Updated February 23, 2016


Indian Home Cooking

Published by Clarkson Potter

This image courtesy of Shutterstock

Chapatis, a kind of plain, griddle-cooked flatbread, are comfort food to the Indian soul and one of the few foods that you’ll find, with only a little variation, throughout India. At our home in Delhi, we called them phulkas, which means “to swell up”, because the bread puffs up like a balloon as it cooks. As a child, I loved getting my perfect, crisp ball of bread, spread with ghee, so that I could punch holes in it and watch the steam escape. Even now in New York, my partner, Chuck, and I are happiest settling into a simple meal of dal, a vegetable dish, and chapatis. Usually, chapatis are made on a gas stove—they are cooked first on a griddle and then directly over the gas burner. My grandmother, however, makes excellent chapatis on her electric stove, so I’ve included instructions for cooking chapatis her way, too. You’ll need a pair of flat tongs so as not to break the fragile chapatis when you flip them.

Cooking Methodpan-frying



Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturechewy, crisp

Type of Dishbread, flatbreads


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour plus 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, or 2 cups chapati flour
  • 1 to 1¼ cups water
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling
  • Butter, for serving



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