Rotli (Roti) Indian Bread Recipe

Rotli or Roti is yet another type of unleavened Indian bread that can be enjoyed with any vegetable or curry. Rotli, as they are known in Gujarat, India, are rolled very thin making them light and soft. They are cooked in two different steps — first on a tawa (or skillet) and then finished off on the open flame making them balloon up. Try these wonderfully soft and fluffy rotlis, or rotis but be sure to make plenty — they go fast!

Ingredients:

Whole Wheat Flour (Chapati Flour) – 2 cups
Salt – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Oil – 4 tsp
Warm Water – 3/4 cup
All-purpose flour – for rolling and dusting

Method:

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix Chapati Flour and Salt well.
2. Add Oil and mix until all lumps are gone.
3. Add Warm Water a little at a time to form a medium soft dough ball. Do not overwork the dough.
4. Add few drops of Oil and coat the dough ball. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
5. Heat Tawa or skillet on medium heat.
6. Knead the dough once and divide into golf ball size balls.
7. Dip one ball into the All-purpose flour to coat and roll it out into a thin disc. Keep dipping the rotli into the dry flour to prevent it from sticking to the rolling surface.
8. Shake or rub off excess flour from the rotli and place it onto the hot tawa.
9. Flip to the other side once you see bubbles appear on the surface. Allow it to cook for 10-15 seconds.
10. Increase the stove heat to High, gently pick the rotli up with tongs, remove the tawa off of the flame, flip the rotli over and place onto an open flame.
11. The rotli should balloon up. Flip it over and cook on the other side.
12. Place the cooked rotli into an insulated container and smear it with Ghee or clarified butter and repeat the process for the remaining dough.

Makes approx 12 rotlis.

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0 thoughts on “Rotli (Roti) Indian Bread Recipe

  1. Could you please tell me how long to knead the dough because I always seem to get it wrong and also my rotis seem to never come out soft and fluffy.
    Please help.

    1. Hi Aleesha,

      You really need to knead the dough until it all comes together nicely. Let it rest for about 10-15 mins and knead gently a second time before rolling. You don’t want to over knead because the more gluten that is built up, the tougher the roti.

  2. hi hetal and anuja

    ur site is awesome.i am getting the rotis soft and pluffy when i do it and when i have it immediately it is very soft.but when i pack it in lunch box for lunch it becomes hard at that time.please help me.

    1. Hi Deepthi,

      If you keep them in an insulated box immediately after they come off the tawa, they stay soft. If you keep them in the open, they will harden up.

  3. Dear Hetal & Anuja:

    I am really glad to have found your videos..they have helped me a lot in cooking so many types of vegetarian dishes and they have all turned up really tasty..thanks a ton πŸ™‚ ..i have a quick question..i have seen you using food processor for making dough, purees, chopping and grinding. I want to purchase a good one for doing the same things but i am very confused as there are so many types available. Can you please suggest the best brand and model for daily use, like the one that you have been using?

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Shelly,

      Some things to consider when buying a food processor:

      1. The size Γ’β‚¬β€œ if you have a big family or entertain a lot, try to get one that has a larger capacity.

      2. The attachments Γ’β‚¬β€œ many people use a food processor only to chop and donÒ€ℒt need all the fancy blades. If you plan to use it for more than chopping (ex: shredding, kneading dough, etc), look for one with many attachments.

      3. The power of the motor Γ’β‚¬β€œ bigger wattage is always better in this case so you are able to handle large loads without having to worry about the motor going out.

      4. The price Γ’β‚¬β€œ this is the final consideration as you will see the crazy range of prices.

      Once you have one particular model in mind, read online reviews for potential problems.

      1. Thanks Hetal! I am actually looking for a small one that can do everything from shredding, kneading dough, chopping and pureeing. Do you recommend any particular brand as I have no clue or experience with any of them? Price is not a problem as I am looking for something that will last long. I have read many online reviews and it has confused me further. I will deeply appreciate your help on this.

        1. Hi Shelly,

          Honestly, we both have had our food processors for many years so there may be some newer brands available that we have not experienced. We can say that we have had pretty good results with Black & Decker and Cuisinart, but please do your research before spending a good deal of money on one.

  4. Hi Chechis,

    We where always confused about the quanty. When ever we used to make early the roti used to be sticky or stiff like papad.. πŸ˜€
    Thanks to you both we found the perfect mix … πŸ™‚

  5. Hi ladies,

    This website is great! I found a lot of day-to-day tips that are so useful.

    My question is that I have heard people say that adding yogurt or warm milk to the dough makes the phulkas softer. Is this true? My phulkas turn out pretty good but I was just curious to know if this would make them any better.
    Thank you so much in advance πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Divya,
      Yes, it does make them softer. It will also add additional nutritional value to your chapatis. I did that for years and then stopped because I got tired of making additional yogurt to make chapatis (in other words lazy). I preferred using yogurt over milk
      If your Chapatis come out good – you can go either way πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Hetal,

    I have a quick question for you. Can you please tell me where did you buy that steel rolling surface that you use to make the roti (I don’t know the exact name). I have been looking for this everywhere (including walmart, target) but couldn’t find it. I even try to find this on Amazon but no luck. So, can you please please please tell me where can I buy this? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Fatma,

      Some people use non-stick skillets to cook chapati, paratha, etc. If you are going to be using oil, it would be ok but it is not recommended to heat non-stick cookware dry and for long periods of time, else they release some fumes.

  7. Hi Anuja and Hetal,

    I would like to know if i can take normal flour to make the Rotli or Phulka because it’s really difficult to find Chapati Flour where i live in France!!! I’m trying it with the normal flour today, i don’t know if it will be good!!!

  8. Hetal and Anuja, I used to struggle with chapathi’s before, After seeing all your videos I feel like those days are gone. Guess why?
    A. I am make good Chapthi’s these days.
    B. Learned the minute differences btw, Roti, Chapathi, Paratha,&Phulka. Though all deals with the same Atta flour.
    I feel like I have achieved something. Thanks a lot for all your brilliant effort.

  9. Hetal and Anuja, I used to struggle with chapathi’s before, After seeing all your videos I feel like those days are gone. Guess why?
    A. I am make good Chapthi’s these days.
    B. Learned the minute differences btw, Roti, Chapathi, Paratha,&Phulka. Though all deals with the same Atta flour.
    I feel like I have achieved something. Thanks a lot for all your brilliant effort. Keep Going πŸ™‚

  10. hi girls,
    we have a glass top stove
    the rotli’s on there are no where close to how they are on the gas stove. My husbands says they are “chavad” i guess thats rubberry? what should i do? a friend recommended rice flour instead of all purpose what do you think of that?

    1. Hi Dhara,

      There is nothing quite like “chavad” rotlis πŸ™‚ I have never used a glass top stove so am wondering…do you initially cook the rotli on a tawa and then put it directly on the glass to puff? And, is putting it directly on the glass what is making it rubbery? The dough has oil in it so that should prevent it from getting chewy. The dry flour that you use for rolling should not affect the “chavad” part. It is mainly just to make the rolling easier. What brand of chapati flour do you use? Sometimes, the brand makes a big difference. We have found Laxmi to work really well.

      1. Hi Hetal,
        I do use laxmi. After the tawa i put it on the mesh screen not straight on the glasstop…maybe i’m kneading it wrong?

        1. Hi Dhara,

          Seems like your method is correct. Regarding the kneading, you should not knead the dough too much. Over kneading releases the gluten in the dough and makes the rotli tough. Knead it only until the dough comes together. Also, it should only be cooked lightly on the tawa. Don’t wait for too many brown spots to appear before putting it over the flame.

  11. Hi, you guys are awesome!!! Thanks for this recipe.
    I wondered what is the name of the little rolling pin you used? I’ve seen bigger ones at my local Indian shop but not one that small.

    Christine
    Auckland, New Zealand.

    1. Hi Christine,
      It is also known as a rolling pin, any of them that you get used to (and you hands are comfortable with), works well. In hindi it is called “belan” (pronounced bay-len)!

  12. hi.. can u tell me.. if we want to pack roti for luch..
    how can we pack the roti.. i mean should we pack hot roti in foil paper or.. after some less hot..?

    1. Hi Shruti,
      Warm the Roti and make sure you add some ghee or oil so they remain moist, wrap them in a foil and then take them in an insulated lunch box. Parathas are great for lunches too πŸ™‚

  13. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    You guys are doing a great job & i am a huge fan of your website.. my cooking has improved a great deal after watching your site..keep up the good job…

  14. Thanks for the easy to follow recipe! My dough is resting right now. I’ve read that you can use whey instead of or in addition to water to make the roti softer. Do you know anything about this? I made paneer earlier, so I used the whey in my roti dough. We’ll see how they turn out… I also don’t have atta, so I mixed whole wheat flour with a bit of all-purpose.

    1. Hi Jaidin,
      For our regular cooking we use Canola Oil, for Italian cooking we use Extra Virgin Olive Oil and I use Mustard Oil/ Sesame Oil/ Coconut Oil for certain traditional cooking πŸ™‚ Did I confuse you? If you have to pick one, Canola would work for everything πŸ™‚

      1. Hey Anuja…why don’t you use Peanut oil? I like little bit nutty flower so can we use peanut oil for our everyday cooking? and ya I found that canola oil is not good for health so…

  15. Hi,
    First of all, I love your website. Recipes are brilliant!

    I was hoping you could help me with the following problem: when I cook chapatis they sometimes get a bit hard. I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong, do I use too little water maybe? I hope you guys can tell me what might be the cause of the hard chapati!

    Thanks
    Martha

    1. Hi Martha,

      Our measurements are pretty accurate so if you use them, your chapatis should come out fine. One trick we use is to put them in an insulated container immediately as they come off the stove. They remain hot and soft for quite a while.

      1. Hi Hetal,
        Thanks for your reply. I was wondering though how many grams are 1 cup?

        Thanks again πŸ™‚
        Martha

  16. Hi Hira,
    Sorry I did not see your post at the time. My mesh screen came from walmart and they also sell in Target in the kitchen department where you find vegetable peelings spatulas, tongs, etc. Our Indian markets don’t seem to carry them so I had to improve with the mesh screen. I hold mine about an inch or two above my electric stove so they dont’ get burn marks. Glad you found one!!!!

    But with your bursting, I had an idea what it might be. When you put a roti over a flame usually the diameter of the flame is smaller than the roti, so perhaps it you hold the mesh over one of the small coils, it might not cause it to burst. The mesh over the large coils might be causing the problem. Also, I can’t roll well at all, but a manual tortilla press will help with making them even all over.

  17. Can you please tell me what your cup size is for measurements? I believe it’s different in different countries.

    Thanks

      1. Thanks Hetal,
        That’s fine for the water measurement (Warm Water 3/4 cup = 6 fl.oz), but what about the non fluid item? ie. Chapati FlourΓ’β‚¬β€œ2 cups.
        Thanks

  18. Hi,
    I tried your recipe for roti, came out ok. I couldn’t puff it coz I haven’t got a wire mesh yet. I would like to know if I can use a tortilla press to roll the roti.

    1. Hi Ayaan,

      Personally, I have mixed feelings about tortilla presses. They work great for some things like pani puri. However, for larger things I feel that it does not roll out enough. It may be good to press the dough in the press (just to get it started) and then finish it off with a rolling pin. It may help you get a nice round shape.

  19. Hi!

    Guess I am back with another problem: My rotis are now ‘bursting’ from side when I put them on the wire mesh to puff them up. Those holes are primarily on the edges of the roti, but sometimes they also appear in the middle causing the steam to escape, and the rotis will not puff up a lot.

    I dont know what I am doing wrong – the dough is soft, I roll out the roti evenly (by feeling with my hand). I am using the right type of tong you showed in the video. Neither do I press really hard while tranferring the roti from tawa to the wire mesh.

    Could you suggest something that might help me get rid of this problem?

    Thanks a ton guys!!!

    Hira

    1. Hi Hira,

      We usually say not to knead roti dough too much because the gluten in the flour makes the roti tough when the dough is kneaded too much. In your case, you might want to knead the dough a little longer so that it is not so soft that it bursts.

  20. Hello!

    Thank you so much for your recipe! Believe me or not, in an attempt to make the rotis fluff, I am on the verger of pulling my hair.

    I wanted to ask Judy, (or anyone who could help) if she could give the exact name/brand/link of that splatter screen? I have bugged the hell out of my local indian store’s manager, but apparently they don’t carry it.

    Secondly, you said that the coil has to be on MAX in order to fluff the roti. To clarify, did you mean to say that the splatter screen should remain on that coil too or should it be lifted slightly up while you put the half cooked roti on it? And do you remove the splatter screen from the coil after you are done fluffing the roti up; while cooking on the other coil? If yes, I hope the screen doesn’t get messed up because of such high heat?

    Thank you so much for your help. At this point, my rotis have almost driven me desperate.

    1. Hi Hira,

      We have a gas burner so have not tried the splatter screen method. However, you would not need to keep the screen on the coil the whole time. Just remove your tawa and replace it with the screen when you’re ready to fluff. Maybe some other viewers who use this method can clarify further.

      1. Hello Hetal!

        I finally did it!!! That same day when I asked you the question, I bought this wire mesh thingy from an Indian store, and voila! My rotis puffed up as if I pumped in some air in them! The result: soft (and round) rotis. That night I heartly enjoyed my dinner, as I was eating dry paapad rotis for the past two weeks.

        I really want to thank you, your website, and the ladies here who gave the suggestion of using the wire mesh.

        Keep rocking!!!

        P.S.: A friend of mine made Pineapple Souffle once. Too bad, I forgot to take the recipe, and he has relocated elsewhere. Would it be possible for you to upload the recipe for this dish?

  21. Hello Ladies,

    You are doing a fabulous job and my family is loving all the dishes I’ve tried so far. We are not whole wheat flour lovers so can I substitute all purpose flour instead and keep the rest of the recipe same?

    Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Geeta,

      If you use the whole wheat chapati atta (flour) from the Indian grocery store, it tastes pretty good – different than the whole wheat flour at American grocery stores. If you use all-purpose flour, the roti will be very chewy.

      1. Hi Hetal!

        I LOVE showmethecurry.com. You & Anuja are AMAZING!!! I am making Panir Makhani tonight, with the homemade paneer recipe πŸ™‚ I’ll let you know how it goes! this is my first time cooking an indian meal from scratch.

        I live in a small town & cannot find Chapati atta, but i have found a Fine-Grind organic Whole Wheat flour…do you think this would be ok or would the results be the same as using the coarse whole wheat flour (gritty & chewy)?

        Also could i use the whey from the Paneer instead of the water in this recipe?

        Thanks in advance, keep up the great work!!

  22. Hi,

    I followed your directions for flat bread (sorry I do not remember the proper name) and I was so happy to make these for my family. They turned out very soft and usable for rice. I was trying to relocate that video to share on my blog and I watched this one and now I have to try this one.

    Thank You
    Eyveneena

  23. Thanks a lot for all your recipes. It makes so much sense to watch videos and getting those little little tips. I am a vegatarian full-time working mom
    who doesnt have enough time in the morning to make chappti for lunch so forcefully surviving on Veggie-Delight Subway Sandwich. Please give me tip how to make chapatis in the night which remain soft and good for next day lunch.

    1. Hi Sandy,

      If you use our chapati (paratha) recipe or this Rotli recipe, they will stay soft the next day as well. The rotli tend to be softer. We keep them in an insulated container. There is no need to refrigerate if you will be using them up by the next day.

      1. hetal my rotis turn out soft but i’m not able to keep it that way for long inspite of using a cloth below the rotis and an insulated container. any tips.

        1. Hi Seema,

          It could have to do with how long you are cooking them. If you cook them at a low temperature, it takes longer to cook and may dry them out. If you use too high a temp, they may get too many brown/black burnt spots. The trick is to cook it at the right temp and not over cook them.

  24. Hi Anuja and Hetal,
    I have the same problem as some others. My stove is electric. I found a round mesh screen with a handle at Walmart. They are normally used as splatter screens for pots and pans, but they work great to put the roti on and then you can either put it directly onto the electric coil after cooking on the tava, or you can hold it a tiny bit above almost touching. Believe it or not, I finally got roti to puff up!!! They are very inexpensive screens from Walmart. Thanks again so much for all your great videos.

    1. Hi Judy,

      Thanks so much for letting us and other viewers know your feedback on the splatter screens. Many people have been asking and now they will know where to get them.

      Cheers!

  25. Guys

    Thanks a lot for the prompt replies… let me try getting now…

    Keep up the good work… i swear i would be helpless without your website…

    Cheers
    Shobana

  26. Hey hetal/anuja

    i just loved the way you showed to make roti… mine is actually electrical coil…. so wen i tried to make rotis iam getting the marks of the cooil…. is there any alternate way for making rotis in electrical coil…..

    1. Some of the larger Indian grocery stores sell a wire mesh with a handle (almost like a tawa made of mesh) or a metal plate with holes in it that has a handle. You can put this over your electric stove and place the half cooked roti on it to puff up.

      1. If you have cast iron skillet place it upside down on the element on high heat so the element is not touching the red hot but forms a kind of hot box ,get real hot and finish the roti.works for me .

  27. Hi,
    I tried this..The dough n all looked perfect but I somehow just cant get them to puff or be soft.Mine are like Pappad.. πŸ™ Esp they dont puff up from the centre..Is it coz they are not thin enough? πŸ™

    1. The main reason they will not puff is the way you roll them. If they are rolled evenly, they will puff even if they are thick. If your rotli did not rise in the middle, it may be that it was rolled too thin in the middle and the edges were thick. While rolling, run your fingers over the surface of the rotli and you will be able to feel where the thick and thin parts are.

    1. You can make the dough in the food processor, but it tends to overwork the dough. With rotli, the less you knead the dough, the softer they are.

    1. Hi Mamta,

      Since all-purpose flour is milled to a finer texture than regular whole wheat flour, it allows you to roll the roti very thin and does not leave a gritty feel.

      1. I tried using all purpose flour for rolling and it was much better and easier than whole wheat flour. chapathi flour is coarse but maida is soft and easy to roll. great tip from you guys

  28. Dear Hetal and Anuja,
    My mother was very particular about how we rolled and cooked rotli, paratha, thepla etcÒ€¦Ò€¦.. Here is the trick she taught us:
    After we are done rolling the rotli we need to put rotli on tawi so that the top part on the patlo (Orsiyo) goes down on tawa then we cook rotli as usual. That way up side that we rolled becomes the right side of the rotli!!.
    You need pay a little attention on how you transfer rotli from patlo to tawa and you will know what I mean………….
    Regards

  29. hi, you super ladies
    I can’t find the right words to describe you. You are dedicated, honest and hard working I appreciate all your efforts .Hope you gain the best in life and I pray I can achieve something good as I love Indian cuisine

  30. Hi didi’s,

    Can u tell me which brand of atta you prefer using for this roti.
    I remember u telling Laxmi brand for chapati.
    Kindly reply since this would help many indians living here in US.

    Thanks in advance,

    Priya

  31. hai

    I saw ur video on roti can u please tell me how to do on electric stove since we dont have Gas stove.

    1. Hi Kanchana,

      Some of the larger Indian grocery stores sell a wire mesh with a handle (almost like a tawa made of mesh) or a metal plate with holes in it that has a handle. You can put this over your electric stove and place the half cooked roti on it to puff up.

      1. Kanchana – When you use the wire mesh make sure the stove is on highest setting… to puff up the roti you need to have the rods real hot – it will be rubbery if you tried over medium setting. What I did was leave one stove on high and the other on medium where you have the tava.
        I learnt it the hard way πŸ™

        1. Hey Kanchana,

          You can also puff up the rotis in the microwave oven. Place the half cooked roti on the glass tray and cook it for 8-10 secs. The microwave timings may vary from oven to oven. Try out!

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