Indian chapati bread has fascinated anyone who’s come home for dinner watching the bread puff up on the fire without any rising agent. Today’s post goes out to fellow blogger Lorrie who asked for a How To.

For the longest time I kneaded this bread heavily and let it sit for an hour or two, thinking that’s required. To my pleasant surprise experimenting showed I didn’t need to put in so much effort. I’d like to share my tips with you in this post.

½ cup whole wheat flour
less than ¼ cup of water

Spice Mix(optional)
carom seeds crushed(called ajwain)

Serves 2

Preparation time
20 minutes

Pots n pans
Cast iron or non stick griddle
mixing bowl


  1. Slowly add water to the dough, stirring with fork. SOS my Golden temple chapatti flour from the indian grocery store takes less than ¼ cup of water for ½ cup of flour. That’s why I suggest adding water slowly so your flour doesn’t become too watery. You;ll have to experiment with your flour, Canadian whole wheat flour has a nutty flavour to it & I found that I used a different quantity of water to mix that flour.
  2. For a final flourish, use your hands to fold in flour, taking the outer ends & pressing to the center, take each of the outer ends one by one & press to center like taking the petals of a flower. This should take about 1 minute. You’ll know flour is kneaded enough when its pliant & springs back when you press down with your hand. Add carrom if using. Set aside.
  3. Divide flour into 1.5″ rounds(1/2 cup flour yielded me 5 rounds). Take one round in your hand and roll into a ball.
  4. Press ball into flour so the ball is dusted with flour on all sides. SOS Light dusting is enough otherwise you’ll end up with a stony chapatti & your griddle will also burn.
  5. Roll dough into a 6” diameter on rolling surface(SOS I use a marble rolling stone that I brought back carefully from a trip to delhi).
  6. Place chapatti on heated griddle and cover with large lid to let it cook quicker, saving energy. When the underside is cooked, you’ll see light blisters on the top surface.
  7. take the lid off and flip the chapatti off the griddle onto the fire(increasing the stove heat to max) using tongs. Watch chapatti carefully as it puffs quickly, flip onto other side briefly to let already cooked underside heat lightly. 
  8. Place chapatti in serving bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel.
  9. Smear with butter or your choice of light oil or you can leave it plain

Health benefits
Chapati from ground whole wheat is healthy with soluble fiber to help clean plaque from your blood vessels, complex carbs to give you sustained energy, proteins to help build and maintain muscle and almost no fat (till you add ghee to it). It has a low glycemic index, so it doesn’t make your blood sugar shoot up and then crash. Gluten allergic folks can make chapati with healthy millet- contains fiber, complex carbohydrates, protein and low fat(its made differently & I’ll share recipe another time).

Fun facts
In the early 1900’s waves of Sikhs migrated to America by way of Canada seeking greener pastures. They brought with them their mastery and knowledge of land and agriculture. As they tilled the soil in America, they found large similarities with mexican culture in terms of food, family culture etc. They ended up marrying mexican women –Mexicans make tortillas, indians make chapatis so that was a marriage made in heaven!

Suggested Pairing
Enjoy with dips, chutneys, curries or channa masala. Hope you enjoyed my fire roasted bread no yeast recipe for chapati. I’d love to hear how your chapati turns out.


15 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh how wonderful! Thank you so much! This is perfect!! Now I know that I’m pushing things now, but is there anything I could make them with, that you recommend, that is a gluten free item?

  2. soulofspice says:

    do you mean a gluten free chapati or a gluten free side dish.. watch out for my gluten free chapati in a later post. for sides you can try channa masala, or zucchini mash or black eyed bean stew.. will post more later.. you ask so nicely so it doesn’t feel pushy 🙂 someday you can make me one of your faves.. I don;t make a lot of desserts but have been craving coffee cake, if you ever make it, I’d love to sample it:)

  3. Oh I meant chipati. I am going to try and make them today with chickpea flour. I will let you know how it goes!

    1. charu says:

      oh yes, those are delish. I’ll post recipe for those soon. made quite differently…

  4. Nice Blog! Thanks for sharing this such a nice blog! Please check out this – WiO Smart Foods

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