How to Make the Best Chapatis

Making chapatis is not as difficult as it seems. Following this simple recipe will soon have you making those fresh, soft and tasty rotis!

The chapati has different names in different parts of India.

Chapatis are one of the staple foods from the Asian sub-continent.

It is a simple flat bread made from flour called atta that can accompany any South Asian dish, especially vegetarian dishes such as daals (soup based curries) or sabjis (vegetable-based curries).

The chapati has different names in different parts of India.

For example in Punjab it is called roti or phulka, in Gujarat it is called rotli and in some areas of Maharashtra it is called poli.

The chapati can vary in size as well depending on where it is made. For example in India it can be up to 10 inches in diameter whereas in Pakistan as small as 5 inches in diameter.

The cooking of the chapati can vary by region too where in some cases oil is used during the preparation of the dough of the chapati. The quick recipe here is the typical Punjabi method of making roti.


1 cup whole wheat flour – ideally chapati flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup flour in a small container


  1. Put flour in a large bowl and gradually add small amounts of water as required. Do not flood the mixture with water.
  2. Blend the two together with your fingers until it forms a sticky dough.
  3. Beat and knead well until the mixture is smooth and elastic. Then form a compact ball.
  4. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Knead and divide dough into 4 to 6 parts to make dough balls. One dough ball will make one chapati.
  6. Make a ball about the size of a golf ball using palms of your hands.
  7. Flatten the ball into a circular shape with your hand and dip both sides into the flour container.
  8. Scatter a little flour on a surface and using a rolling pin (velna) roll the dough outwards into a circular thinner shape on the surface, about 1/8″ thick. Turning it over as required.
  9. Heat an non-greased griddle on a high heat stove. A non-stick frying pan can be used but a griddle called a tawa is best for making roti.
  10. Put the rolled chapati on the griddle and let cook for about 1 minute.
  11. Turn and cook the second side for 2/3 minute until small brown bubbles form.
  12. Turn again and cook the first side pressed lightly with fingers or a tea-towel until both sides look cooked.
  13. Take off the griddle and you may butter it slightly to keep it soft.
  14. Repeat steps 6 to 12 for each dough ball.
  15. Serve warm with a dish of your choice.

Rolling the shape of chapatis into a round circle takes practice.

So, if they are the shape of the map of Africa don”t worry as practice always helps!

More importantly, as long as they taste good does it matter what shape they are!

Madhu is a foodie at heart. Being a vegetarian she loves to discover new and old dishes that are healthy and above all tasty! Her motto is George Bernard Shaw's quote 'There is no love sincerer than the love of food.'

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