Kenyan recipe: Chapati

Kenyan recipe: Chapati

Kenyan recipe: Chapati

You may associate the flatbread chapati with India, but in fact it is a staple in Kenya. There, the flatbread is made by hand and used as both meal accompaniment and utensil for eating, as people scoop up their vegetable and meat dishes with the chapati.

In Burning Embers, set in Kenya, Coral eats chapatis with her breakfast, but chapatis are a wonderfully versatile food that can be eaten with any meal. You can serve them with main meals, use them as wraps with sandwich fillings, or a sprinkle with a little cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat. They are easy to make at home with few (and inexpensive) ingredients, and you have the fun of getting stuck in with your hands, which I always enjoy!


2 cups flour (all white, or half and half white and wheat)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking oil
Warm water 

1. Sift the flour and salt together and mix well.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and mix with your hands.

3. When well-combined, add water, drop by drop, until you have an elastic dough.

4. Knead on a cool surface.

5. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave the dough to rest for between 30 minutes and 8 hours – whatever is convenient for you.

6. Split the dough into four, and roll each out into a circle – I usually take them to the size of a dinner plate.

7. Heat a frying pan containing a little oil.

8. Once the pan is very hot, add a chapati. Fry until bubbled up and golden brown on each side.

9. Keep warm in an oven on a low heat until ready to serve. You can reheat pre-prepared ones by popping them in a frying pan for a minute; they then soften as if just cooked.

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