Chapati Recipe (Roti)
This easy chapati recipe shows you how to make your own Indian chapatis (roti). Chapati is an unleavened flatbread that originates in India, and has many other names, like roti, safati, chappati or phulka. This recipe is without salt, although you can add a pinch if you like, and is very basic and easy.
Flatbread is a staple food in India and is often used to scoop the food into the mouth and wipe up the gravy off the plate.
Chapati vs Naan
There are different types of bread in India and as well as chapatis, you also have naan bread and paratha, which are all different. The difference between chapati and naan is that naan bread is actually a leavened bread, and hence does take a bit longer to make.
In this recipe, I have used some real Indian chapati flour (medium) which looks a bit like a wholemeal flour, with some small brown fibres in it. It seemed to be very finely ground and tasted great. It made a good soft dough and was easy to roll out. You can also use an all purpose flour, but the result will not be quite as authentic.
Origin of the word ‘Chapati’
Chapati is named after the word ‘chapat’ which in Hindi means slap. This is the noise that is made when chapatis are ‘slapped’ out by hand. The traditional way is to slap the dough between wet hands, turning 90 degrees every time until you have a nice circular shape to cook.
I remember watching our Indian neighbours doing this once, preparing for a large family party, with all the ladies sitting cross-legged like Shiva on the grass and slapping away with their dough. It was quite impressive to watch as they all produced a small pile of uncooked circular dough pancakes in no time.
I believe they kept them in wet towelling to stop them sticking together.
I am not as proficient as these Indian ladies were, however, and I still roll out my roti on a lightly flowered surface with a rolling pin. Maybe not as cool, but it does the job (OK, they are maybe not that round 😊 !).
Eat your chapatis with a delicious Indian curry or use them in other flatbread recipes.
I hope you enjoy making these easy chapatis. If you do, please let me know how you get on in the comments section below!
Indian Chapati Recipe