How to make soft chapatis


indian flatbread rotiI love chapattis. Its tasty, you can have it with almost anything, its unleavened flatbread (which means you don’t need to add yeast or any other leavening ingredients to the dough) which makes it easier to make, its not deep-fried, which makes it a healthier choice compared to some other Indian flatbreads, and its warm dough, I mean what’s not to like?  Naan, pizza dough, tortillas, rolls, cornbread, baguettes, bagels, ciabatta, pita or just plain sandwich bread…whatever bread it may be, its simply delicious. Making bread, or in this case chapattis, from scratch is certainly rewarding, but it takes practice. When I was a little girl, I’ve only seen my mother making chapattis, and it looked pretty simple. I’ve had chapattis from my aunts house. They were so soft and steamy, and so perfectly cooked. When I started cooking, I did what they did, but my chapattis looked nothing like theirs. Mine looked like a Frisbee, I mean it was so hard it can hurt somebody if I threw it at them…

Most of the recipes out there were very simple, with very few instructions. Whenever I ask somebody how they make soft chapattis, they all repeat the same method I’ve already done many times, with no avail. So, after many trial and errors, I figured out what I was doing wrong. And now I have my own way of making soft chapattis. At first, I thought it was just me who was bad at making chapattis, but now I know i’m not alone, and there are people who are looking for that one recipe that explains in detail how to do it the right way. That is why I decided to post a tutorial with ridiculous detail, about how to make chapattis that are soft, round, and not shaped like an amoeba…

You’re going to need:

Whole Wheat flour – 2 cups

Oil ( I use light olive oil, not extra virgin) -4-5 tablespoons

Hot water/milk


A rolling pin

A clean flat surface to roll out the dough.

A tawa/ griddle pan

And a cook’s greatest tool-clean hands!

Alright. Let’s get started, shall we? In a bowl, add the wheat flour..Indian flatbread chapati

Using good atta/whole wheat flour is important. I use either Pilsbury or Ashirvad. Next, we’ll add about a teaspoon of salt.

Indian flatbread chapati

Like so…and a drizzle of oilindian flatbread roti Now, we’re going to make a little well in the middle of it..indian flatbread roti

Pour in a little water…just a little bit…

indian flatbread roti

And, with your hands start mixing the water into the flour…its going to look something like this..

indian flatbread roti

Add a little more water and mix again…it’ll look like this…

indian flatbread roti

Keep adding water, and keep mixing until you get the dough to this consistency…

indian flatbread roti

Make a big ball out of this dough. Now wet your hands..

indian flatbread roti

and gently rub the surface of the dough..indian flatbread rotiDo not add more water. The secret to making really soft chapatis, is in the kneading. You have to knead the dough until it is evenly mixed, and turns into a really smooth ball. Now take the dough out of the bowl, and put it on to the surface to knead. Knead by pushing the dough down..

indian flatbread roti

…and stretching it out with the heel of your hand…

indian flatbread roti

…fold the top half of the dough towards you, press down, and then stretch it out again with the heels of your hands..

indian flatbread roti

Everyone has their own kneading method, but this how I do it. You can use your own method, but in the end, the dough should be smooth, and it should not stick to your hands. Knead for atleast 15 minutes….

indian flatbread roti…and the resulting dough will look something like this…

indian flatbread roti

Put this dough back into the bowl, and cover with a wet cloth. This is done to prevent the dough from losing moisture.

indian flatbread roti

Let it rest for an hour, and knead again for a 1-2 mintutes. Make golf sized balls out of them, lightly dust the surface…

indian flatbread roti

…and start rolling out the dough, being careful not to roll it out too thin, because then the chapattis will not puff up. I roll it out thin sometimes cause my family likes it that way. It will still be soft and delicious…the only thing is it wont puff up.

indian flatbread roti

You need to hold the rolling pin with both hands, by the way…and just so you know, I do have 2 hands…I was holding a camera in my other hand…so anyway, after rolling it out put it on a really hot iron griddle ( You can also use non-stick pans). Make sure the griddle is really hot! Otherwise, the chapatti will take a long time to bake, and if it takes too much time, it’ll become hard. After putting the chapatti on the griddle, if the griddle is hot enough, within a few seconds you will start to see bubbles forming on top of the chapatti…

indian flatbread roti

…turn it to the other side…

indian flatbread roti

After a few seconds, turn it over again, and it’ll puff up in another few seconds…

indian flatbread roti

After it puffs up take it off the griddle, and put it on a plate…ok, I don’t need to tell you that. I told you this post is ridiculously detailed! Serve it with your favorite curry, and enjoy it hot. Try this out and report back to me!





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