Chapati: the easy Indian bread recipe

Total time: 20 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
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Whole wheat flour
2 cups
1 cup drinking
Whole wheat flour
¼ cup, to roll the dough balls

Chapatis are the life lines of Indian cuisine! This is the simplest of many many varieties of Indian breads and can be enjoyed with almost any type of curry, dal, meat or vegetable preparation.

In the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, the same humble preparation is known as chapathi. North, south, east, west, chapattis are integral to Indian household and it will remain so forever!

What is Chapati?

Chapati (also written as chapatti, chappati, chapathi or chappath), is an unleavened flatbread originating from the Indian subcontinent. Chapatis are made of whole wheat flour, mixed into a dough with water, oil, and salt in a kneading utensil called a parat, and are cooked on a tava, which is a flat pan.

How to make soft chapati

Take a very large bowl, the largest in your kitchen. Add flour to the bowl and make a hole at the center of the dough pile. Pour water over the dough and knead it in to a smooth dough. Now, take about 1 additional tablespoon of drinking water and sprinkle it evenly over the dough.

Again, knead the dough with the additional water until it is soft and smooth in consistency. You may wet your hands lightly and knead the dough again until you have a very soft and smooth dough.

This process will take about 8 to 10 minutes. Place a clean cloth or a napkin over a plate and keep it aside. Place a griddle or a pan over medium flame until it is hot.

Now, take a small part of the dough and roll it evenly between the palm of both your hands to a golf ball size round. Dunk the small dough ball into the dry flour and then place it over the rolling board.

Press the dough slightly with your fingers to flatten it a little. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough slightly in to a circle. You may dunk the rolled out chapatti only once or twice to roll it in to a circle of about 6 inch diameters.

Lift the rolled dough carefully, dust off the excess flour by flipping it between the palm of your hands a couple of times. Put the chapatti over the hot griddle and cook it until slight bubbles start to appear on top.

Flip the chapatti and cook it on another side for a minute or until the cooking side starts showing uneven brown spots and starts to fluff up a little. You may need to lift the chapatti a couple of times to check it.

Now, again flip the chapatti and use a dry and clean cloth to puff it up all over by slightly applying pressure on the top. Flip and cook the chapattis until there is no raw part and it bloats evenly.

Transfer the cooked chapatti over the cloth or napkin. Cover it with the long sides of the same or take another cloth or napkin to cover it. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining dough or whatever numbers of chapattis you need. Slightly smear the chapattis with desi ghee all over and serve hot with any dal, curry, or vegetable of your choice!

Why does chapati becomes hard?

Chapatis become hard if oil and water are not balanced. If the oil is more, the chapatis may become hard and chewy.


Make sure you knead a very soft and smooth dough. The rolling board and rolling pin should be absolutely clean and dry before you start the rolling process.

Maintain the heat of the griddle and alter it between medium and low to make sure your chapattis are not charred. You desire light brown spots on both sides of the chapatti. Anything under or over is undesirable. Do not apply too much pressure on the chapatti with the cloth, else the chapatti will not puff up well.

How to store chapatis

If you want to keep the chapatis for more than a week, keep the rolled chapati paste in a ziplock bag by placing the butter paper between them. Cover the chapatis on both sides with a little flour to prevent sticking. Don't store too many rolled chapatis in a bag as they may stick together.

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