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How to make Roti/Chapaati/Phulka or Indian Flatbread

This is not really a recipe to say. Don’t get me wrong..but making balls of a dough (dough recipe), rolling them out and cooking on a flat skillet…if you call that a recipe – we will roll with it.

Sometime ago I shared how to make dough for whole wheat flat bread. I can’t believe that it has taken me more than 15 days to actually post the recipe of that flat bread that I shared the dough recipe for. I blame it on “taking pictures of the flat bread for the blog” procrastination. I make these flatbreads – popularly known as chappis or rotis in our family- almost everyday. Make a batch of the dough, make balls, roll them, cook them. and eat them. Yup!

It might seem like a lot of work, but it really becomes a part of your dinner routine if you grow up in a north Indian household. It is almost like opening a bag of sliced bread or dinner rolls for your dinner.


Whole wheat dough – 1 batch (find the recipe here)

Whole wheat flour  – about a cup


Set a flat cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Start by making smooth golf ball size balls with the whole wheat flour dough. You might want to put some dry flour on your hands so that the dough doesn’t stick. On a flat surface or your clean counter top, sprinkle some flour. With the palm of your hands, flatten the ball into a disc and then use a rolling pin to flatten it out as thin as you can. You might have to use some more flour as you go to avoid the rolled out chapaati sticking to the rolling surface. But too much dry flour can make the flatbread dry when you cook it so use as little flour as you can.

Once the disc is rolled out, lift it up from the rolling surface, dust off any loose flour gently with one hand and lay it on the hot cast iron skillet. Look for small bubbles on the surface, at this point you can flip the flatbread with a spatula or carefully with your hand. As the other surface cooks, it will start puffing up too, at this point flip it again and cook for 5-6 seconds. Now from this point on there are two ways to proceed –

  1. If you are using a gas stove – Remove the skillet from flame, pick the flatbread up with a pair of tongs and flip again right on the flame. Cook for a second or two and then flip again and cook for two three seconds. The flatbread will puff up when you flip it on the flame the second time. Even if it doesn’t, don’t worry, you still got yourself a flat bread.
  2. If you are using any other kind of stove – Take a kitchen/tea towel and start gently pressing the flat bread on the skillet. Do it all around the edges. Flip the bread, and press it again gently. As you keep pressing it, you will see that it starts to puff up. Look for brown spots on both surfaces. And you are done. See the above note if your bread doesn’t puff up all the way..:P

Repeat with as many dough balls as you need. I would say a descent serving size is at least two flat breads per person.

You can slather your bread with a dollop of ghee – that’s how we eat it. Or butter. Or nothing. A friend of ours went to Greece one time and fell in love with Olive oil, so he puts olive oil on his flatbread. If you’re watching calories eat it without anything…so basically whatever makes your skirt fly up..:P

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Love – Vaishali.

Tools used:

Rolling pin

Rolling surface

Cast iron/non-stick skillet




  1. Ashli

    February 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Oh this looks delicious!! I love how you also told us what to do depending on what kind of stove we have – that really does help a lot!

  2. melissa rumao

    February 10, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    making sure my boyfriend learns this!!!!!

  3. Juli

    February 10, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    As a child I so liked this growing up and especially with curry chicken.

  4. Hannah

    February 10, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Love roti and you have great simplified clear explanations on how to make it and what is needed. Important stuff to share! 🙂

  5. Tiffany

    February 10, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Wow, this looks DELICIOUS. I think this would be awesome with some hummus!

  6. Yonnah M

    February 10, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    You have a nice sense of humor. Also, I need to pin this to my food board for future reference. Thanks for the post!

  7. Monidipa Dutta

    February 11, 2019 at 7:16 am

    I thought it was common all around the around, except certain countries.. But thanks for the reminder, gotta make it tonight.

  8. Folabest

    February 11, 2019 at 7:53 am

    All these looks yummy, I love engaging myself with new recipes. I hope to try this recipe by weekend. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Mimi

    February 11, 2019 at 8:39 am

    I live for this bread and naan! I love it so much, I’m glad this recipe isnt too hard so i can try to make it myself!

  10. Luna S

    February 11, 2019 at 10:45 am

    I’ve never thought about making my own flatbread! This doesn’t look too hard and I bet it is delicious.

  11. Adharsh

    February 12, 2019 at 7:21 am

    My favourite food for dinner. Really healthy and delicious with good curry. Thanks for sharing your tips. Everyone must try it. Suitable with both vegetable and non veg curry.

  12. Ivan Jose

    February 12, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I do enjoy reading your posts because of a bit of trivia or a piece of history that you inject in your recipes.

  13. Samar

    February 12, 2019 at 10:44 am

    WOW…!!! These recipes really look awesome. How much time did it took to prepare completely?

  14. Jolie Starrett

    February 12, 2019 at 10:47 am

    This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  15. Binge on Basics

    February 12, 2019 at 10:57 am

    This is the ultimate guide for making chapatis, I must say. Though I know how to make it, for others, this will be a life saviour

  16. Ishani Nath

    February 12, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Such a wonderful and useful recipe post. I have been making roti since quite a long still cannot get the round shape. But I keep trying.

  17. Glorious Heights

    February 12, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Oh I love rotis I make them too but they are never round like yours

  18. Cendu

    February 13, 2019 at 3:53 am

    Simple, easy and looks so yummy! And I have the ingredients in my cupboard! Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to try it

  19. Aakanksha

    February 13, 2019 at 4:04 am

    A skill every roti lover should learn!

  20. Drea Anderson

    February 13, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    I love, roti. Especially with dal – we do not have it often enough. I prefer a veggie stuffed roti.

  21. Samantha Flores

    February 14, 2019 at 12:06 am

    I always look forward to your recipe posts! You lay out each detail down to the kind of stove your audience is using and your creations look delicious every time.

  22. Sheena Moncatar

    February 14, 2019 at 12:54 am

    Long before the time wherein I have not subscribed from your wonderful kitchen documentary, I made roti – it flop. Such a sad roti story ever! LOL. Thanks for all the great recipes Kitchendocs!

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