Chapati Vs Roti — What’s The Difference

Chapati Vs Roti — What’s The Difference?

Although roti and chapati are similar, they differ in a few significant ways. Are Chapati and Roti the same thing? The basic ingredients for making chapati, a form of roti, are wheat, water, and occasionally salt. While chapati is a thinner unleavened flatbread that can be produced with whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour, known as “maida,” roti can refer to any leavened or unleavened flatbread. Numerous minor details might further aid you in comprehending the contrasts between the two. Discover more by reading on!

What Is Roti?

Roti is essentially any sort of flatbread; while most unleavened variations are included, the name “roti” can also refer to leavened or other types of fried flatbread. To make unleavened roti, begin with a simple dough of flour, water, and optional salt. This combination is processed until it forms a dough. The dough is then typically kneaded with the knuckles until soft and flexible.

Most rotis are made by rolling small pieces of dough and then flattening them using a rolling pin. The flattened dough is then roasted until thoroughly cooked in a pit or brick oven. Technically, all flatbreads in the Indian subcontinent can be named “roti” – it’s simply a flour-based bread eaten with a variety of other foods.

Naan is an excellent illustration of this! Despite the fact that naan is a leavened flatbread, it is still referred to as a “roti.” However, if you are not explicit about what you want, you may have difficulties, especially at a traditional restaurant! For example, asking for a roti could signify any of the following (more explanation below):

Naan \sKulcha \sPuri \sParatha \sRoghini Roti Taftan Sheermal Naan Til Naan

Examples Of Roti

Wondering what distinguishes these rotis from one another? Here is a brief explanation of each variety of roti!


Naan is a form of roti that is frequently consumed and is a general term for yogurt and/or yeast-leavened flatbread. Naan is often cooked in a vertical or cylindrical oven, but it can also be baked in a simple, wood-fired brick oven. This bread is popular throughout Asia, notably in Indian cuisine, and goes well with a variety of gravies and other meat and vegetable dishes.


Similar to naan, kulcha is a kind of roti. It is a yeast-leavened flatbread that is thicker and more compact. With butter chicken, daal, korma, and other delectable Indian dishes, this kind of flatbread is a favorite.


You may have heard the term “puri paratha,” but puris are not the same as regular parathas. Puris are manufactured with processed flour, often known as “maida.” This bread is also flattened till very thin. After that, the dough is deep-fried in ghee (clarified butter). Its shape and texture are distinguishing features. As it fries, the puri expands into a spherical form due to steam trapped between the layers of dough. This also gives the roti a really flaky texture!


The term “paratha” refers to a type of shallow-fried flatbread similar to puris, but with a slightly thicker consistency. Like naan, it is rolled out before being placed into a hot pan with oil or ghee. Usually heavy in calories, parathas have a crispy but chewy texture.

Roghini Naan

Roghini naan is similar to kulcha, but it has additional ingredients such as egg, poppy seeds, and other flavors. It’s a thicker roti that’s baked in enormous brick ovens. Roghini naans are typically served with regal foods such as korma and nihari, as well as more common dishes such as tandoori chicken, kadhai, and others.

Til Naan

Til (sesame seed) naan are straightforward naans that are topped with sesame seeds. Popular as a garnish, sesame seeds are often reserved for leavened flatbreads.

Laal Roti

Laal (red) roti is an unleavened flatbread made with unrefined flour. The bran in the flour gives it a reddish tint. This form of roti can be eaten with any Indian dish and is believed to be a healthier alternative when compared to leavened types. Even though it is frequently unleavened, it is not strictly a chapati because it is not as flat as chapati and can be rather thick, similar to naan.


Iranian roti known as taftan is typically made using flour, milk, eggs, yogurt, and salt. This kind of leavened flatbread, which is topped with saffron, poppy seeds, and/or cardamom powder, goes best with royal foods.


Sheermal is a sweeter milky leavened roti from Greater Iran that is often regarded as a dessert-like flatbread that can also be served with a variety of savory foods.

What Is Chapati?

Now that you are fully informed about the various rotis, it is time to explore the more complex variations of unleavened flatbreads. First of all, all rotis can be called chapatis, but not all chapatis are rotis, as we have learned from the categories above! Chapatis frequently aren’t always leavened, which is the fundamental distinction between them and rotis. These flatbreads are often rolled out to a very thin thickness before being baked in brick ovens or a “Tawa,” which is a cast iron chapati pan that is inverted or concave.

Almost all recipes ask for a combination of water, flour, and a small amount of salt to make a basic chapati dough. Although some individuals like to mix a little oil into the dough to create softer chapatis, traditional chapatis are typically made without oil or other additions. Chapatis can be made with a variety of flour types. Unrefined flour is used in traditional recipes, resulting in a chapati that is fiber-rich and goes well with almost any Indian or Pakistani dish.

Characteristics Of Chapati

While rotis might be difficult to describe due to the large number of varieties, chapatis have a few defining qualities that are shared by all subtypes.


Chapatis typically blend with the taste notes of other cuisines because their flavor is so moderate. You won’t receive a nuanced flavor from these flatbreads because they just have three ingredients; nevertheless, some varieties of chapatis with a thin layer of ghee could provide a subtle buttery flavor.


Chapatis are extremely thin and light in texture. These flatbreads are easier to break and chew since they are thinner than typical rotis. Due to the inclusion of dusted flour, chapatis have a very soft and slightly gritty mouthfeel. Chapatis are known to lose moisture and stiffen quickly when chilled. Some individuals enjoy day-old chapatis with gravy or other cuisine. This form of semi-stale bread is called as “basi roti,” and it is a favorite morning meal in India.


Chapatis are a perfect accompaniment to nearly all broth-based, gravy-based, and curry dishes in Indian cooking. However, it’s vital to keep in mind that some chapatis go best with barbecue because of their airy texture and mild flavor (more on this below). To make unusual meals, homemade chapatis can also be shredded or sliced into pieces and steeped in gravies. This idea of shredding and stir-frying chapati is used in the well-known Sri Lankan meal called kottu roti!

Plain Chapati

Plain chapati is a simple variant of roti that is often seen in most homes. Rather than leavened flatbreads that necessitate a high-temperature oven, most Indian and Pakistani households rely on basic chapatis or rotis – which can also be far healthier! This unleavened flatbread is made simply with whole wheat or all-purpose flour, water, and/or salt. Small dough balls are flattened until thin to form this sort of chapati. This is possibly the most significant feature of a chapati.

Chapatis, unlike other forms of flatbread, are consistently flat on all sides. Even the word “chapati” is derived from the Hindi word “chaptta,” which means “flat” or “flattened.” The texture of homemade chapatis is exceptionally soft and supple. They can be used as a wrap as well as to scoop up wet or lumpy meals. Some folks put ghee or oil to the chapatis to keep them pliable for longer. The roti also gets a mild taste boost from the ghee.

Roomali Chapati

Roomali chapati is a variety of roti or chapati that is typically produced using processed flour (maida). The fact that the dough is rolled until it is very thin is another crucial aspect of this kind of roti. The texture and thinness of this kind of chapati are described by the word “roomali,” which also means “handkerchief.” Only concave cast iron pans, commonly referred to as “tawa,” are typically used to make roomali chapatis. These rotis are frequently eaten with BBQ dishes and hardly ever come with runny gravies.

Due to its extremely light texture, recipes for Chicken Tikka or Beef Boti are nearly always served with this kind of chapati. This chapati can also be used to make different gyros or rolls with meat inside. The roomali chapati is a low-calorie roti that is more nutritious than the majority of leavened flatbreads, although not being the healthiest option.

Afghani Chapati

Afghani chapati is a distinct unleavened flatbread with a wider circumference than standard rotis. This chapati is baked in brick ovens that are nearly entirely powered by wood. Afghani chapatis are created using a combination of processed flour, water, and salt. These are not the healthiest rotis due to their high carbohydrate content, but they are by far the most filling flatbread due to their size.

Homemade Unleavened Roti Recipe

Making homemade chapati or unleavened roti is extremely simple – all it needed is the appropriate proportion of water, wheat, and salt. Here is how you can create unleavened roti at home!


2 c. Atta (You may use any sort of flour you have on hand.) For increased nourishment, we recommend using unprocessed flour.)
3/4 cup pure water
1 teaspoon salt


1. Make a small well in the center of 2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.

2. Collapse the flour around the well after adding 1/4 cup of plain water to it. Up until all of the water has been absorbed, keep adding flour and blending.

3. Continue step 2 while gradually adding a further 1/4 cup of water until a dough forms.

4. Start using both of your hands to knead the dough. We advise compressing and kneading the dough by rolling your knuckles over it; this will help you do so quickly and without exerting yourself too much.

5. Allow the dough to chill for around 30 minutes (or leave it out at room temperature with a towel on top).

6. Cut the dough into manageable portions. Roll up each piece of dough until you have rounded 3–4-inch dough balls.

7. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough balls to the desired thickness. The roti need only be uniform and no thinner than a coin; it need not be paper thin.

* You might need to practice this. The best way to flatten the dough is to roll the pin around the dough on all sides while applying a light but firm downward pressure.

8. Using both of your hands, gently lift the dough that has been pressed flat. The roti might tear if you pick it up from just one side.

9. Place the roti gently away from you in a hot pan so that it lies equally flat.

*Check to see if the pan is hot enough! It needn’t be steaming, but it should be hot enough to quickly evaporate a drop of water. Another excellent choice is to use a non-stick pan.

10. Continue cooking the roti until all of the raw dough is gone. Cook the other side of the roti after flipping it. Optionally, after flipping, gently spin the roti while pressing down to ensure even cooking.

Related Questions

Chapati and rotis are popular flatbreads that are eaten in a variety of ways. Now that you understand the distinction between the two, consider the following questions.

Can homemade chapatis be leavened with yogurt?

No, chapatis aren’t typically leavened; adding a leavening chemical to the dough would turn them into something else. Naan is a term used to describe rotis that contain yogurt, yeast, or other leavening agents.

Can chapatis be gluten-free?

Most rotis and chapatis are prepared using wheat flour, so they are not gluten-free. However, you can prepare gluten-free chapatis at home with flour replacements such as gram flour, which results in a wonderful sort of unleavened roti known as “baisani roti.”

Do all chapatis require wood fire?

No, you can make handmade chapatis on a standard stove. Large brick ovens that can hold multiple batches of chapatis and other flatbreads frequently employ a wood fire. The kind of wood you use can also enhance the roti’s flavor and scent!

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