Until recently, chapattis and I had a rather fraught relationship. In short, the chapatti dough was just being too clingy and I couldn’t handle it and it all ended in a big disappointment. However, I’m not one to give up that easily. So, armed with a new, and hopefully better, recipe, I decided to give these Indian flatbreads another go. And this time my efforts were rewarded with success! Not only did they come out nice and thin, they were great fun to make and perfect with my paneer curry. Who needs cutlery, right?


Ingredients for 16 chapattis (recipe adapted from Made in India)

450 g wholemeal flour (the recipe stated chapatti flour, but I just used regular bread flour)

3 tbsp sunflower oil

250 ml hot water (+ a little more)

1/2 tsp salt


Making chapattis with a friend or family member is not only more fun, but also much more efficient. One person (in this case: me) rolls out the chapattis, the other person (in this case my friend Weike) fries them to perfection. By the time one chapatti is done, the next one will be rolled and ready to go!

  • Mix the flour and the salt in a large bowl.
  • Make a little well in the middle and pour in the oil.
  • Use your fingers to mix it through and create a breadcrumb texture.
  • Add 250 ml hot (from the tap, not boiling) water and knead it through. Add a bit more when needed.
  • Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes until it’s nice and stretchy.
  • Rub some oil on the dough to prevent it from drying out.
  • Make sure you have a clean work surface, then sprinkle some flour on it.
  • Get a bowl with flour ( I used plain white flour), a rolling pin, a spatula, a plate to put the chapattis on and a small-medium flat frying pan.
  • Put the pan on medium to high heat until it’s hot.
  • Divide the dough into 16 pieces.
  • To make a chapatti: take a piece of dough, shape it into a ball, dip the ball in flour and then flatten it. Using your rolling pin, roll it out nice and thin to about 16 cm diameter, adding a bit more flour on both sides to prevent sticking.
  • Put the chapatti in the hot frying pan, wait till some bubbles start to form (40 seconds), then flip it over and fry for the same amount of time.
  • Flip it over again. At this point it will start to puff up a little bit. Use your spatula to press it down. Do this for about 10 seconds either side and then transfer the chapatti to a plate.

Some food for thought: by way of experiment we fried the last 6 chapattis in a little butter. As you can see they turned out a lot darker. They had a nice buttery flavour, but the butter also made them a bit soggier.



4 thoughts on “Chapattis

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