Chappati – Indian whole wheat flat bread

Chappati – Indian whole wheat flat bread

Chappatis are a traditional Indian flat bread made out of whole wheat flour.  Whole wheat flour is known as “Atta”.   Atta  is different than whole wheat flour commonly found in U.S. groceries.  The protein content is higher and the grind of the flour is finer in “Atta”.  This makes the chapatis softer, pliable and delicious tasting.  If you get a chance to make chapatis with Atta from the Indian store, you have to try it.  Regular whole wheat flour also works, I usually use whole wheat pastry flour to compensate.  There’s nothing like fresh hot chappatis with a tiny bit of ghee added to it for flavor.  You really don’t even need anything else!

Make a well in the middle of the flour

Add water a little at a time to incorporate into the dough

Add yogurt to the dough and continue to knead

Make dough and let it rest for 15 minutes

Make seven equal portions and roll out in a circular shape

Cook over medium high heat, using a paper towel press down on the chapati so it cooks evenly.

Add a little ghee at the very end to enhance the flavor


Chappati – Indian whole wheat flat bread

2 cups Atta (whole wheat) flour

Approximately 1 – 1 1/4 cup water (depending on humidity)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp greek yogurt

little canola oil

Ghee (optional)

In a large bowl place flour and salt and mix together. Add water a little at a time along with yogurt, mix until a soft dough forms.  Knead for several minutes until smooth but still slightly sticky.  Put a few drops of canola oil and pat the surface of the dough.  Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.  Make 7 equal balls and dip in additional flour and roll into 1/8 inch thick circles.  Heat a non stick skillet and cook chappati approximately 1-2 minutes on each side, using a paper towel to press down so it cooks evenly.  Put a 1/4 tsp or less of ghee (clarified butter) on the each side of the chappati and take off the heat, this step is optional but I think the flavor is fantastic.  Serve warm with any daal or curried dish.


23 responses »

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  4. This looks so nice. My recipe is without the yogurt but I bet just even that small amount give s a tang and tenderness that mine lack. We are lucky here in the UK to have atta readily available because you are right, it does make a difference

    • Oh yeah. It’s very versatile. I use it in things like banana bread etc. Unlike the regular whole wheat flour this sort of disappears in the recipe so you get the fiber and extra nutrients without the whole wheat “taste” if you know what I mean.

      • Banana bread! That sounds brilliant. That is also kind of true about whole wheat. Sometimes I just feel like I’m eating grit suspended in flour!

  5. My parents were on my case for the longest time about making rotis, they were like, any girl who calls herself Indian should know how to make a roti. Haha, I conceded (out of shame) and can make a decent roti now. You should add something to your steps about how the roti will puff up with steam (after you flip it) and you press down around the flat areas with a paper towel so those areas puff up too. I found this ensures a roti that’s not too thick and is evenly cooked. This is true for plain rotis but not for say, methi rotis (which are my favorite but geez what’s with the potent methi smell you emanate the next day).

    • I did have a picture included with the paper towel and everything so I figured that was enough info. I can add the air pocket bit! I’m glad you’ve mastered the roti and now become the pride of your mom. The shame must have just crippled her…Mom guilt, isn’t that the tool most wielded by Desi Moms? 🙂

      • Hehe, no kidding!! I think I might just spend my whole life trying to find new ways to impress my mom. : P I don’t mind though, it makes me strive to be an improved version of myself!

    • Parathas are cooked differently, they have fat in the dough and they are rolled out very thinly (usually WW flour is not used) then oil is brushed on again, then they are collapsed and rolled again. It has a crispy finish. It is our flat bread version of a croissant.

      • Some people do use it interchangeably but in Bangladesh, Parathas are definitely cooked in oil and made with oil layered in it. It’s richer and crisper. In north India, Parathas are also often stuffed with things like potatoes, cauliflowers etc. It can vary by region. But for sure you know that when you say chapati, it’s going to be dry cooked and whole wheat.

    • They are a healthy alternative to plain white bread and now that Onjoli and I are working out like crazy it’s nice to have that even for breakfast with some fresh fruit and an egg white omelette

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