This recipe for roti is all you need to make the perfect partner for curries, soups and other flavour-packed dishes.
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Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the water and use your hands to bring the mixture together until a soft dough forms. Turn onto a floured surface and gently knead for 3 mins or until smooth and elastic. Place in a clean bowl and cover with wrap or a damp cloth. Set aside for 30 mins to rest.
Divide dough into 12 even portions. Roll a portion on a lightly floured surface into a 13cm disc. Transfer to a baking tray and loosely cover.
Heat a large heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a roti and cook for 30 secs or until bubbles appear. Turn and cook for 30 secs or until brown spots start to appear underneath.
Slide the pan from the burner and use tongs to place the roti directly on the flame. Cook for 3-4 secs or until roti puffs. Turn and cook for 3-4 secs or until very lightly charred.
Transfer roti to a clean work surface and brush with melted ghee. Cover with a clean tea towel. Repeat rolling and cooking remaining roti dough one at a time. Serve warm.
Cooking over an open flame (gas stovetop) provides an authentic flavour and char to your roti. However, if you are cooking on an electric or induction stovetop, you can simply continue cooking the roti in the frying pan, which will still provide a delicious result, then use a kitchen blowtorch to char the roti.
No Indian meal is complete without roti, a flatbread that’s enjoyed with curries and dhal. And it’s super simple to make – all you need is wholemeal plain flour (‘atta’) and water. So, if you’re looking for an easy Indian-style roti recipe, it doesn’t get any easier than this! There are many theories on where roti, similar to chapati, originated – some say Persia, while others are adamant it has East African roots. Whatever its origins, one thing is certain: it’s a staple food that pairs deliciously well with saucy dishes, especially curries. It’s also as common as rice in south-east Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore, where there are different types of roti – some flavoured with ghee, others with egg encased in the dough.
The other common flatbread that’s enjoyed with Indian dishes is naan. The main difference between roti and naan is that roti is an unleavened bread – it doesn’t need any yeast – made from wholemeal flour. Naan is a leavened bread, requiring yeast, which produces a puffier, chewier result. Both are great with any type of curry or saucy dish.
Ensure the water used to mix the flour is warm so you get a soft dough.
Knead the dough until it’s soft – not too hard or sticky – so it is easier to work with.
Rest the dough for 30 minutes before dividing it into portions. This allows for the gluten in the dough to be released, making it more pliable.
To get perfectly round rotis, flour your work surface so the dough doesn’t stick while you’re rolling it out. You may need to flour the top of the roti as well and use gentle pressure with a rolling pin so it’s not too thin.
Make sure your frying pan is hot enough – a pan that’s not hot enough will result in the roti sticking to the pan, and if the pan is too hot, the dough will burn quickly. If you have a gas stovetop, to give the roti a charred flavour, use tongs to remove the roti from the pan after you’ve cooked both sides, then set the frying pan aside and place the roti over the open flame. The roti will puff up after about 3-4 seconds. Turn and cook the other side of the roti over the open flame so it is lightly charred. If you have an electric or induction stovetop, use a kitchen blowtorch to char the roti. Transfer the roti to a plate or clean work surface and lightly brush with melted ghee to give it flavour and keep it soft. Loosely cover the roti to keep it warm.
Roti is perfect for mopping up the delicious sauce from curries and other flavour-packed dishes. Try our warming midweek rogan josh; or for a tasty dish, cook up this coriander and coconut chicken with turmeric rice. For the ideal combo, make these curried lamb cutlets with homemade garlic roti for dinner tonight.
If you love our easy roti recipe and you’re keen to make more homemade flatbreads, we show you how to make naan, or you can give these quick garlic naan a go. These flatbreads with asparagus and pickled onion are made using wholemeal spelt flour, while these grilled flatbreads are flavoured with garlic-rosemary oil.