Roti Whole Wheat Indian Flat Bread
Roti Whole Wheat Indian Flat Bread

Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide to making Roti, an Indian whole wheat flatbread.

In this recipe

  • What is Rotti?
  • How to cook roti
  • What type of flour is used to make roti?
  • The best replacement for Atta
  • Tips and tricks for making roti
  • How to serve roti
  • How to store leftover roti

It’s amazing the popularity naan has gained today, especially in the western world. Not only has it taken the place of bread in Indian restaurants around the world, but dishes like naan pizza, naan chips, and naan wraps have become almost a household name. But will you believe it when I tell you that naan is not an “everyday bread” in Indian households?

We enjoy naan either at festive gatherings or in restaurants. The daily bread in most Indian households is roti or chapati. A simple flatbread, usually made with whole wheat flour, served with just about any type of lentil soup, curry, stir-fry, or dip.

However, for someone unfamiliar with the process of making roti and just starting out, it may seem awkward. In that case, it should be reserved for a weekend cooking project until you get the hang of it.

This recipe provides step-by-step instructions to get you started making your own roti at home.

What is Rotti?

Roti (also known as chapati or phulka) is a circular flatbread made from ground whole wheat flour or “atta”. Flour is simply mixed with water, sometimes salt, and ghee or oil is also added.

The dough is freshly prepared by kneading the dough (traditionally by hand) to a smooth, soft consistency, similar to plasticine.

The prepared dough is then divided into equal parts and rolled into round flatbreads, similar to tortillas. Similar to tortillas, these circular disks are then cooked over a skillet and toasted over an open flame until puffy and cooked through.

There’s nothing like freshly cooked, hot roti. They are thin, soft, with one surface thinner than the other. Typically, the surface that the hot pan touches first is the one that can be peeled off as a thin layer.

Roti/chapati/phulka is made from whole wheat flour and you can actually taste the whole grain in the bread. It’s soft when served warm, yet chewy.

What type of flour is used to make roti?

In its simplest form, roti dough is made with just wheat flour and water, but using the ingredients and following the recipe provided here yields a softer bread.

The wheat flour used in Indian households to make roti is called atta in hindi It is a whole grain flour with a high gluten content. It is typically stone ground and therefore Indian breads like roti, although made with whole wheat flour, are lighter in color and softer in texture.

Just search Atta and you can easily find different brands on Amazon. If that’s not an option for you, check with your local Indian or ethnic grocery store. Golden Temple and 24 Mantra Organic are two brands that I enjoy using.

The best replacement for Atta

If you can’t find Atta, you can do one of two things: use whole wheat white flour, or combine equal amounts of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour.

But please keep in mind, if you use a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, the texture of your roti will be slightly different.

Tips and tricks for making roti

Roti is one of the first things you learn to cook in an Indian home kitchen. Still, it takes many people years to master the skill. The consistency of the dough is crucial. The dough should be soft enough to make an impression when pressed with your index finger without sticking.

So if you’re a roti newbie, all it takes is practice, some patience, and some of these tips and tricks to get started.

  • The secret of a perfect roti is the dough. Soft dough makes soft roti. Warm water can help soften the dough.
  • If the dough is a bit sticky, use a little more flour to dust.
  • Depending on the brand or type of flour you use, the amount of water needed for your dough may vary. So, to be on the safe side, add water in small portions and work the dough while it slowly absorbs water.
  • Allowing the dough to rest for 5-10 minutes (covered with a soft muslin cloth) at room temperature makes it easier to roll the dough.
  • Don’t sweat too much on the form! Try to get that circle, but if you can’t (which you won’t do the first few tries), simply cut a perfect circle with a paring knife or pizza cutter, using a circular lid 5-1/2″ in diameter. Use 6 inches as a guide. But you can also make it in whatever shape you end up rolling it out in!

How to serve roti

If you’re serving fresh roti, consider storing them in a hot pot to keep them soft. After cooking, do not leave them uncovered outdoors. This makes them hard and dry.

Almost all Indian curries, lentil soups or stews go well with warm roti. Here are a few dishes you can enjoy with it:

  • Chana Masala
  • Chicken Korma
  • Indian Butter Chicken

How to store leftover roti

To freeze rotis, separate hot, fresh rotis with sheets of parchment paper, stack, wrap in foil, and place in ziplock bags. Freeze when they are still hot.

When you’re ready to eat them, reheat them and they’ll soften like fresh. Take the thawed rotis out of the fridge. Heat one at a time in a skillet over medium-high heat until warm enough.

Alternatively, you can heat them over an open flame or wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 15 seconds.

Roti (Indian Wholemeal Flatbread)

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
15 minutes

total time
25 minutes

12 servings

12 rotis

The brand of atta flour I usually use to make roti is 24 Mantra Organic. You can buy a bag online.

Knead the dough: You can use an electric mixer or knead with your hands.


  • 2 1/2 cups Atta (flourdivided

  • 1 teaspoon gheeplus more to serve

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 1/4 cups water (room temperature)

special equipment

  • blender


  1. Prepare a baking sheet and plate:

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside for later use. Line a plate with a clean muslin cloth or paper towel and set aside for future use.

  2. Mix flour, oil and salt:

    In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 cups flour, ghee, and salt. Stir to mix (It may be easier to do this with a spoon than to place it on the mixing stand.)

  3. Add water:

    With the mixer on low, add the water in small amounts (about 1/4 cup at a time) to the flour mixture. After about 2 minutes you can see the dough taking shape.

    The dough should be soft and supple. At this point the dough would be a little fluffy but not very sticky. If it’s too fluffy and sticky, add more dry flour. If it’s too hard and chewy, add more water.

  4. Knead the dough:

    Once the dough comes together, knead with the dough hook for another 2-3 minutes to make it smooth and supple. Lift the dough hook out of the mixer and press down the dough with a finger, it should make an impression without sticking to your finger.

  5. Let the dough rest:

    Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the mixing bowl. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel. Cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.

    Once the dough has rested, knead it again for a minute. Shape into a ball again. In the end, the dough should look soft, supple and smooth.

  6. Divide the dough:

    Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Work one piece at a time, leaving the remaining dough covered so it doesn’t dry out.

  7. Roll out the dough:

    Roll the dough into a smooth ball and flatten lightly between your palms.

    Use the remaining 1/2 cup flour to lightly dust your workspace as needed. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circular disk about 5-6 inches wide and about 1/4 inch thick.

    Run the rolling pin along the length, gently pressing as you roll. Rotate the roti in a circular motion while rolling and dust the work station and roti if the dough starts to stick. Place rolled out roti on prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean kitchen towel.

    Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Be sure to place your roti so they don’t touch the baking sheet. You may need to do this in batches.

  8. Cook roti:

    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the rolled disc in the dry hot pan. If bubbles form on the surface, use tongs to flip the roti over to cook the other side. The exposed surface should be bloated in places and have light brown spots. Fry the other side for 15-20 seconds.

    If cooking on a gas burner, use tongs at this stage to lift roti out of pan and carefully place on an open flame. After 4-5 seconds the roti should puff up gently and look like an inflated ball. Flip and fry the other side for another 3-5 seconds.

    Using tongs, carefully lift from the flame and place on the plate lined with a clean muslin cloth or paper towel. Spread 1/4 teaspoon of ghee on the surface.

    Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.

  9. Surcharge:

    Serve warm with your choice of curry or simply sprinkle some sugar on a hot ghee laced roti and enjoy!

nutritional information (per serving)
98 calories
1g Fat
20g carbohydrates
3g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!