Indian roti

Try this freshly baked, beautifully spiced Indian flatbread with a curry instead of rice. Easy and satisfying to make.


  • 225g/8oz chapati flour (available in Indian grocers and large supermarkets), plus extra for dusting

  • 1 tsp fine salt

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

  • ½ tsp chilli flakes

  • ½ tsp ajwain seeds

  • ½ tsp turmeric

  • 1½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves (or a handful of fresh fenugreek leaves, roughly chopped)

  • 120ml/4fl oz warm water

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

  • ghee or unsalted butter, melted, for brushing over bread

Preparation method

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt and spices.

  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the water and oil together.

  3. Gradually add the water and oil to the dry ingredients in batches and stir until it forms a soft, firm dough (you may need a little less or more water to achieve this). Cover the dough and set aside to prove for 20 minutes.

  4. Weigh the dough and divide it into six equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Roll each ball in flour and, using a rolling-pin, roll into a thin round approximately 15cm/6in in diameter.

  5. Cover the roti with a damp tea towel until you are ready to cook them.

  6. Heat a tava or a large dry frying pan over a medium heat and cook each chapati for 30 seconds on one side, to set the dough. Turn over, and cook for another minute, until small bubbles appear on the top and light brown spots appear underneath. Turn over again and cook for a further 30-40 seconds. The dough will start to puff up so press down with a rolled-up tea towel to force steam to escape. Each time you press with the towel, rotate the roti in the pan to keep it moving on the hot surface (to avoid burnt spots).

  7. Transfer the cooked roti to a clean tea towel, brush lightly with either melted ghee or unsalted butter. Wrap and keep covered in the tea towel until ready to serve. Repeat until all the roti have been cooked.

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