Indian Recipes

Chipatis by Anjuli

Posted on 12-02-08 · Tags: , ,


Chapatis (also known as roti) are a staple bread in Northern India, and have been in our Indian cooking home as well. In the US they are generally glossed over by restaurant-goers in search of the ever-popular naan. My mother learned to make chapatis from my aunt on a trip to India. Like ghee, there technique is best seen in person. I have attempted below for second best, giving you instructions and visuals to help guide technique. It’s easy once you get the hang of it.

If you eat a meal with chapatis, no utensils are necessary. If you’re unfamiliar, rip off a piece of chapati, scoop up some of your subgee or curry, fold it over, and pop it in your mouth. Whatever you do, eat with your hands. It’s a whole different world out there.





2 cups chipati flour (1/2 cup per person)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried methi (also known as Fenugreek)
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup water (reserved for use if necessary)

Mix the flour, salt, and methi in a medium bowl. Add in 1/2 cup water in a steady stream, kneading with your knuckles as you pour. You’re looking for all of the moisture to be absorbed and the dough to look moist but not wet. Add in the final 1/4 cup if needed, continuing to knead. Knead in your hand for 5 minutes until it’s smooth, elastic, and not wet or dry.

Place a dab of ghee in a medium bowl and roll the dough around in it. Cover with a moist hand towel or a bowl. Let rest at room temp for at least one hour but not more than two.

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls (14 of ‘em for 2 cups). Place a saute pan on medium-low heat. Pour out a pile of flour onto a preferably dry surface (preferably stone). Take a ball and flatten it into a uniform disc about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Keep the other balls covered with the plate or towel.

Push both sides of the ball softly into the flour. Using an Indian rolling pin, roll out the chapati softly, leaning a bit more on the skinny ends. The chapati should turn naturally as you roll. Roll until you can’t see any flour on the surface.


Pat the chapati into the flour again on both sides. Continue to flour and roll until the chapati is 6″ in diameter and there’s no flour on the surface.

Place the chapati flat in a saute pan at medium-low heat. Cook until the edges begin to lift and bubbles begin to form. Turn it with a pair of tongs. Leave it for 5-10 seconds more.


Move the chapati to direct fire at medium-high heat. Wait until it puffs up (about 5 seconds) then turn it over and give it 3 seconds more. Place the chapati on a plate and add a 1/4 teaspoon dollop of ghee to the center. Rub it around on one side with the back of a spoon. Cover with a hand towel.


Repeat. Eat warm.


Generally we serve chapatis with a typical Indian chickpea dish with spinach or onions and tomatoes. When Matt and I went to see my parents this weekend after Thanksgiving, my mom spiced it up with some turnips, celery, and onion.


  1. jasmine wrote:

    your chapatis looks AMAZING! unfortunately, i just moved from a house with a gas range to a house with an electric range! no open fire! do you think this would still work?

    beautiful pictures by the way, a wonderful walkthrough

    December 2nd, 2008 at 6:38 pm
  2. Mama Bear wrote:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’ve always wanted an authentic chapati recipe but have never been able to find a good one.

    Looking forward to our first meal of them and a good chole!

    December 2nd, 2008 at 8:40 pm
  3. Andrea wrote:

    Yeah! I even have a gas range. I’m am so totally trying this, just you wait and see.

    December 3rd, 2008 at 1:01 am
  4. karen wrote:

    When I was in Fiji a few years ago I ate what the store clerk called Roti but it was stuffed with a potato mixture and rolled up like a burrito.

    There was a serious lack of edible (IMHO) food on the small outer island I was on and these “roti” saved both me and my husband from starvation. Not to mention, they were soooo good. The roti were made by a local Fijian and sold at the small market down the street from the house we rented.

    So, is roti a generic word for the bread or is it the actual stuffed end product? I’ve been looking for a similar recipe since that trip, but haven’t been successful.

    Any ideas/suggestions?

    December 4th, 2008 at 9:51 am
  5. Anjuli wrote:

    Karen: Roti is a generic word for the bread, but chapati is specifically the preparation above. As for the stuffed Indian roti, it’s called paratha. I have not been to Fiji, and am not sure of the local fare. Hope this helps.

    December 4th, 2008 at 9:17 pm
  6. Anjuli wrote:

    Jasmine: I looked it up, and it looks like you can get a rack to place above it – Might work!

    Mama Bear: My favorite is definitely chole as well.

    Andrea: Hah. Then you have no excuse.

    December 8th, 2008 at 2:51 pm
  7. noni stremming wrote:

    these look amazing.. my first attempt at making these was overwhelmingly laughable. they tasted ok but are pitiable!
    goingto try again. saddly i don’t have a gas range(thoughwould lovve one!) so a cast iron pan woudl work??

    also takign a wing at tortillas.. with rising costs and havving a large family.. make your own is the order of the day. specially with two girls who are clothes horsed and two boys that empty a fridge inteh blink of an eye and they haven’t even hit their teens yet!

    goign to try again at this.. i think though i need to regrind my chick pae flour(that is the smae as chipati flour right??) can’t buy it in our town but can buy dried chick peas so inteh blender it went.. needs refining!
    oh and the fenugreek?? seeds?? or plant?? i have the seeds but woudl you grind them??
    any way .. thanks for teh pictures helps greatly . handn’t a clue what they were supposed to look like .. thankfully nothing like they turned out!

    January 2nd, 2009 at 6:36 pm
  8. Menu Monday | Dare to Eat Simple wrote:

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    November 8th, 2011 at 8:10 pm

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