Roti/Chappati Indian flatbread Step by step

roti yumm

Unlike the popular belief, Indians don’t eat naan at home (I actually had a lady enquire about that to me a while ago and I was surprised, to say the least, but I realized that probably is the most common misconception given all restaurant ever seem to serve are naans). In fact naan is rarely made at home and mostly eaten at restaurants. At home, the choice of flatbread is ‘roti’. This is rolled out in many Indian kitchens on a daily basis, especially where food is still served on traditional lines.


It’s made of whole wheat, kneaded into dough, rolled out and cooked on stove. It’s quite simple really, once you get the hang of rolling out the circle. As novices, we often joke about making maps, because invariably, the early attempts end up resembling geographical shapes of unknown kind.


Unless you are my younger son. He somehow got it right the first (and the last) time. We will see how he does when he tries it again.

Kiddo roti kiddo roti kiddo roti

Step by step:


2 cups whole wheat (plus 1 cup to roll in)

1 tsp oil

1-2/3 cup lukewarm water

1/2 tsp salt


wheat flour

Take whole wheat flour in a kneading bowl

well in atta

Make a nice well in the middle

oil in atta

Pour the oil in the well

water in flour

Add some of the water and start kneading

make a nice soft dough

Keep adding little water and knead into a smooth dough.It should be soft but not sticky.

roti 2013-06-07 014

Look at that nice dough

cover with a damp cloth

Cover with a clean damp cloth for 15 minutes

knead again

Knead it once over before cooking.

Divide into equal size balls.



Dust the balls in extra flour. Using three fingers, press the middle, flattening the ball into the flour.

roti 2013-06-07 022

Press some more after dusting on the rolling surface
roti 2013-06-07 023

Roll out into a smooth round discroti 2013-06-07 025


There are two ways to cook the roti. In Method one, place the flour disc in a hot girdle/pan. You should start seeing the bubbles almost right away.

Step 1Roti in pan 1

Flip it over to the other side. Wait for the bubbles to appear. The bubbles on this side will be more prominent and it should start showing signs of balooning.

Step 2Roti in pan getting bubbles

Using a tong, pick the roti

Step 3roti 2013-06-07 028

And place it directly on the flame, first cooked side down

See it baloon.
Step 4Roti balooning over flames

The roti should be speckled with small brown dots. To achieve this, you can move the roti around using the tong over the flame.

Step 5roti

Nothing like a nice balooning roti over flames


In Method Two, follow till step 3 above.

Flip overroti The side cooked more is now uproti cooking

roti cooking 2

Take a piece of cloth and press on one side

Keep turning the disc aroundroti cooking 3 Until it baloonsroti balooning

You can choose to cook either way. People who like thin rotis use the flame method. Those who like their rotis to be thick and more crusty use the pan baloon method. I normally cook over the flame.

Serve with the choice of dal, sabzi or curry.


Roti with Mung Dal tadka…..divine!


 The way to eat it is to tear a portion, make a scoop and then fill the scoop with whatever you are eating it with.

dal roti

Like I scooped some of that delicious tadka dal into the roti….

Like the tadka dal? Will post the recipe soon.

14 comments for “Roti/Chappati Indian flatbread Step by step

  1. March 26, 2014 at 12:31 AM

    Oh love that fluffy ballooned up roti with some ghee and dal. I do however delegate this task to the hubby. He being the guju likes his rotis suppeeerrrr thin… My excuse is I am from Kashmir and we don’t eat much roti 😉 so I don’t know how to make it thin…(don’t know if he believes me though..shh )
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  2. March 26, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    I need to quit looking at your daal photos so late at night. By this time I have the munchies and your roti and daal are making me drool. Unfortunately, I still make maps, but they’re resembling countries now 🙂
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  3. March 26, 2014 at 4:42 AM

    I keep saying I want to learn to make this but I haven’t tried yet. I’m encouraged! I think I can follow these directions easily. 🙂
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  4. March 26, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    I’ve made these! They really are easy, although mine aren’t usually nice and round (unless I use a tortilla press — cheating, I know). Great instructions — I need to make these again, and soon. Thanks.
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  5. linsy
    March 26, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Perfect roti with that dal. If my rotis don’t fluff my son gets sad saying oh mom, that roti is sad. Didn’t fluff.

  6. March 27, 2014 at 2:45 AM

    A friend told me that too! I think we just assume that because naan is so delicious, people would eat it every day that they could. I also love roti and love watching it being made. My friend used to make them from scratch and I’d watch her. She could do them so quickly.
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  7. March 27, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    This brings back so much memory that I had with my neighbor friend who moved… I miss our cooking time together, and she made GREAT chappati! I can stand next to her all day while she cooks (and our kids were small so they play together). I miss those days and her chappati! I really need to make my own one day. You made an excellent tutorial with pictures, so I know I can make it!!! Thank you for reminding me the sweet memory I have and great recipe!
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  8. March 27, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    You make it look so easy. I tried making a type of flatbread once and… Did you say you called them maps LOL
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  9. March 27, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    This is the 3rd recipe for rôti that I’ve seen recently, Minnie, though none used your cooking method. Maybe the 3 posts are a sign that I should make these. 🙂 We make a flat bread but it really lives up to its name. It’s flat and a firmer consistency. Your rôti seem so much lighter. Signs or not, I need to give rôti a try.
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  10. March 27, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    I’ve made naan bread before but not roti bread. It’s amazing how you stick it right on the flame and then it puffs up like a balloon! Even though I haven’t cooked it, I’ve enjoyed roti bread often in restaurants. Thanks for showing me how it’s done at home! xx
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  11. Liz
    March 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    I am one of those naive folks, too…thanks for the explanation of what Indian breads are eaten where. I’d happily eat a whole lot of your roti! It looks marvelous!

  12. March 29, 2014 at 1:56 AM

    that’s my favourite thing and it’s very energitic too. I love it ! 🙂
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  13. cj
    April 1, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    Nice step by step Roti 🙂
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