A quick and easy recipe for warm, soft, lightly charred chapati. Ready in 40 minutes, I love to make these whilst my curry is bubbling away. The perfect vessel for mopping up that curry sauce.
I find this quite a therapeutic recipe - a little bit of kneading, a little bit of rolling, and straight onto cooking, without having wait for anything to prove.
I love that it's simple and not too time consuming, and yet everyone gets super-excited when I tell them I'm making some chapatis to go with our dinner.
This recipe makes 10 chapatis, but our little family of four consumes the lot every time. Even when I'm cooking rice too. Might as well go all in and add some potatoes and noodles to the carb-fest....
📋 What do we need?
🔪 How to make Chapati
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
We start by mixing together wholewheat and plain (all-purpose) flour with salt. Then stir in a little oil, and add in enough hot water until the dough comes together.
Give it a knead for 8-10 minutes (or use the dough hook on a stand mixer), then divide into balls and roll out:
Fry in a pan over a very high heat, turning once, until browned, slightly charred spots appear:
👩🍳PRO TIP You can use a regular rolling pin, but I love my chapati rolling pin (<-- affiliate link to a similar one to mine) - it's lighter and much easier to move to help shape your chapatis.
That's it. Five ingredients and a plateful of chapatis.
I usually start my curry going, then make the chapatis whilst it's bubbling away, so everything is ready at the same time.
One of the easiest bread recipes you can make, perfectly tender, chewy and carb-elicious.
Why use oil in the chapati dough?
The addition of oil in the dough helps the dough to stay soft and pliable - so you get a nice chewy finish. You can leave it out, but I find the chapatis get a little crispier more quickly.
Chapati vs Roti:
Technically, chapati is a type of roti.
There are hundreds of different varieties of roti, popular in Southern and Central Asia - including dhalpuri (a lentil or pea-stuffed roti), paratha (a plain roti, rolled and folded several times to create layers), aloo roti (a potato-based roti) to name a few.
📺 Watch how to make it
🍲 More fantastic from-scratch dough/bread-based recipes
- Bao Buns with sticky pork belly
- Soft and fluffy Brioche Buns
- Dough balls with spinach and bacon dip
- Homemade Artisan Bread
- Flatbread pizza with basil garlic butter
- 1 ¼ cups (150g) wholemeal flour
- 1 ¼ cups (150g) plain (all purpose) flour, plus 4 tbsp extra for kneading and rolling
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp (210ml) hot water
- Place the wholemeal flour, plain (all purpose) flour and salt in a large bowl (or stand mixer bowl if you're kneading using a stand mixer) and mix together.
- Add 2 tbsp of the oil and three-quarters of the water and mix again, adding more water as necessary until you have a soft dough that comes together.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes until soft, smooth and elastic. You can knead in a stand mixer if preferred.
- Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
- Roll out each of the balls on a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, until they're as thin as a tortilla. Place each chapati on a piece of baking parchment to make transferring to the pan easier.
- Brush a large frying pan or flat griddle with a little of the reserved oil and heat over a high heat until smoking hot.
- Add a chapati to the pan and cook for 30-60 seconds, until charred brown spots appear. Turn the chapati over and cook the other side until charred spots appear.
- Transfer to a plate and place in the oven on it's lowest setting (or place in a plate warming drawer if you have one).
- Repeat with the remaining chapati, brushing the pan with a little oil each time before cooking.
- Serve the chapatis warm.
Can I make chapatis using only wholemeal flour?Yes you can. You may need to add a little more water, as it will absorb more than plain (all purpose) flour. The plain (all-purpose) flour gives a lighter, slightly softer result. Using only wholemeal flour means the finished result will be slightly denser, but still delicious.
Can I leave out the oil?Yes you can, and you can even cook them in a completely dry pan, with no oil. However the chapati won't be quite as soft, and will crisp up at the edges more quickly.
Can I make chapatis ahead of time?Yes, you can do this in a few ways:
- Make the dough ahead, then transfer to a covered bowl and refrigerate for up to a day. Allow to come up to room temperature for an hour before rolling into individual chapatis.
- Par-cook the chapatis - by frying them in the pan until very lightly brown. Then cool, wrap in foil (or place in a covered container) in the fridge for up to 3 days. Finish the cooking by heating them individually in a large pan over a very high heat until brown spots appear.
- Cook the chapatis as per the instructions, then cool, wrap in foil in piles of 2-3 (or place in a covered container) in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven (wrapped in foil - in piles of 2-3) at approx 170C/375F for approx 6-8 minutes. You need to wrap them in small piles, as if you reheat in a pile of ten chapatis, the heat of the oven won't penetrate to the chapatis in the centre.
This recipe was first published in July 2019, updated in June 2021 with video, extra information and a bit of housekeeping.
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