Indian Chapati Recipe
Indian chapati bread is the perfect bread for mopping up juicy Indian curries or warming stews. This Indian chapati recipe is so simple to make that you won’t look back to shop bought ever again.
What is chapati bread?
Chapatis are a type of Indian flatbread which are also commonly known as roti or phulka in the Indian language. Chapatis are an unleavened type of bread meaning they do not contain any yeast. They are made with wholemeal flour (like this Indian chapati recipe) instead of plain and are typically cooked in ghee (a clarified butter) although butter is also fine.
They were introduced around the world by Indian immigrants from the subcontinent. Merchants from India travelled to Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and took their recipes with them!
How do you like to eat your chapati?
Why should I make this Indian chapati recipe?
- So simple to prepare and make
- Learn one of the most common Indian flatbreads
- This Indian chapati recipe will save you money as you will no longer want to buy shop bought chapatis ever again
- The perfect bread for dipping in soups, stews and chilis as well as curries
What ingredients do I need?
- Wholemeal flour – traditionally chapatis are made with wholemeal flour (atta flour) and sieved to make the texture nice and smooth.
- Water – added to bind the ingredients together.
- Salt – for flavour.
- Ghee or butter – traditionally ghee is used but butter will also work fine.
This Indian chapati recipe is
Chapati bread is soft and chewy but very suitable for little ones. I wouldn’t hesitate to give chapati to my toddler, in fact I already have and he loved it!
For weaning babies, perhaps cut it up into small pieces as sometimes the chapati can be a bit chewier than other breads. It all depends on how capable you think they are of chewing it and how many teeth they have! The parent knows best of course!
A mixing bowl
D-scraper for cutting the dough and combining together
Pastry brush for brushing the ghee/butter
What’s the difference between chapati and paratha?
To the eye, chapati and paratha look very similar. The ingredients are practically the same: wholemeal flour, water, salt, ghee (like this Indian chapati recipe) and then the addition of oil in paratha (the only difference). It’s the method where the differences lie.
A chapati is made by simple combining the water with the flour, making a dough and rolling it out. A paratha is made in a similar way (with the addition of oil) but is then left to rest and also is folded before rolling again.
Parathas can also be stuffed with other ingredients such as seeds (carom). Paratha is then fried until it puffs up, similar to a chapati. Both can be served brushed with ghee or butter.
Can I use plain flour instead of wholemeal?
No because then it wouldn’t be a chapati. Chapatis are always made with wholemeal flour. We’d recommend making flatbread or naan bread if you wish to use plain flour.
Do I have to add salt?
No, you can leave the salt out if you want to. It has only been added for taste purposes and can be made without.
Is it better to use butter or ghee?
Ghee is the most traditional method when making a chapati bread. It’s nice to brush them in melted ghee once they are cooked too. Salted butter can also be used. Unsalted butter is also okay however you may find it’s not as tasty as salted.
Is this Indian chapati recipe suitable for vegetarians?
Yes, chapatis contain no meat and are certainly suitable for vegetarians.
Is this Indian chapati recipe suitable for vegans?
Chapatis could be suitable for vegans when made without any butter or ghee. A vegetable spread can be used in its place.
Are chapati breads gluten-free?
No chapatis are not gluten free unless you use a gluten free wholemeal flour such as this gluten free brown flour from Doves Farm.
Can I re-heat my chapatis?
Chaptis are best served fresh however if you wish to reheat, we’d recommend giving them a light fry for half a min on each side.
Can I freeze my chapatis?
Yes you can freeze chapati after cooking. Let the chapatis cool down first, and once cool, stack them with a piece of greaseproof paper in between. Place each stack into a ziplock freezer bag or container. When needing to defrost, take out your chapati, allow to thaw and then fry again to reheat.
How long can I keep chapatis?
Chapati will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months and in the fridge for a day. Chapatis are best served fresh.
How do I eat a chapati?
Chapatis are meant to be eaten with your hand, dipped into curries or stews.
Always have chapati dough on hand by making an extra batch and freezing (as above). You can defrost and cook the chapati in the same way as is mentioned in this recipe.
Indian Chapati Recipe
- 200 g wholemeal flour or atta flour
- 125 ml water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp ghee or butter
- Sieve the flour into a bowl, discarding any wholemeal wheat germ flakes. Add the salt.
- Pour in the water and using a d-scraper, form a dough. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and into balls.
- Roll each ball to about 6 inch diameter (or more if you would prefer bigger chapatis).
- Heat a frying pan and fry each chapati until they puff up. 1 minute each side. Serve plain or brushed with melted butter or ghee.
We like to serve ours with a delicious curry such as my Caribbean beef curry and my vegan peanut curry with sweet potato. As they are great breads for dipping due to not falling apart, we’d also serve them with this Bhutanese chicken stew or my African peanut chicken stew.
For a snack we like to dip them in this spicy tomato chutney.