Tandoori Roti (Butter Roti) – 2 Ways

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This simply delicious North Indian Tandoori Roti is one of my favorite Indian flatbreads of all time. With crisp edges, a soft interior, and a chewy texture, this whole wheat roti recipe is perfect for serving with any kind of Punjabi food, especially rich curry dishes. And don’t worry if you don’t have a tandoor oven – in this educational post I’ll show you 2 different methods to make this yummy butter roti without one!

three tandoori roti placed on top of a rattan roti box on a cream colored wooden board.

About This Tandoor Roti Recipe

Tandoori roti are unleavened whole wheat flat breads. Traditionally these are made in a tandoor, which is a pot-shaped clay oven and not on a skillet or flat pan. Hence the name tandoori roti which means that these are cooked in a tandoor unlike the regular Roti which is cooked on a tawa (a flat or concave shaped skillet).

Any North Indian restaurant will have a tandoor in their kitchens and the tandoori roti they serve will be inevitably made in the tandoor.

At home, not all of us have tandoors. Yet even without a tandoor, we can make a really tasty tandoori roti on the stovetop following a simple technique of water brushing the rolled dough.

The rolled dough is brushed with water on one side. When this watered side is cooked on a hot skillet or pan, you get to see the same textural effect like the tandoori roti made in restaurants. We also cook the roti directly on the stovetop flame to get those trademark chars and some smoky flavor.

Which Whole Wheat Flour?

Keep in mind that the flour you will use to make these flatbreads is what we call “atta” in India. Atta is made by finely grinding wheat grains using stone grinders which we call “chakki” in India.

Atta is different than the whole wheat flour available in US and Europe. This difference is due to the type or variety of wheat grains that are used and the milling process.

The whole wheat flour which you get in US is roller milled and not stone ground. When stone grinding, the entire wheat grain is ground including the bran, germ and endosperm.

The method of making the dough is same as making regular roti dough – no secrets there! In fact, I sometimes make tandoori roti with roti dough too. You do not need any yogurt (curd) or baking soda to make these flatbreads.

The most important takeaway from this post are the two methods or techniques of preparing the roti.

Method 1 – On a cast iron skillet (tawa)

  • Given the option, we prefer roti made on an cast iron tawa or a flat skillet – provided they are served hot. In this method, you get a soft and chewy texture. The taste is like that of tandoori roti you get in restaurants, with some charring and a crisp exterior.
  • Please make sure you use an iron or steel tawa (skillet); don’t use a non stick tawa.
  • Give yourself some practice – You need a little experimentation to get the knack of making these roti. For example, you’ll eventually know exactly how hot the flame should be (which depends on the thickness of the skillet or tawa), and learn how to rotate the tawa evenly so that the corners of rotis are cooked well.
  • Make small rotis and keep the heat on medium-low to medium or medium-high. For my tawa and my burner, medium strength flames worked well.
  • Eat the rotis while they are fresh and hot! As they cool, they will become more chewy and dense. 

Method 2 – On rack over stovetop flame

  • This is an easy and simple method, but doesn’t quite taste like the tandoori roti you would get from a vendor.
  • These rotis stay soft after cooking and can be eaten later – this makes them a good option if you are working ahead.
  • Be sure to make the size of your rotis depending on the size of the rack you are using. You should not have any overhang.
tandoori roti piled on a white dinner plate with a bowl of curry in the background.

Tandoori roti goes well with any gravy or sauce-based Indian dishes. These butter roti also go well with rich paneer or vegetable gravy dishes and lentil based curries.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Tandoori Roti

Make Dough

1. Sieve 2.5 cups atta (whole wheat flour) along with 1 teaspoon of salt. You can also whisk the flour and salt together if you prefer.

Note: Use the Indian variety of flour called atta to make tandoori roti. Atta has a super-fine or fine floury texture and is stoneground.

atta flour and salt in a bowl.

2. Add ½ tablespoon neutral flavored oil (optional).

oil added to flour and salt.

3. Then add ¾ – 1 cup water as needed, working a little at a time.

water added to mixture.

4. Mix everything together. Gather the mixture to begin kneading.

gathering dough for tandoori roti recipe - it looks dry and flaky at the moment.

5. Knead to a smooth, soft and supple dough. Add water if required while kneading. Cover bowl and allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.

TIP 1: If the dough has become sticky, add some flour and knead until the stickiness goes away.

TIP 2: If the dough looks dry or floury or is not soft, add water bit by bit. Mix and continue to knead until you get a soft and pliable dough.

completed soft, supple dough for tandoori roti recipe.

Roll Dough

6. Make small-medium sized balls from the dough, depending on the size you want your tandoori roti to be.

dough balls for making butter roti on the stovetop.

7. Place a piece of dough on a rolling board, flatten it with the palm of your hand, and sprinkle or dust some flour on it. Also dust some flour on the rolling board.

dough ball that is lightly flattened and floured for making tandoori roti.

8. Using a rolling pin, evenly roll it into a small to medium sized round like that or a regular roti or chapati.

Don’t roll very thin, like we do for phulkas; these should be medium or medium-thick.

rolling dough to a circle.

Cook Tandoori Roti – Skillet or Tawa Method

1. After you are done rolling the roti, spread water evenly all over the roti. You can use your fingers or use a pastry brush to spread the water.

rolling roti - showing a side angle of thickness of the roti and demonstrating water across the top.

2. Place the roti – watered side down – on a hot cast iron tawa. Don’t use nonstick as the roti will fall off in the next step.

As soon the roti gets heated up, you will see huge air-pockets start to form.

making tandoori roti on the tawa - it is getting large bubbles after being placed on the flame.

3. Allow to cook for about minute on a medium-low to medium heat. Be patient and allow the roti to cook well or it will get stuck. The water has to dry up completely, so that the roti comes out easily.  

I keep mine on the flame for at least for a minute, but the cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the tawa/skillet and the intensity of the flame source.

NOTE: You can also use this technique to cook naan on stovetop.

making tandoori roti on the stovetop - the air-pockets are getting bigger and the dough looks drier.

4. Now carefully hold the tawa upside down on the flame. The flame has to be on low to medium or else the roti might get burnt.

Rotate the tawa over the flame for even roasting. Keep tongs nearby; if the roti falls off from the tawa, then you can quickly lift it up with the tongs.

holding the tawa upside down over the flame for making tandoori roti on the stovetop.

5. Bring back the tawa to it original position on the stove top. This is our tandoori roti after proper roasting.

Remove the roti with a spatula or tongs. If the roti sticks to the pan, then cook it with the tawa side to the flame for a bit more time.

tandoori roti, has large air-pockets, and the top is now lightly blistered with char spots from the flame.

6. This is the watered side of the roti, which has been cooked.

tandoori roti that has been flipped to show the underneath - there are light golden spots with the bubbled parts not showing any color.

7. The tawa will have a few particles of cooked dough, which you can scrape or wipe off.

showing the dough that has stuck to the tawa after cooking a roti.

8. Spread some butter or ghee on the tandoori roti. You can also serve the tandoori roti plain, without adding any butter or ghee.

brushed butter on tandoori roti.

Cook Butter Roti – Rack Method Option

1. Take a fire proof wired rack with a handle (as seen in the photo below) and place it on a low to medium flame.

circular wire rack over the flame of a stovetop.

2. Place the rolled roti on the rack. You can hold the rack with its handle and turn it over evenly over the flame.

roti round added on rack.

3. When you see air pockets appearing, flip the roti with a spatula or tongs.

making butter roti on rack - the bubbles in this method are much smaller.

4. You will see a few brown black spots on the roti. cook the other side now.

making butter roti on rack - the first side shows a circular char from the rack and flames.

5. Flip again and you will see the second side is looking well cooked.

opposite side of the butter roti looks more evenly charred and blistered.

6. flip once more for an even cooking.

the swirl pattern on the roti is still visible, but the rest of the roti also has some bits of char.

7. Lastly flip again. Make sure the whole roti has cooked well. You should not see any rawness in the tandoori roti.

using tongs to make tandoori roti recipe on rack.

8. Keep the tandoori roti warm by placing it in a roti basket or casserole. Take some butter or ghee to spread on the roti.

butter roti on a plate with a spoon of butter to spread on it.

9. Spread the butter or ghee evenly. If you want you can skip the butter or ghee, but butter roti is better than plain roti in my book.

Choose to make tandoori roti with any of the method you prefer. If you cannot serve them piping hot from the the pan to plate, stack them in a roti basket (roti box) so that they remain hot or warm.

tandoori roti has been spread evenly with melted butter.

What to serve Tandoor Roti with?

Tandoori roti pairs greatly with a rich saucy curry or a creamy lentil dish. There are plenty of options to choose from the Indian cuisine. Below are some of our favorites.

Punjabi tandoori roti on a basket in the sunlight.


What is the difference between naan and roti?

Generally speaking, the primary difference is that Naan is leavened (with yeast or baking soda) while roti is a plain, unleavened dough. I also use a mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour for my naan recipe, while I use only atta (whole wheat flour) for these tandoori roti.

Can I still make tandoori roti on an electric induction stove?

Absolutely, though you’ll need to experiment more with your heat source to see what temperature will work. You will need to keep a heat-proof rack on your induction stove-top’s heat source while roasting the roti directly over the heat. You can also use an outdoor grill if you prefer.

If I use the tawa method, should I use an iron or non-stick one?

For this recipe, I think a cast iron skillet or tawa will make better rotis.

Why are my tandoori roti sticking to the tawa?

This happens when the bottom is not roasted well. If you roast the bottom well, then the water evaporates and allows the roti to release. Once you char the roti on the burner, then place the tawa back on the flame and allow the watered side to cook more. Also be sure your rotis aren’t too thin, but are medium to medium-thick rotis.

More Roti Variants To Try!

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three tandoori roti placed on top of a rattan roti box on a cream colored wooden board

Tandoori Roti (Butter Roti) – 2 Ways

This simply delicious, soft, chewy Tandoori Roti is one of my favorite Indian flatbread of all time. I share 2 different methods to make this yummy butter roti without tandoor.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Dough Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cuisine North Indian, Punjabi
Course Main Course
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 12 to 14 tandoori roti


  • 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tablespoon oil – any neutral oil or ½ tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt or add as required
  • ¾ to 1 cup water for kneading or as required
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Butter (softened) or ghee or neutral flavored oil for brushing on rotis, optional


Kneading dough

  • Sieve the atta or whole wheat flour along with the salt in a bowl or a large plate. You can also mix the flour and salt together.
  • Add oil and water in parts.
  • Mix everything and gather the mixture to begin kneading.
  • Knead to a smooth, soft and supple dough adding water as needed. Cover the bowl and let dough rest for 30 minutes.
  • After dough resting time is over make small to medium-sized balls from the dough.
  • On a rolling board, flatten a dough ball and sprinkle some flour on it. Also dust some flour on the rolling board.
  • Using a rollin pin, evenly roll the dough into a small to medium-sized round circle.

Rack method to make tandoori roti

  • Take a fire-proof wired rack with a handle and place it on a medium-low to medium heat.
  • Place the roti on the rack.
  • When you see air-pockets appearing, flip the roti. You will see a few brown black spots on the roti. Cook the second side now.
  • Flip again and you will the second side cooked well enough.
  • Flip once more for an even cooking.
  • Lastly flip again. The whole tandoori roti has to be cooked well.
  • Keep them in a roti basket or casserole. Take some softened butter or ghee to spread on the roti.
  • Spread the butter or ghee evenly. If you want you can skip the butter or ghee.

Tawa or skillet method

  • After you are done rolling the dough ball to an even round circle, spread water evenly all over the roti. You can use your fingers to spread water or use a pastry brush.
  • Place the roti, watered side down on a hot tava. Use a cast iron tava. Don't use nonstick tawa/skillet as the roti will fall off in the next cooking steps.
  • As soon the roti, gets heated up, you will see huge and sometimes even large air-pockets on the roti.
  • Allow to cook for a minute on a medium-low to medium heat.
  • Now carefully hold the tawa or skillet upside down on the flame. The flame has to be on low to medium or else the roti might bet burnt.
  • Rotate the tava over the flame for even roasting.
  • Place the cooked tandoori roti on a plate or in a roti box or roti basket, spread or brush some butter or ghee on the roti.
  • The tava or skillet will have a few bits of cooked dough, which you can scrape off with a spatula.
  • Serve tandoori roti hot with any lentil dish (dal), vegetable gravy or paneer curry. It is best to serve the tandoori roti hot.
  • Make tandoori roti in batches using any method that suits you. If not serving them hot, stack them in roti box or roti basket so that they remain hot or warm.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Tandoori Roti (Butter Roti) – 2 Ways
Amount Per Serving
Calories 107 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 195mg8%
Potassium 91mg3%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 61IU1%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin D 1µg7%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 10mg1%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 11µg3%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 34mg9%
Phosphorus 90mg9%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This tandoori roti post from the archives first published in April 2015 has been republished and updated on 30 December 2021.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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Comments are closed.


  1. Dear Dassana

    I follow your many recipes.i have a question.

    I have electric stove how can I make tandoori on this stove?

    o u reply to personal email? or can I write to yr email,if u let me know yr email?


    1. arusha, use a wired rack stand on top of the electric stove. when you turn the tawa the roti has to touch the rack. we usually reply to all comments in the website within 48 hours.

  2. Hi Dassana

    Hope you doing good!

    Can you please tell me of any method to make naan or tandoori roti on a coil like top, i actually live outside india and i hope you aware of kind of stove tops people use here made like a coil ( no fire ). so could you please.

    thank you

    1. samrinder, you will need to use a rack on top of the coil. then keep the roti or naan or phulka on top of the rack. the roti will puff up this way and get cooked too. you can just lift the naan or roti when half done on both sides and keep on the rack.

  3. Hi, i love cooking n keep on searching different recepies online.. I happened to see this tandoori roti recepie n I tried it … it was awesome. My husband loved it a lot n was amazed that I made this . Thankyou for sharing this lovely recepie.5 stars

  4. How to get that smoky smell from chappati as we get from outside,do u have any tip for that?

    1. sabita, thats due to the charcoal or wood being used in the tandoor. that aroma will be difficult to get while roasting or grilling rotis on stove top or in the oven.

  5. If you add fresh cream instead of oil while kneading the flour, it might make it even better.3 stars

  6. I made tandoori roti today on the tava and it turned out absolutely amazing. My kidsloved it. Thank you very much. Your recipes are extremely easy to follow, especially in the pictorial format. Absolutely enjoy trying out your recipes. Thanks again 🙂

    1. thanks rahila for sharing your experience. and also thanks for the positive feedback.

  7. Hey Dassana, I’m a big fan of your recipes. My daughter really enjoys the food that I cook with your help…. Thanks a lot!! I can see that you are great food lover yourself….. 🙂 I enjoy cooking more and more looking at your recipes…..thanks once again…. 🙂

    Radha.5 stars

    1. pleased to know this radha 🙂 thankyou for your kind and encouraging words. have fun always while cooking and you are always welcome.

  8. Hi, i really loved most of your recipies and i find them very easy to cook. Thanks for sharing all these delicious recipies.

  9. Hi dassana amit

    Your recipes are too good and tasty. I try many recipes and some are made so testy. I’ll try this..

    1. thanks anamika for sharing positive feedback. nice to know that you liked the recipes.

  10. hi dassana, i also wanted to comment on your paneer capsicum recipe,.. there is no option to give a comment .. so im doing it here… the paneer capsicum turned out very delicious and so simple to make and the cream added in it changes the taste completely .. very nice .. all 5 stars … thanks fr sharing …..


    1. welcome marina. thanks for sharing positive feedback on paneer capsicum recipe. the comments are closed on most posts for few days. will open the comments soon.

  11. hi dassana,

    had tried this long time back when you posted this recipe… needs a lot of practice to make on the tawa…. but excellent way to cook TANDOORI rotis at home .. i will keep trying to get a perfect roti …
    rgds marina

  12. My bua taught me to cook it in a pressure cooker, you do the same where you wet one side of the roti, stick it to the inside of a pressure cooker (this way you can line up 2-3 rotis at a time). flip the pressure cooker over (no lid) onto the open low flame. flip it back and take them out and cook the other side.

    1. i know this method. i just don’t do it as inverting a tawa is less heavier than inverting a pressure cooker 🙂

  13. hi,
    Today i tried under rack method.. First time itself it came out gud. Will become an expert once i do it everyday. Thanks alot. Have u heard of bhajra kofta curry? If yes, please post the receipe5 stars

    1. welcome savitha. good to know this. i have not heard of bhajra kofta curry.

  14. Brilliant! Never knew you could get this affect on the stove. My first batch was good and I’m sure they will get better. Mostly they fell off my anodised tava but it didn’t seem to matter, just rotated them on the flame for a few seconds to cook the top. Good thing about tandoori roti is you can make them nice and thick which means you don’t need so many of them.

    1. thanks james for sharing positive feedback. it will fall from anodised tava as well as from non stick tawa. best is to use iron tava. i agree we can change the thickness of rotis as per how we want it.

  15. hi i tried your recipe for tandoori roti but the roti got stuck to the tawa it even tore whole trying to remove it. plz help

    1. this happens as the bottom is not roasted well. if the bottom is roasted well, then the roti does not get stuck as the water evaporates. once you char the roti on the burner, then keep the tava back on the flame and allow the watered side to cook more. it won’t get stuck. also don’t make thin rotis, but medium to thick rotis.

  16. Hi,
    Looking at the curry beside roti. It is tempting. Which curry is that?