Roti Recipe, How to make Indian Rotis or Chapatis

by dassana amit updated September 23, 2013

indian roti recipe

Indian bread or Roti is an unleavened flat bread which is made in almost every part of India. These rotis or flat breads are made from whole wheat flour and are served with vegetables or curries.

In north indian homes, roti is a staple and is made almost every day. In punjabi homes, they apply ghee on roti while serving it with a veggie dish or dal.

As the Rotis are made from whole wheat flour so they are healthy and easy to digest. Here in this post, I will explain the basic method of making a roti or chapati.

Ingredients for making Roti or Chapatis:

* 3 cups whole wheat flour
* 3/4 to 1 cup water or more if needed
* salt (optional)
* 1 to 2 tsp oil or ghee (optional)

Method for making Soft Rotis or Chapatis:

1: Take whole wheat flour
2: Seive the whole wheat flour with salt.
3: Add water to the dough

4: Now start kneading the dough
5: Keep on kneading till the dough becomes pliable and soft
6: Now make balls of the dough with diameter around 3 to 4 centimeters

7: Apply whole wheat flour to the ball. Alternatively, you can also dust the rolling board with flour.
8: Now start rolling the ball into flat rounded circle.
9: Keep on rolling till you get a circle as shown in the below pic.
10: Now put the roti on a hot griddle. First cook one side. It should be less than half cooked as shown in the pic above. Turn and cook the other side. This should be a little bit more cooked than the first side.
11: Now hold the chapati with a tong and keep the first side directly on fire. The chapati will start to puff. Turn and keep the other side on fire. The roti will puff more. Avoid burning the rotis.
12: Remove and apply ghee on the rotis. Rotis have to be served hot with any vegetable or curry. If you cannot serve them hot, then you can keep them in a container that keeps food warm.

Few Tips for making Soft Rotis or Chappatis:

1. I have not added salt or ghee/oil in the dough. Adding ghee or salt makes the roti soft. This is the basic method of making a whole wheat flour dough. This dough you can use for making stuffed parathas like aloo paratha, mooli paratha, gobi paratha, paneer paratha.

2. It is not necessary to roast the roti directly on fire. You can also cook it on tha tava or griddle. Use a heavy spoon or spatula to apply pressure on the roti while cooking on a griddle, so that the roti puffs up. Do the same on the other side.

3. The Dough should be kneaded very well so that the gluten is formed. The dough should be smooth and well kneaded. If the dough is hard then rotis will not puff up. On the other hand, if the dough is very soft and sticky then you won’t be able to roll it and it will not puff up at all.

4. You have to roll the dough very well so that it is even, otherwise the roti will not puff up.

5. After kneading the dough, you can keep it aside for an hour or so and that will also help the roti to become soft.

6. Lastly, quality of each brand of whole wheat flour is different. so while making roti on tava or griddle, each flour will take little different time to cook. so you have to experiment to know the perfect timing for the flour you are using and better stick to one flour.

7. After making roti, if you apply some ghee or oil then that also keeps the rotis soft.

8. Kneading the roti with hot water makes it very soft and these rotis remain soft even after to use this method when making rotis or phulkas for tiffin box lunch. care should be taken when mixing the hot water with the flour. use a spoon or spatula first to mix and when the temperature is bearable knead with hands.

P.S. Kneading the dough well, rolling the dough and cooking it on griddle are three important steps which need to be mastered to make soft rotis. mistake in any of these steps may lead to hard rotis or the one which are not puffed up well.

Leave a Comment

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Azam February 2, 2014 1

hei, i have a question, here in norway its only electric stov, its not possible to burn, any solutions?


dassana amit February 4, 2014 2

you will have to use a wire rack on top of the coil and keep the half cooked phulka on top of the metal rack for puffing it. have a look at this video on youtube –


malika July 16, 2013 3

Hi I tried your method and it turned out soo good thank you soo much


dassana July 16, 2013 4

thanks malika


MA June 18, 2013 5

I tried to make paratha using this recipe but kneaded dough did not have any elasticity. It wouldn’t stretch at all. I used whole wheat flour (2 cups), 3/4 cups room temperature water and 1 tablespoon oil and some salt. I let it rest for about 20 minutes. The dough was so soft it would stick to the rolling pin again and again even when I apply less pressure. Can you provide a remedy? Thanks
(The only reason I can think is that the flour was old but it was stored in an air-tight container).


dassana June 19, 2013 6

the water become too much. you could have just added some more of the wheat flour to get rid of the stickiness. different kinds of wheat flour have different water absorbing capacities, so the quantity mentioned is just an approximate. as a rule if the dough looks dry, then 1 or 2 tbsp water or more can be added to make the dough smooth and soft. also if the dough becomes very soft and sticky, then add some more flour which will absorb the extra moisture. the dough could not stretch as there was too much water in the dough.


Anu June 1, 2012 7


I prepare Rotis in the same way mentioned above, but I never get rotis as soft n thin as we usually get in restaurants. Is there any way in which I can make soft rotis


dassana June 1, 2012 8

i usually make soft and thin rotis at home. just make sure that you don’t add too much of water or less water. the dough should be soft and smooth. 1 tsp of oil or ghee helps, but don’t add too much.

another way to make soft rotis is to knead the atta in hot water. add hot water to the atta. with a wooden spoon mix everything. don’t put your hand at the mixture is very hot. when the mixture becomes warm then knead with your hands. you can also use warm water, but for better results hot water is better. when you make roti this way, it even stays soft when you take the rotis in the lunch box.