Chapati or Roti is an unleavened flatbread that is made almost every day in most Indian households. It is a popular staple food that is served for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner, and doesn’t take too long to make!
Who doesn’t love a hot buttery roti sprinkled with sugar or jam for breakfast? Mom used to give us these for school tiffin. Yummy!
This traditional Indian flatbread is so easy to make and requires just a few ingredients. Although there are many types of rotis in India, a chapati which is a type of roti can also be called a roti. To learn how to make your own chapati, continue reading our recipe below.
What ingredients do you need to make chapati?
You can make chappatis as they are traditionally made with just whole wheat flour (which is called ‘atta‘ in India).
But in our quest for a healthier roti; for this recipe, we have used both the multigrain flour that contains a blend of wheat, soy, oats, maize, ragi (finger millet), chana dal (split chickpea or bengal gram dal) and barley along with a portion of some all-purpose flour aka maida as well. The steps are the same.
So the roti ingredients we’ve used are a mix of a multigrain flour along with an all-purpose flour aka maida, oil, salt, water, and butter.
Choose any multigrain flour that you want. Just remember that some flours such as pearl millet and finger millet result in tougher or harder rotis.
How to make Chapati or Indian Flatbread?
To make chapatis or rotis what you first need is ‘atta‘. Atta is basically whole wheat flour that isn’t refined. Some rotis are also made with maida or all-purpose flour.
Take a large bowl or thali (large flat pan or dish). Heap your atta and salt in it. Leave a handful of flour aside for later. Make a little hollow that looks like a ditch at the top of the flour and add the oil.
Mix the oil into the atta and knead it into a soft smooth dough by adding a little water at a time. Also, the amount of water you add depends on the flour and the weather conditions where you live. So do not add all the water at once as it will get sticky. Knead the flour for about 2 to 3 mins. This helps to make it softer. Once it forms a ball and all the flour is gathered together, cover it with a moist cloth or with a cloche and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
A note here, if you want softer chapatis or rotis, replace each tablespoon of oil with about 2 tablespoons of yogurt or milk cream.
After 15 minutes, make equal parts of the dough and shape into small balls.
Taking the flour you had set aside earlier, dust a little bit of flour on the rolling surface and also the rolling pin. Roll out the dough balls into a thin circle.
Heat a tava (pan) and when hot, grease it with oil or butter, and place the chapati on it. A tava or tawa is an Indian frying pan that is made of cast iron, carbon steel or aluminium similar to a griddle. If you do not have a tawa, you can use a regular frying pan or an anodised frying pan.
Add a bit of butter on the roti and cook till you see some small air pockets or blisters forming and it turns brown. Then flip sides and cook for about 30 secs on each side, till it looks properly cooked. If you want rich delicious rotis, you can add butter to the chappati now. If you’d prefer to have a leaner-trimmer, don’t add anything. We cook rotis both with and without oil or butter.
If we want the roti to puff completely, we sometimes cook it directly on the open flame. But that’s a job better left to regulars. So please stick with the frying pan or tawa.
Once your multi-grain roti is ready, you can either serve it immediately or store in a steel tiffin can to keep it warm. It goes perfectly with almost any dish, from mustard chicken to masoor dal to moong dal or anda bhurji or buttery oyster mushrooms or even simple batata bhaji.
What’s Perfect About This Chapati Recipe?
- Chapatis require just a handful of ingredients and are very easy to make. That’s why we eat them almost everyday!
- It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner or even as a snack.
- Goes well with vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
- For a quick snack or breakfast, heat a roti and lather it with either butter, peanut butter, chutney or jam. Then roll it into a cylindrical shape and eat.
Cooking Tips and Tricks
- You can use just one kind of flour i.e. whole wheat or multigrain or all-purpose. All-purpose is optional in this recipe.
- If you want to make regular Indian chapatis or rotia, just use only chapati atta which is whole wheat flour, and follow this same recipe.
- We use multi-grain flours to make it healthier.
- If you want softer rotis, replace the oil with twice the amount of yoghurt or milk cream.
- You can cook it with ghee, if you have this available. It gives the chappati a delicious earthy flavour.
- Leftover rotis can be stored in an airtight container or ziplock bag. They will last for a few days in the refrigerator or for 3 to 4 months in the freezer. All you need to do to is reheat them in a frying pan or tawa before eating. You can reheat it with or without oil or butter.
FAQ’s about Chapati or Indian Flatbread
What if the chapati doesn’t puff completely?
If your chapati does not puff, don’t worry; it is still cooked.
What is Chapati made of?
Tradiitonally, chapatis aka Indian rotis are made using whole wheat flour, salt, water, and oil.
How can I make Chapati softer?
If you want softer chapatis, replace every tablespoon of oil with 2 tablespoons of yogurt or milk cream.
Are Chapatis gluten-free?
No, chapatis are not gluten-free as they are made of whole wheat flour.
What are the different types of rotis in India?
There are many types of rotis in India that are cooked using different methods – leavened, unleavened, fried, baked, deep-fried, and steamed. Some of them include naans, parathas, rotis, makai rotis, bajri rotis, kuchlas, idlis, appams, ghavnis, chitaps, rotla, bhakri, puris, bathura, khakra, koki, dosa, rava dosa, neer dosa, masala dosa, phulka, thepla, papad, pitha, kori roti, rumali roti, and many more.
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Chapati – An Indian Flatbread Roti
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- 200 g Multigrain flour Any mix will do.
- 200 g All purpose flour Maida aka Refined flour.
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 200 ml Water More or less as needed
- 2 tbsp All purpose flour For rolling or dusting
- In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt.
- Add the oil and knead into a dough.
- Add water a little at a time to the dough, and lnead into a large ball. Only use as much water as the dough needs. (This depends on the flour you use and also on the weather conditions.)
- Cover with a cloth and set the dough aside for 10 mins.
- After 10 minutes, make small balls and roll the dough out into thin circles about 5 to 6 inch in diameter.
- Place the chapatis on a hot tava with a little butter and cook till it blisters.
- Flip sides for 30 secs each, and continue doing this till cooked.
- Cover with a dollop of butter and serve the chapatis hot with your meals.
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- You can replace the oil with twice the amout of yogurt or milk-cream for softer chapatis.
- Don’t worry if the roti does not puff completely, it will still taste good.
- If you want something more indulgent, try these deep-fried flatbreads called puris.