Chapatti: Your New Favorite Pancake

A Traditional Indian Fried Bread

If you can make pancakes, you can make this chapatti.

  • So simple! There are only six ingredients and four easy steps. The name may be intimidating, but it’s as easy as a cross between making simple fry bread and pancakes.
  • So tasty! You can serve your chapatti hot with butter, honey, jam, or cinnamon and sugar. Or you can eat them plain as a complement to a main dish.
  • A new family favorite! Not even the picky eaters can hate this one. While cooking it in the test kitchen, our teenage daughter, Katie came in and declared them scrumptious once she had covered them in butter, cinnamon, and sugar.

What is Chapatti?

Chapatti is a traditional fried bread from India. They would cook it on a special griddle called a tava held over a fire to create steam that causes the bread to puff up.  It’s very similar to a pita in shape but often more puffed up.

Eat Plain Chapatti

With traditional chapatti, you would eat it as a complement to a meal of stew of vegetables. You could also use it much like a tortilla to scoop up things like rice and beans or salsa

iStock chapatti tortilla

Eat Sweet Chapatti

You can also eat it like a pancake with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar and a drizzle of honey. Or you can top it with sliced bananas and a drizzle of your favorite syrup. 

We like to add a little touch of sugar to the traditional recipe to make it just a tad sweeter. It’ so tasty that it may even be our new favorite type of pancake.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup stone-ground whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat a griddle or frying pan until it’s very hot. We used an electric griddle set on 400 degrees. Do not grease the griddle.
  2. Mix the flours, salt, and sugar together in the bowl of your stand-type mixer.
  3. Add the water and oil. Mix with a dough hook for six to eight minutes or until the gluten is formed. You may need to add a bit more flour or a dribble of water to get the consistency of bread dough.
  4. Divide the dough ball into ten or twelve pieces. Roll one into a thin disc as if you were making a tortilla. Place it on the hot griddle. After a minute, turn it over then remove it to a hot plate. Continue with the other pieces.
  5. As the breads come off the griddle, microwave them for ten to fifteen seconds. Serve hot.

Baker’s notes: If the griddle is hot enough, you should have browned spots on the bread. Do not overcook the breads. Overcooked breads will be crisp and dry instead of soft and chewy. The moisture in the bread creates the steam that puffs the bread. While we could never get enough steam to make the breads as puffy as those in a restaurant, these were still good.

Other Great Fried Breads

Fry Bread topped with bananas

Fry Bread

If you like chapatti, try out our favorite fry bread. It’s just like a donut, but you can make it with your favorite bread mix. It’s so easy to make and so delicious. You’ll absolutely love it.

(Updated from July 17, 2013)

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