On the Indian table, where utensils are rare, flatbreads sop up soupy dishes and wrap morsels of food. The everyday flatbread is chapati, also known as roti, a pliant round made from whole wheat flour that is cooked on a dry skillet and then inflated and browned over an open flame. This recipe is adapted from one given to us by cookbook author Smita Chandra; it first appeared in our August/September 2014 special India issue. See a step-by-step guide to making chapatis »
- 3 3⁄4 cups atta (durum wheat flour)
- Ghee, melted, for brushing
Place ½ cup flour in a bowl; set aside. In another bowl, stir remaining flour and 1¼ cups water until dough forms. Knead dough briefly until smooth, 1–2 minutes; divide into ten balls.
Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll ball in reserved flour, and using a rolling pin roll into a 7" circle, about ⅛"-thick. Heat a tawa or a 12" cast-iron skillet over high heat.
Cook dough, flipping once, until slightly puffed and golden, 2–3 minutes. Transfer roti to a plate and slide skillet off the heat. Using tongs, cook roti about 2" over the open flame, flipping once, until slightly charred in spots, about 1 minute. (Alternatively, finish cooking roti in skillet.) Return roti to plate, brush with ghee. Serve hot.