Rotis (Flat Pan-Fried Bread)

1 February 2019 By

Rotis are small round Indian unleavened breads, eaten all over India with many different dishes. Traditionally, rotis are made using Indian wholemeal flour called Atta and cooked in a tandoor oven. They can also be made using plain flour, unbleached plain wheat flour or a mixture of both. When rotis are referred to as chappatis – they are always cooked on a hot griddle over an open flame.

Ingredients - Makes 12 (2 per serve)

  • 400 g Atta flour (Indian wholemeal flour, e.g. Pillsbury brand), plus 50 g extra for dusting
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 100 g ghee or clarified butter
  • 200–230 ml warm water


  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the water slowly and mix to form soft, loose and pliable dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pound and knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is elastic. Cover with a wet cloth and leave aside for 30 minutes to 3 hours. Heat a tava or griddle over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Using one quantity, divide the dough into 6 lime-sized balls. Working with one ball at a time, keep the rest of the balls covered. Hold the ball between your palms and rotate it in a circular motion until it is smooth and round, then flatten the ball into a round cake and dust it very lightly in a little Atta flour. Then roll out on a lightly floured surface/board to form a thin, circular, 10-12 cm disc, and dip into more Atta flour to prevent it sticking to the surface. Keep the rolled rotis covered with a damp cloth.
  3. Repeat the process with the other portion of dough.
  4. Prior to cooking, gently dust off any excess flour by holding roti in the palms of hands and gently slapping it backwards and forwards from one hand to the other.
    TIP: Leaving the flour on tends to burn the rotis.
  5. Heat a heavy based tava or fry pan over medium heat. It is important to have even heat distribution for the rotis to cook. Place rotis on the tava and leave for 10 seconds to brown, then turn over and repeat for 15 seconds. Turn roti again and, using a folded tea towel, apply very gentle pressure on all sides until it puffs up like a balloon. This gives the roti its light texture. Smear the hot rotis with ghee, leave them stacked and covered with a muslin cloth or tea towel until all the rotis are cooked.