Chapati Flatbread – An easy flatbread recipe made from just 3 simple ingredients. Also known as roti, this flatbread is popular across India, East Africa, and more.
Chapati was a daily staple during my time last year in Tanzania. For five weeks straight, we had chapati at least once a day and used it to eat everything from curry or lentils for dinner to just smearing peanut butter or honey on it breakfast. It was a staple because of the simplicity of being made with just 3 ingredients, easy to make, and neutral in flavor so that it could be served with any meal.
Everyone’s chapati was always slightly different with a range of it being closer to pocket bread such as pita with a huge cavern in the middle from an air bubble during the cooking process to a more dense chapati with just little bubbles. My favorite was definitely the denser chapati but it was all delicious. Being able to learn from seeing different people make chapati lead to this recipe.
Keep in mind that everyone makes their chapati slightly differently so if mine doesn’t look just like others you have seen before, it is just a different interpretation. Chapati came from India via their merchants to many east African countries such as Tanzania and Kenya so it has evolved over time into the rustic flatbread that it is today.
Another thing worth noting is that Indian chapati is usually made with “atta” or a whole wheat flour. This recipe uses all-purpose because American whole wheat flour is not a fine so the texture would come out very differently. You can substitute American whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour if you want but any more than that could really impact the texture.
Common questions about making chapati
What is the difference between chapati and roti?
Chapati and roti are almost exactly the same. Both are unleavened flatbreads but the main difference comes from the method of cooking but even that varies as the difference depend mostly on what region you are in.
Is a tortilla the same as chapati?
While made from the same basic ingredients as a flour tortilla, the difference between a corn tortilla and chapati is that a corn tortilla uses maize.
Why does my chapati puff up?
This is a good thing, the air bubbles come from water in the dough evaporating. If your chapati doesn’t puff, don’t worry, it is still going to be just as tasty.
What can I serve chapati with?
I love serving it with a lentil curry or with a smear of peanut butter on it but it can really go with anything from soups to shredded chicken and cheese as a wrap.
Can’t get enough of this chapati flatbread recipe? Try these other recipes!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, water, and salt. Stir until well combined.
- Transfer to a floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes. The dough should come together to be soft and smooth.
- Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for about 1 hour.
- Heat a lightly oiled skillet or griddle to medium-high heat.
- Remove from bowl and divide into 8 evenly sized pieces. Roll out each piece so that it is about 1/4" thick.
- Transfer chapati to the skillet and cook for about 30-60 seconds or until golden brown dots start to form on the bottom. Flip and continue to cook until the other side forms those same dots. If a large bubble forms in the middle, gently press it down.
- Transfer to a serve platter and cover until ready to serve.
*Can substitute for 1/2 whole wheat flour. Any more can really impact the texture and hydration of the dough.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 5g
This nutritional information can vary depending on the specific products you choose so this is a general guess of the correct nutritional information based on the products I used. Please keep that in mind when making the recipe.