish, the dough became discoloured on keeping; and chapattis prepared from Mexican wheat to be brown to dark brown in colour, brittle and not