Sunday, 31 January 2010

Chapatis or rotlis, rotis or Indian bread

Chapatis or chapatis are made from wheat flour and eaten with most Indian curries.  Different Regions of India have their own unique style of making chapatis.  In Kenya, the locals make them big and quite thick and often fry them but call them roti. I like to make small and thinly rolled out chapatis.


2 cups of Strong White flour - preferrably chapati flour
half cup flour - to use when rolling out the chapatis
2 teaspoons of olive oil (you can use any oil)
butter or ghee to spread on the chapati


1.  Sieve  the flour.

2.  Add the oil.


3.  Using warm water, mix the flour well.  Make sure that you pour the water in small amounts so that the dough doesn't get too soft. Spread some oil in your palms and knead  until the dough feels pliable - almost like "play dough".  Cover the dough and let it rest for half an hour.  The best way, in my experience, is to make the dough and leave it in the fridge.  The dough remains fresh for 2 days if kept in the fridge.  When you are ready to make the chapattis, take out the dough and warm it in the microwave for 20 seconds.  Knead it well and if the flour still  feels cold, you can warm it again for 10 or 20 seconds.  The dough should be smooth and pliable.

4.  Divide the flour into 12 - 13 small balls as shown below:

5.   Dust each ball using the dry flour and roll out the chappatti.  You can use any rolling pin and a work top if you do not have a pastry stand.  Making perfect round chapatis does take a bit of practice. The trick to a perfect chapati is to ensure that it rolled out evenly. Grip the rolling pin gently placing the palms of your hands on the at the edges of the rolling pin.  Dust some dry flour on the worktop let the chapati almost roll itself.  Try and resist pressing too hard in the centre of the chapati.  The same pressure should be on the whole chappatti.   Please don't be put off if the shape of the chapati looks like the map of Africa or USA....the proof of the pudding is in the taste!!  Practice makes perfect 

6.  Cook it on medium heat using a griddle or dry frying pan. As soon as you can see little bubbles appear on its surface turn it over onto the o ther side. Press the chappatti gently; with dry kitchen paper. The air in the chapati will start to rise when you press the chapati with the kitchen paper. Keep turning the chapati until it rises or you get little dark spots.


7.  Remove  the chapati and keep it on a plate.  Make sure that the plate is covered with a kitchen paper . The hot chapatti causes condensation and the kitchen paper keeps the chapati dry.  Spread some butter or ghee on the chapatti and continue making the rest, stacking them like pancakes.

8.  Serve it with a curry.

Extra Information:

Sprinkling sugar on a hot buttered chapati tastes wonderful too.  

Left over chapatis can be eaten cold or slightly warmed up in the microwave. You can also cut the chapatis in diamond shapes and fry them.  Sprinkle some salt to them and they become nice and crispy like corn chips!  Great with salsa or sour cream.

You can also make a curry using cold chapatis and yogurt.  The recipe for using left over chapatis is here

1 comment:

  1. These look so easy. Definitely gonna try them. Thanks for sharing.


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