Friday, October 15, 2010

Making Chapati Ugandan Style

Ask any Ugandan what their favourite thing to eat is and you’ll usually hear the word Chapati at some point on their list! Chapatis are a delicious African flatbread that is prepared most weeks in many Ugandan homes. Cheap and relatively easy to make, the ingredients and process appear simple, but getting them to come out perfectly takes some practice.


1 large packet of Flour

½ Litre Oil (approximately)

2 finely grated carrots

2 finely grated red onions

2 cups of hot water

1 or 2 pinches of salt

Optional: One stalk of finely chopped spring onion

This recipe will make 34 Chapatis


In a large bowl, add flour together with carrots, red onions and 3 tablespoons of oil. Adding a little bit of water at a time, mix the ingredients together to form dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until it does not stick to your hands. The secret to really soft Chapatis lies in the kneading. The dough must be smooth and just the right softeness - medium.

Divide the dough into equal portions, roughly the size of a golf ball. Roll between your palms, applying a gentle pressure, till the balls are smooth and without cracks. Once completed, lightly brush each piece of dough with oil and then sprinkle a pinch of flour on top.

Sprinkle flour over the bench where you will be rolling the chapattis out. Use your rolling pin to push the dough into round flat circles about 5 inches wide. Flip the dough as you roll and make sure you add flour if it is sticking to the bench or the rolling pin.

Heat a pan on a medium flame and put one tablespoon of oil in the pan. Put the rolled out Chapati on it to cook. Use your hands to stretch the chapatti to the width of the pan so that the chapatti is as thin as possible. Take either a spatula or an empty flour bag and fold it down from the top to the bottom making a shape like the one in the picture. Slowly press down on the chapati as you turn it.

The Chapati is ready for its first flip when you begin to see raised bumps on its surface. Use a spatula to turn it on to its other side. Remove from the pan when both sides appear golden in colour.

Serving Suggestion: Chapati is best eaten warm and can be used to accompany any lunch or dinner menu. Alternatively, add an omelette with your chapatti, roll up and eat.