Monday, October 17, 2011

Chapati: The Bread Spoon

Chapati is an unleavened (no yeast or baking powder) flat bread and a staple food among the people of East Africa, similar to the American Indian fry bread. Chapati is normally served with other foods like vegetable and meat dishes. Tearing off pieces of a chapati and using it to pick up other foods is the norm. Chapati is a bread and a utensil. I think it goes great for thick stews and chilis!


2 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt


Mix dry ingredients well. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the flour mixture and mix in with your hands until flour feels a little bit like sand. Add enough water to form an elastic dough. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.

Roll out 1 ball into a circle and spread 1/2 teaspoon oil over it. Roll the circle up, like a jelly roll, then roll it up again. It should resemble a snail shell. Do the same for the other three balls.Let the dough sit 20 minutes to 8 hours, depending on when you make them. Roll out into circles 10 to 12 inches in diameter. Melt a bit of shortening in a frying pan and wait until it is hot to cook the chapati. Cook rapidly and watch them bubble up.

Makes 4 chapatis.

Recipe doesn't really work with doubling due to the fact that it's easier to work this recipe when the portions are smaller, but they are quick and easy to make.


Spread some butter or margarine on the warm chapati and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on it for breakfast.

Healthy Substitutions:

*Use 1/2 white flour and 1/2 wheat flour or all wheat flour to make a healthier chapati.
*Skip the oil used when rolling up the chapatis.
*Cook the chapatis on a dry skillet or frying pan.