Easy East African Chapati recipe that’s made without yeast or baking powder. You’ll love how soft and pliable this Kenyan chapati is, making it perfect to use as a wrap or to dunk into sauces.  The possibilities are endless! 

 

If you  know anything about East Africa, then you surely know that No Holidays Are Complete Without Some East African Chapati.  They are the holiday dish, and I must admit that this multi-layered makes it to our table regularly…not just the holiday.

 

 

Making super-soft, multi-layered, East African Chapati might seem intimidating at the beginning, but once you master a few hacks, it’s super easy.  The most critical factors in achieving the best East African Chapati is having the perfect water-to-flour ratio and kneading for the right amount of time till dough is smooth and supple.

 

What Is East African Chapati?

East African Chapati also known as Roti, safati, shabaati, phulka and roshi, is an unleavened flatbread. 

 

east African Chapati

 

Origin Of East African Chapati

This Chapati originates from India and is a staple in East Africa.  Apart from Kenya, East African Chapati is also a staple in countries like Tanzania, Uganda, Zanzibar, and Burundi.

 

Indian Chapati Vs. East African Chapati

Unlike the Indian Chapati that has no layers and uses no oil in preparation, the East African Chapati is multi-layered and use a substantial amount of oil in the preparation; more like the Indian Parantha.

 

east african chapti

 

What goes in East African Chapati?

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Water
  • Oil OR Ghee

 

How To Prepare East African Chapati Dough

FIRST: In a large mixing bowl, add water, oil, sugar and salt and mix well.  Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon till the mixture comes together.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. 

With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes until smooth and supple dough is achieved.  The longer you knead, the softer your East African Chapati will be. Poke the dough with your finger; if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready. 

Alternatively, make the dough using a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook attachment for 5 to 8 minutes. 

 

SECOND: Divide the dough into 12 to 14 pieces and form them into balls between your palms or between the kitchen countertop and your palm. Cover the balls with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.

           

THIRD: Lightly flour your working surface and work on one dough ball at a time.  Gently press with fingers and roll out as thin as you can with a rolling pin.

 

FOURTH: Gently brush the rolled dough surface with melted butter OR Ghee OR Oil.  Follow by sprinkling some flour all over it. Once that is done, roll the dough like you would roll a yoga mat. 

 

FIFTH: After that, coil the mat-like-dough and tuck the end in the middle of the coil. Repeat the process with all the dough balls.  This is the process that will ensure layers in your East African Chapati.  Cover the dough once more and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.

 

SIXTH: Working with one dough at a time, lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough using a rolling pin to a thin 20 cm (slightly thicker than a tortilla) circle. 

 

How To Cook East African Chapati

SEVENTH: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and place the rolled out dough. 

Cook for about 30 seconds till bubbles appear on the upper side and flip.  Brush the upper cooked surface with melted butter/ghee/oil and once you are done, flip back to the original side.  

(At this point, both sides have been partially cooked without oil and the surface on the frying pan is brushed with oil).

Now, brush the upper side too with oil and using a flat spatula, press Chapati gently against the skillet for 15 seconds.  Flip once more and press the other side gently against the skillet too.  Remove the Chapati from the skillet and store in a container covered with a clean kitchen towel. 

 

 

How Do You Tell If Chapati Dough Is Kneaded Enough

If the Chapati dough doesn’t spring back when pressed with a finger, or tears when you pull it, it needs more kneading. If it springs back immediately when lightly pressed, and doesn’t tear when you pull it, it’s been kneaded enough.

 

Is Oil Necessary For Chapati Dough?

Yes, oil helps the dough to stay soft and pliable. That way your chapati will be soft and chewy. Without oil, the chapati won’t have a soft and chewy texture and any leftovers will dry up faster.

                                  

east african chapti

 

                                              

Can I Make Chapati Dough Ahead?

Yes you can make the dough ahead of time.  As a matter of fact, when the dough stays for a day in the fridge, it results is softer and chewier Chapati. 

To make it ahead, simply transfer the dough to an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to a day.  Allow the dough to come up to room temperature before rolling and making chapati.

Alternatively, make the dough as described above, then transfer to a freezer-suitable air-tight container and freeze for up to 3 months.

 

How To Serve East African Chapati

 Some of the most common traditional accompaniments for East African Chapati are;

 

east African Chapati

 

How To Store, Freeze, And Thaw Cooked Chapati

To Refrigerate, transfer your leftover Chapati in an air-tight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Alternatively, transfer to an air-tight freezer-suitable container and freeze tortilla for up to 3 months. 

To thaw, remove from the freezer few hours before your meal and leave in the fridge or on the kitchen countertop till fully thawed. 

 

Reheating Leftover East African Chapati

In The Skillet: Reheat Chapati on both sides for 30 seconds in a hot skillet once defrosted.

In The Microwave: Warm East African Chapati for 15 to 20 seconds in the microwave.

 

More Tips For Perfect Chapati

  • Make sure you use the right amount of water.  Too little water will lead to tough and dry chapati and too much water will lead to dough that is too wet to work with.
  • Always make sure that the dough is kneaded till soft and supple. Kneading the dough to perfection is essential.  If the dough is not kneaded long enough, the gluten will not be activated and the texture of the Chapati will be compromised. 
  • Everytime you are kneading a sticky dough by hand, wear disposable kitchen hand gloves.  I find that wearing disposable kitchen hand gloves make it easier.
  • Alternatively, when having difficulty with a sticky dough, cover and rest it for at least 15 minutes to 1 hour.  This step helps to relax the gluten which automatically lightens the kneading process.
  • Use a flat Skillet to cook Chapati and adjust your Chapati size to your skillet size.

 

PIN IT FOR LATEReast african chapati

 

Similar Recipes For You To Try:

east african chapati
Print Pin
5 from 28 votes

East African Chapati Recipe

Easy East African Chapati recipe that’s made without yeast or baking powder. You’ll love how soft and pliable this chapati is, making it perfect to use as a wrap or to dunk into sauces.  The possibilities are endless! 
Course Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine African, Indian
Keyword chapati, parantha, roti
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Jayne Rain

Ingredients

  • 500 g All-purpose flour (sifted to remove any lumps)
  • 50 g All-purpose flour (for kneading and dusting)
  • 280 ml Water lukewarm
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Ghee OR butter OR oil
  • 1 tsp Sugar optional

Instructions

  •  In a large mixing bowl, add water, oil, sugar and salt and mix well.  Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon tillthe mixture comes together. 
  •  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.  With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes until it is smooth and supple. 
  •  Alternatively, make the dough using a kitchen aid with a dough hook attachment for 5 to 8 minutes. 
  • Divide the dough into 12 to 14 pieces and form them into balls between your palms or between the kitchen countertop and your palm.
  • Cover the balls with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.
  • Lightly flour your working surface and work on one dough ball at a time.  Gently press with fingers and roll out as thin as you can with a rolling pin.
  • Gently brush the rolled dough surface with melted butter/Ghee/Oil.  Follow by sprinkling some flour all over it.
  • Once that is done, roll the dough like you would a mat.  After that, coil the mat-like-dough and tuck the end in the middle of the coil.
  • Repeat the process with all the dough balls.  This is the process that will ensure layers in your East African Chapati. 
  • Cover the dough once more and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes:
  • Working with one dough at a time, lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough using a rolling pinin to a circle. 
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and place the rolled out dough. 
  • Cook for about 30 seconds till bubbles appear on the upper side and flip. Brush the upper cooked surface with melted butter/ghee/oil and once you are done, flip to the original side.  
    (At this point, both sides have been partially cooked without oil and the surface on the frying pan is brushed with oil).
  • Now, brush the upper side too with oil and using a flat spatula, press chapati gently against the skillet for15 seconds. 
  • 16. Flip once more and press the other side gently against the skillet too. Remove the chapati from the skillet and store in a container covered with a clean kitchen towel. 

THIS RECIPE WAS FIRST POSTED ON THE 20.07.2018 AND HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH NEW PHOTOS

 

If you love this East African Chapati recipe, leave me a comment with star rating and share your thoughts.  I would love to hear from you. 

 

Also, follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

 

jayne-rain-signature

Tagged , , , ,