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Nov 12, 2019

Roti (Indian Flat Bread)

Roti is an unleavened Indian flatbread made with whole wheat flour (atta) and baked on a hot skilled.

Roti (Indian Flat Bread)

Roti (also known as Chapatis) is rolled out thinner than naan, but is still sturdier than parathas. It's similar to whole wheat tortillas, but just slightly thicker. It's the perfect vehicle for eating stews and curries. Tear off a piece, stuff it with the curry, and enjoy.

Unlike naan, there is no yeast in the dough.

I'm sure that roti varies a bit by region. In fact, there are versions of roti in the West Indies, and wherever there is an Indian influence throughout the world.


How to make roti:

To make roti, you simply mix whole wheat flour, water, a fat (I used ghee), and a bit of salt. The dough should not be sticky at all. 

Next, you roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick and bake it on a very hot cast iron skillet. If you get it thin enough, and your pan is hot enough, (or if you have a tandoor oven) the roti might puff up while baking. If it doesn't don't worry. While I got bubbles with this bread, I've only been able to get big puffy bread when making pita bread

Roti is made with a high protein whole wheat flour, called atta. Unless you have a little India nearby, King Arthur Flour's whole wheat flour works very well with this recipe. You can just taste the nutrition. 


While roti is typically baked right after mixing the dough, to develop flavor, I mixed the dough ingredients and let them sit at room temperature overnight, just as you might when using a soaker or preferment. 

In fact, you can make the dough up to three days in advance and let the flavor develop in the refrigerator. 

Roti recipe variations:

For the fat, I used ghee (I love the ghee from Trader Joe's). You can also use unsalted butter. 

Some versions of roti also include millet flour, which is an ancient grain that is a good source of protein and nutrition. If you want to try using it, substitute it for up to half of the whole wheat flour. You may have to use less water. 

How to serve roti:

The traditional way to serve roti is with stews and curries, using it as a vehicle for eating the main course instead of a fork or spoon. However, don't let tradition hold you back. You can also use rot for wraps, burritos, and even as a pizza crust.

This month, the Bread Bakers are making Indian Flatbreads/Parathas, a theme chosen by Renu from Cook With Renu. And don’t forget to check out all the amazing Indian Flatbreads/Parathas done by our talented bakers.

Bread Bakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme.

Roti (Indian Flat Bread):

This Indian non-yeasted flatbread is the perfect vehicle for enjoying stews and curries.

Folded Indian flat bread, roti

Roti Recipe

Roti Recipe
Yield: 10 flatbreads
Roti is an unleavened Indian flatbread made with whole wheat flour (atta) and baked on a hot skilled.


  • 3 1/2 cups (454 grams) whole wheat flour, plus more as needed to adjust the dough
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups plus two tablespoons (312 grams) water
  • 1/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter, melted


How to cook Roti Recipe

  1. Stir together all of the ingredients in a bowl until you can form a ball of dough. 
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit overnight, for 12 to 24 hours. 
  3. Dust your work surface with about 2 tablespoons of more  whole wheat flour, and knead the dough until it absorbs the flour. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour and continue to knead. 
  4. Let the dough rest for five minutes. 
  5. Knead the dough or one more minute. Divide it into 10 pieces and form each into a ball. Cover the dough balls with a tea towel and let rest for 20 minutes. 
  6. Roll each ball to 1/4 inch thick. Let each round rest for 5 minutes, and then roll or stretch each piece to 1/8 inch thick. 
  7. You can work in stages as each roti bakes. 
  8. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the rolled-out dough, one at a time, about 1 to 3 minutes per side, until each side browns. 
  9. Stack and wrap the rotis in a dish towel to keep warm. 
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roti, flatbread, Indian bread
Created using The Recipes Generator

This recipe was adapted from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor. (affiliate link).

Would you like to comment?

  1. I often whip up simple roti like yours when I am serving curry, Karen. They really are delicious and so quick to make. And, as you say, they are so versatile. Wish I had one of yours now.

    1. I'm still dreaming about your lamb murtabak!

  2. They are done perfectly Karen. Yes they are used as a vehicle, but at times we even use them as a wrap or just make a roll and give it to kids. A great travel food too.

  3. We love curry and yet I have never done a roti to go with, just rice. Need to give it a try!

  4. Pinning this recipe to try! It's one I've been meaning to make for a long time and looks easy and yummy!

  5. Perfect Rotis Karen. I loved the addition of ghee. Rotis are our staple. Come over to India sometime and stay with me in the hills. We will make rotis with local flour and enjoy with different curries

  6. Just started to make them , used olive oil as a substitute to gee .


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