Indian Flatbreads (Roti) - Global Vegetarian

Indian Flatbreads (Roti)

indian flatbread recipe
  • Yield : 6 flatbreads
  • Servings : 3
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 45m

There are many different types and variations of Indian flatbreads: roti or chapati; naan; prautha; as well as stuffed versions of each type. This recipe is for three basic types which can be made at home. All you need is a griddle or large frying pan and a rolling pin. The dough is very simple and requires only wholewheat (or spelt) flour, water and a bit of olive oil.

indian flatbread roti recipe

A roti is a very simple round flatbread and is the easiest to make. Then there is the square one (prautha) which is made into a square shape by first rolling a circle, applying butter and spices and then folding it over 4 times to make a square before rolling it out one more time. The third one is a stuffed prautha (aloo prautha) which is very popular in Punjab. It is made by rolling out two smaller rotis and adding a filling in between them. The same dough is used to make all of them.

Watch the video for detailed instructions.


  • 2.5 to 3 cups wholewheat flour or spelt flour
  • Water
  • Olive oil

  • 2 large boiled and peeled potatoes
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt (according to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala (ground cumin or coriander can be used)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne or chilli powder
  • Handful of chopped cilantro
  • Melted butter or olive oil


Step 1

Make dough in a medium bowl by adding some water and a drizzle of olive oil to the flour, and mixing it with your hands. Keep adding water in small amounts and mixing with your hands until it all comes together. Add more water as needed to be able to knead the dough until it has a smooth pliable texture (3 to 4 minutes). Set aside to allow the dough to breath and soften for 15 minutes. It can also be made ahead and set aside until you are ready to cook.

Step 2

Preheat griddle or flat pan on medium high heat.
Put about a cup of dry flour into a large plate or pie plate. Roll your fingers in this dry flour to avoid dough from sticking to hands. Take some dough and form into a small 2 inch ball with both hands. Roll it in the dry flour and flatten into a disk. Add some more dry flour on both sides and roll out into a 6 to 7 inch circle by rolling and turning over once or twice to get a nice circular shape.
Place on preheated griddle. Cook for about one minute before flipping it over with a spatula. Cook the other side for about two minutes to allow it to blister a little. Then flip over again to have the blistered side on top. Apply gentle pressure with the spatula to encourage roti to rise. (The steam trapped inside the roti will help it to rise). Remove from stove and place on a plate lined with aluminum foil. Apply butter or oil to keep it soft. Cover to keep warm while making the remaining rotis.

Step 3

Using the same method as for making roti, but using a bit more dough to make the ball. Roll it in the dry flour and flatten before rolling out into approx. an 8 inch circle using the same method above. Apply melted butter with a brush, then sprinkle with some salt, black pepper, garam masala and chilli powder (choose whatever ground spices you prefer).
Fold one side half way, then overlap the other side to the edge of the first side. Now do the same with the remaining two sides - fold first one half way, then overlap the other side completely. You will have a perfect square once it's all folded. Pat with dry flour and roll out again but this time into a square shape by turning over, applying dry flour as needed.
Place on preheated griddle and cook for about 2 minutes. Flip over and brush top side with butter. Cook other side in the same way. Turn over and apply butter. Both sides should be nicely blistered but not burned. Remove from heat and place on a plate lined with aluminum foil and paper towel. Cover to keep warm while making the rest.

Step 4

To prepare the filling, mash cooked potatoes really well with a fork. Add chopped green onion, cilantro and spices.
Using the same method as for making roti, but make 2 smaller balls by taking a larger piece of dough and splitting it into two equal portions. Roll each ball out into approx. 5 inch circles using the same method as for roti. Roll out one of them to be slightly larger. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling onto the smaller one, adjust and flatten filling with hands, keeping it away from the edges. Place larger circle on top, press edges with finger tips to seal. Apply more dry flour, place back on counter and flatten by pressing with one hand in a circular motion. Roll out to make it a bit larger. It will be about 9 inches.
Lift with a spatula or hands and place on preheated griddle. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes; flip over and apply butter. Cook other side the same way, then flip over and apply butter. Both sides should be nicely blistered and crispy. Remove from heat and place on a plate lined with aluminum foil and paper towel. Cover to keep warm while making the rest.

Step 5

Serve roti with any kind of daal or curry.
Spiced prautha can be eaten alone, with yogurt, or made into a roll with hummus dip.
Stuffed prautha are best eaten as is or with plain yogurt.

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