A typical lunch/dinner thali (food plate) usually has roti, sabzi (veg curries), dal, and rice. Roti is a staple food item in most houses in India and can be found in lunch boxes for kids and grown-ups alike.
Depending upon place and occasion, it may sometimes give way to other Indian bread such as poori (deep-fried bread), paratha or naan.
To make perfect roti, a soft well-kneaded dough is a must. A roti dough maker like a food processor, bread machine, or stand mixer can help make the perfect dough for roti.
- What is roti?
- What is the difference between roti and naan?
- What ingredients are in roti?
- Is roti vegan?
- How to make chapati or roti dough?
- How to make roti dough in a food processor?
- How to make chapati dough in a bread machine?
- How to make roti bread?
- How to make soft rotis?
- Why does my roti not puff?
- Serving suggestions for roti
- Storing suggestions for roti
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
What is roti?
Roti, also known as chapati or phulka, is an unleavened Indian flatbread. It is round in shape and made with stone-ground whole wheat flour, also known as atta.
What is the difference between roti and naan?
Roti and naan are very different as the ingredients and process of making are completely different.
Roti or chapati is an unleavened bread made with stone-ground whole wheat flour. It is rolled very thin and then cooked on a skillet and puffed on high flame.
Naan, on the other hand, is a leavened bread made with all-purpose flour. It is rolled thicker than roti and traditionally cooked in a tandoor at a very high temperature. It can also be cooked in the oven or on a skillet.
What ingredients are in roti?
Indian roti bread usually has two basic ingredients, whole wheat flour (atta) and water. Some people prefer to add salt and oil but it is really optional.
Which flour is best for roti?
To make soft rotis, stone-ground whole wheat flour found in the Indian grocery stores works best. I have tried many brands and love and recommend Sujata Gold atta. It makes very soft rotis.
There are other brands like Laxmi chapati flour, Swarna, or Sujata chakki atta that work well too.
Is roti vegan?
Roti is ideally vegan as it consists of whole wheat flour and water. It is usually brushed with ghee (clarified butter). But to make it vegan, ghee can be skipped.
How to make chapati or roti dough?
The first step to making roti is to make a soft dough with whole wheat flour and water. The chapati dough can be kneaded by hand or using a dough kneader like a stand mixer, food processor, or bread machine. Personally, I make the roti dough in the food processor or in a bread machine.
How to make roti dough in a food processor?
It is very easy to knead dough in the food processor. First fit the dough blade in the food processor and then add the flour. The chopping blade also works really well for making the dough.
Lock the lid and turn the food processor on low speed. Now add the water slowly from the feeder in the lid and the flour will start mixing.
It will form a soft dough ball. Dough is ready when a soft smooth ball is formed and no flour is stuck on the sides.
How to make chapati dough in a bread machine?
Roti or chapati dough can be mixed in a bread maker is equally easy. All you need to do is to place the water and flour in the right order as per manufacturer instructions and start the dough cycle.
For consistent results, it is best to weigh the flour with a food scale instead of measuring it by a cup. Using a measuring cup can result in adding more flour and making the dough hard.
Let the dough cycle run for about 5 minutes. Since roti is unleavened bread and does not require any yeast, you do not have to run the full dough cycle.
You can stop the dough cycle once a nice soft dough ball is formed and then remove the dough.
If you are thinking about whether you could use chapati flour to make bread in bread maker, then it is not possible, you need to use bread flour. You may also like to read how to make basic white bread in bread maker.
How to make roti bread?
Making perfect round and puffed rotis requires some experience but it is not difficult. To make a perfect soft chapati, divide the dough into smaller balls.
Roll them thin in a round shape, cook on a skillet and then puff on high flame. In the end, brush it with ghee but if you are vegan you can skip this.
How to roll roti?
First take about 45 grams of dough into a ball about an inch and a half in size. Flatten the dough ball with your fingers and then roll it in flour until it is completely covered with a thin layer of flour.
Using a rolling board and rolling pin (chakla belan), roll the dough ball into a round roti. Continue rolling evenly on all sides and dusting it as often as needed (about 3-4 times).
While rolling, do not apply a lot of pressure but roll it lightly else it can stick to the board or to the rolling pin. Also after rolling about 3-4 times dust the rolled disc to ensure it does not stick.
Roll the dough into a round roti of about 6-7 inches in diameter and about a millimeter in thickness.
How to cook roti?
The next step is to cook the roti on a skillet. I personally prefer the Lodge cast iron skillet but a non-stick skillet or ceramic skillet works too.
Heat the skillet on medium high flame. The skillet must be hot before you place the roti on it for cooking.
Cook the first side for a few seconds till you start seeing a few bubbles. If you lift and check there should be a couple of light brown spots on it and that is the perfect time to flip it with the help of a spatula.
Cook the second side a little longer until you see larger bubbles and if you lift you should see many brown spots and the side should look well cooked.
Now turn the stove on high flame (you can use the second burner if needed). Place the first cooked side on the flame and let it puff. Once completely puffed, take it off the flame using a pair of tongs.
You can also use a wired roaster rack with a handle and place it on the stove and puff the roti on it.
Apply ghee on top of the roti using a basting brush or a spoon. This keeps the roti soft.
How to make soft rotis?
To make soft roti or chapati, the dough must be soft and well kneaded. If it is hard and not well kneaded, roti will not have smooth edges and will turn out hard on cooking. Also, apply ghee immediately after roasting to ensure it stays soft.
While puffing the roti, the flame must be high and not set to medium or low. Using low or medium flame takes longer to puff and makes the roti hard.
Why does my roti not puff?
Sometimes roti may not puff, this is mainly when roti is not rolled evenly from all sides or if while rolling it sticks and overlaps creating fine lines in it.
Serving suggestions for roti
Roti is served with Indian meals and eaten with curries, dals, and dry sauteed vegetables like aloo methi.
Checkout these recipes that go well with roti.
Storing suggestions for roti
Roti is best served hot or within 2-3 hours of making it. They can stay soft when kept in a kitchen towel and stored in a container. However, roti does not taste fresh if refrigerated or frozen.
To plan ahead and save time, you can make extra dough and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. When making rotis, get the dough to room temperature by using the microwave and then make fresh rotis.
Don't forget to check out these Indian bread recipes
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How to make Roti (Chapati) - Bread Maker - Food Processor
- 2 ½ cup Whole wheat flour (atta) (300 grams and more for rolling)
- 1 cup Water
- Ghee (for brushing)
How to make roti dough in a food processor
- Add whole wheat flour (atta) in the food processor and lock the lid
- Start the food processor on dough setting and gradually add water from the feeder.
- Continue kneading until a soft dough ball is formed.
How to make roti dough in bread machine
- Place the water and flour in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by your bread machine manufacturer (wet ingredients first and dry later or vice versa)
- Start the "dough" cycle.
- Allow the dough cycle to run about 5 minutes until a soft dough ball is formed.
- Stop the cycle and remove the dough from the bread machine pan
How to make roti dough by hand
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour.
- Add lukewarm water, about 2-3 tablespoon at a time and mix well.
- Continue mixing and kneading until a soft smooth dough ball is formed.
- Cover the dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes before making rotis
How to roll roti
- Make small balls of about 45 grams each or about 1.5 inch in diameter
- Flatten the dough ball and dust it well in dry whole wheat flour.
- Using a rolling pin, continue rolling into a thin disc about 7 inches in diameter. Dust the roti with flour as often as needed to avoid it from sticking.
How to roast roti
- On a hot skillet or tava, place the rolled roti.
- Cook for a few seconds until it starts showing bubbles, flip it and cook the other side.
- Cook the second side well until it gets bubbles and has many brown spots.
- Flip it again and place it on the burner on high flame, it will puff up.
- Remove from flame and apply ghee (clarified butter)
- While cooking the first side only a few bubbles must form with little to no browning to it (you can check by lifting it from the skillet or tava)
- While puffing the roti on the flame, ensure it must be on high flame, this helps in puffing fast and avoids roti from charring.
Amar Sapra says
Very easily explained how to prepare Indian soft Rotis and Fluff it into round Ball over high flame. Physically I cannot prepare but enjoyed watching each step in the video. Thanks.
Alpa Jain says
Glad you liked the recipe.
Thanks for the earlier reply (naan recipe) and thank you for this one as well. I have tried it today without salt.. I think the rotis are going to be good. 🙂
I have a question, any reason salt is not part of this method? Can we add it? If yes at what stage .
Alpa Jain says
Yes, you can add salt. Some families like mine don’t add salt especially if you want to reduce the salt intake. But you can add 1/2 tsp salt to the recipe if you prefer. Anyway is fine either in water or on top of the flour when you put the ingredients in the bread machine.
Hope this helps.
Martin Watson says
You say "For consistent results it is best to weigh the flour with a food scale instead of measuring it by a cups" but then for breadmaker you say 300 g flour and... A cup of water! How many millilitres please?
Alpa Jain says
When scooping out flour from a bag, it can pack a cup densely so more flour might get added than needed. So it is best to weigh the flour.
For water you can use a standard measuring cup, 1 cup = 240 ml.
Hope this helps
Matt R says
Halved the recipe and it worked perfectly. Nice and straight forward - plus super satisfying to see them puff on the high flame! Highly recommended.
Alpa Jain says
Glad to know that the rotis turned out perfect!