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  • Writer's pictureheutemalindisch

Chapati - Indian flatbread

Turn your Chapati and keep working with the cloth," were the words of Nana (my grandma) the first time I tried to roll out and bake Chapatis. We both sat cross-legged on the floor, armed with a belan (the classic Indian rolling pin) as Nana tried to teach me this traditional Indian skill.

Of course, my Nana was a Chapati i expert just like my mom and just like millions of other Indian women. Looking back, I have to laugh at myself. My first c Chapati had more resemblance to the map of India, the second like that of Europe and the third resembled Africa. On the twelfth try, I managed to make something that looked like a Chapati. Until then, my grandma just kept repeating "patience'll get it".

Traditionally, Chapati are baked in a tawa, a flat rimless pan, without ghee or oil. These quickly prepared flatbreads are the ideal accompaniment to curries and serve as a base for wraps to use up leftovers.


  • 450 g Atta (Chapati-Vollkornmehl, aus dem Asialaden) oder 225 g Vollkornmehl und 225 g Mehl Type 405

  • 1 tbsp Ghee/ use vegetable oil for vegan version

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 300 ml lukewarm water

  • a little flour for the work surface

  • 2-3 tsp Ghee, melted for brushing (optional)


Put the flour in a bowl and mix with the salt. Make a well in the center and add 250 ml of lukewarm water and knead. Gradually knead in another 50 ml of lukewarm water and form into a ball. Add 1 tbsp Ghee / oil and continue kneading until a soft and smooth dough is formed. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, keep aside a rolling pin, a bowl of flour for rolling the dough balls, a spatula, a tawa (a frying pan), and a plate.

Put some flour on the work surface and on it divide the dough into 16 portions and heat the pan to medium heat. Roll a piece of dough into a ball between the palms of your hands, roll it in the flour, flatten it into a disk and then roll it out into round patties 10 cm in diameter. Lightly flour both sides, roll out to 16 cm diameter and place on hot pan.

Cook over medium-high heat for 35-40 seconds, until the edges turn white and the Chapati blisters, then flip and cook for another 35-40 seconds.

Flip again (now the bread should rise and needs to be flattened with a spatula), cook for 10 seconds, then flip again and cook for another 10 seconds.

When the dough is cooked through, if no raw spots (dark and doughy) can be seen, place the Chapati on the plate.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel or aluminum foil or they will harden quickly. Then cook the remaining dough portions in the same way. Finally, brush the Chapati with Ghee.


  • If the dough becomes too hard, make holes in it with your finger and put 1-2 tablespoons of hot water in them. Then let the dough soak for a few minutes and knead it.

  • Always regulate the heat between medium and high, so that the pan is not too hot, but also not too cold.

  • Keep pressing lightly and turning. Press finely and evenly with the spatula. Neither too hard nor too much.

I look forward to hearing from you...

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