Chapati, India’s Essential Flatbread

Chapati are my favorite for a quick grain addition to my meal. Making just a few chapati can take only 5-10 minutes once you get the hang of it. Until then give yourself a little bit extra time and enjoy the process. Even if the Chapati doesn’t come out round it will still be delicious. For traditional Chapati you can try to find “Atta” an Indian whole wheat flour that is roughly equal to a medium/light ground whole wheat. It can be hard to find organic Atta so you are welcome to substitute regular organic whole wheat flour. But remember whenever you make a bread dough, it is always smart to reserve some of the water (don’t put all the water into the recipe at the beginning) since different flours will absorb different amounts of water. You can always add more later if need be but its hard to take the water out. Sometime you can go from a small batch of dough to a mountain by adding to much water and having to add lots more flour. If that happens oh well, there are worse mistakes, just put what you don’t need in the fridge. It will stay good and usable for a day or two. Then you can have chapati quickly anytime!

It is common in North India to have light dinner with Dal and Chapati. Also you can eat them with any vegetable or soup instead of rice.

There are only two main ingredients, but after you get the hang of making Chapati you can get more creative. Also, the cooking method involves an open flame so be careful. Always use tongs (not your precious little fingers); an over mitt is ok too if you want to be extra cautious.

And here we go….


Makes 10-12 Pieces/ 30 Minutes total time (less once you get quick with it!)


2 cups Atta (whole wheat flour)

1 cup Water (reserve 1/4 cup)

Optional: Ghee and salt


1) Mix 2 cups Atta with 3/4 cups water. If the dough is too dry add a little at a time until the dough comes together soft and smooth but not very sticky.

2) Kneed the dough until it does not stick to your hands, usually 2-3 minutes.

Please watch our video excerpt from our cooking workshop for details on making the dough and cooking the chapati!


3) Divide dough into 10-12 pieces, roll each into a ball.

4) Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a thin disk, about 2mm thick. Use a little flour on each side of the chapati so it doesn’t stick. Also roll the chapati one directions and then turn the chapati 90 degrees and roll again.














5) In a heated pan cook the chapati on both sides, One side should just start to brown the other should be only lightly cooked.













6) Remove Chapati from the pan and put the lightly cooked side directly on the flame. The Chapati should puff quickly flip the Chapati over cook for just a few more seconds, done! Caution always use tongs to keep from burning yourself. An oven mitten is also an option for extra protection.













7) Optional – Lightly coat the Chapati with Ghee and a touch of salt. Stack the Chapatis and cover with a towel or plate so they remain warm until you eat. Enjoy.

For variety you can add different spices or fresh herbs to the chapatis, but they may not puff completely into little balloons. If you use fresh cilantro, fenugreek, tomato etc… (anything that has water content), chop them up and then add them to the mix, reserving more water since the herbs will release moisture into the dough.

Comments are closed.