Chapati - Kenya Round Flat Bread
Unleavened Bread Recipe - Quick Bread Recipe

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Chapati [chuh-pah-tee] is an unleavened (no yeast or baking powder) flat bread and a staple food among the Swahili speaking people of East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda). This chewy bread is served at most meals in East Africa. Tear off pieces of a chapati and use it to pick up other foods. Chapati is used as a bread and as an utensil.

This recipe was shared with my by my granddaughter, Tabitha "Tabi" Hartman. She showed me how to make this chapati bread the way they are made in Kenya.

making chapati in Kenya

My granddaughter, Tablitha "Tabi" Hartman (on right), and her traveling companions, Brooklyn Harmon (left) and Chris Keeters Campo (center), helping to make Chapati in Kenya.

Check out Linda's Bread Making Hints: Secrets to using the bread machineAbout yeast in bread making, Sourdough Starter, and
Quick Breads.

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Chapati BreadChapati - Kenya Round Flat Bread

Recipe Type: Quick Bread, Bread
Cuisine: East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda)
Yields: 8 Chapati breads
Prep time: 20 min


1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup corn flour*
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 to 1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt

* Corn flour is flour made out of corn - not corn meal. If desired, you could substitute other types of flour.


In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, corn flour, and salt.

Use a wooden spoon (or your hands) to stir in the vegetable oil until the flour feels a little bit like sand.

Add just enough water, adding a little at a time, to make a soft dough that is elastic but not sticky. Go slow adding the water. Add the water as you go along and only as needed. The dough must be smooth and just the right softness.

Chapati making

Chapati making

Chapati making

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth.

Divide into four (4) parts. Roll each piece into a ball. Divide each of the 4 balls into 2 balls. You should have a total of 8 balls (the size of the balls is dependent on how big and how thick you want your chapati). Let rest for a few minutes.

Chapati bread balls

Chapati bread balls

Flatten each ball, on a lightly-floured surface to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out to approximately 10- to 12-inches in diameter.

Chapati bread balls flattened

Chapati bread balls flattened

Preheat a lightly-greased frying pan or Cast-Iron Skillet over medium heat. One at a time, cook each chapati in the hot pan. Brush one side of the chapati with vegetable oil and the place in the hot skillet. Fry slowly until light golden brown. As the chapati is cooking, twirl it with your hands to prevent sticking.

The chapati is ready to flip when you begin to see raised bumps on its surface. Use a spatula (or use your hands as the people of Kenya do) to flip the chapati over in the pan; let cook until light golden brown. Remove from heat and set on a plate. Repeat with the remain chapati dough circles, adding additional vegetable oil as needed.

frying Chapati bread

frying Chapati bread

Chapati bread cooked

Serve with desired accompaniments.

Makes 8 Chapati Breads.

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