Indian Flatbread Recipe

Chapatis are eaten all over India as an accompaniment to most meals — they really are a national bread. The art is in the shaping: a good chapati should be perfectly round. Chapatis are generally served with sweet fillings or toppings for breakfast, while naan is a leavened bread served with curries.

225 g (8 oz.) whole-wheat flour, sieved
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Melted ghee or butter


Step 1: Mix the flour, salt and about 1/2 cup of water in a bowl.

Step 2: Add the oil and knead to a soft dough. Leave covered with a wet cloth for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Knead the dough again for 10 minutes then divide into 10 pieces using a little flour to shape them into round balls. Press out each piece on a floured board using your fingers.

Step 4: Roll out with a rolling pin into thin pancakes about 4″-5″ in diameter.

Step 5: Heat a flat frying pan or hot griddle. Cook each chapati over medium heat for 30 seconds and when one side dries up and tiny bubbles begin to appear, turn over and cook until brown spots appear on the under surface. Press the sides down gently with a clean tea towel.

Step 6: Remove from the griddle with a pair of tongs and place directly over the heat/flame until it puffs up. Smear one side with a little ghee or butter and serve immediately.


© Johansen