Flat Indian Bread: Chapati

Flat Indian Bread: Chapati

Chapatis are unleavened flat Indian bread made with atta (whole wheat flour). You can use the same dough to make other Indian breads like puri, paratha, or filled aloo paratha.

Ingredients: 4 pieces

Atta (Indian whole wheat flour)
100 g
1/2 teaspoon
Vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon
60 ml


1. Put the atta, salt and vegetable oil in a bowl, and add the water. (Don't put all the water in at once; add it little by little while gauging the consistency of the dough.)
2. When the dough comes together, knead it well in the bowl or on a work surface by pushing it with your palms and putting your weight into it. It should have a soft consistency like an earlobe. Knead for about 5 minutes.
3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. By resting the dough, it will become smoother. (When you touch it, it will feel moist and soft and really nice.)
4. Divide the dough into quarters;roll each piece into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap or a tightly wrung out moistened kitchen towel, and let rest for 10 minutes. (The dough will become easier to roll out.)
5. Press the dough flat, flour both sides with atta, and roll out with a rolling pin to about 16cm in diameter (3mm thickness). If it sticks to your work surface, dust it with flour.
6. Heat a frying pan without any oil over medium heat. Cook the chapati quickly on both sides, until they turn white and dry.
7. Set the frying pan to the side, turn up the heat a bit, and lightly toast the chapati directly on the flame. If it's not torn, it should puff up. When the whole surface is cooked and no longer looks like dry dough, it's done. Cover the cooked chapatis with a cloth to keep them warm.
8. Enjoy with curry.
9. Tip #1: If you leave the dough for too long after kneading it to cook it, or if the dough is too dry, it won't puff up.
10. Tip #2: Make sure to knead the dough thoroughly in step 2. If you don't, it will shrink up in step 5 when you try to roll it out, and you'll have thick chapatis.
11. Tip #3: When rolling out the dough, if you dust the work surface and rolling pin generously with flour, and roll the dough little by little while turning it, it will be evenly round.
12. Tip #4: If you don't cook the chapati properly in step 6, it won't puff up. When it's white and dry on both sides with several air bubbles, put it on the direct flame.

Story Behind this Recipe

At first I could only make tough, not very good chapatis. But by adding more water, kneading the dough well, and letting it rest, I was able to make tender and delicious ones.