Chapati (alternately called Chapatti, Chappati or Chapathi) is an unleavened flatbread (also known as roti) from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Chapati is a common staple in South Asia as well as amongst South Asian expatriates throughout the world. Versions of the dish are also found in Central Asia and the Horn of Africa, with the laobing flatbread serving as a local variation in China. Chapati is known as sapati or doday in the Pashto language. Chapati is noted in Ain-i-Akbari, a 16th-century document, by Mughal Emperor, Akbar’s vizier, Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak. Chapatis are one of the most common forms in which wheat, the staple of northern and western India, is consumed. In most parts of India, there is a distinction made between a ‘chapati’ and its layered version, the ‘paratha’. ‘Parathas’ are either made layered by spreading with ghee or oil folding and rolling out again into a disc, or else have a filling, such as spinach.
All ingredients should be allowed to come to room temperature if they have been in the refrigerator. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Slowly mix in enough water to make a thick dough. Mix in one spoonful oil. Knead dough on a cool surface for a few minutes, adding a few spoonfuls of dry flour.
Return dough to the bowl, cover with a clean cloth, and let it rest for thirty minutes. Lightly grease (with cooking oil) and pre-heat a skillet or griddle. Divide the dough into orange-sized balls. Flatten them into six-inch circles. Fry them in the skillet or griddle, turning once, until each side is golden brown and spotted. Place chapati in warm oven as they are done and serve with butter and any curry, stew or soup dish.