Indian Whole Wheat Flatbread


As Shweta Galway from Umreth, Gujarat State, India, taught Lindsay Sterling in Freeport, Maine.

Note: Atta flour is available at Indian markets. Click here to find Indian markets in your area. In Maine, I go to Masala Mahal, 798 Main St., South Portland, ME, 207-699-5555. 
Makes: 6 servings
Cooking time: 30-60 minutes depending on experience


  • 3 cups atta flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


1. Mix flour, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and 3/4 cup water with hands and knead for 3-5 minutes until a smooth dough forms, mixing in water slowly to bring the dough together. When dough is smooth and the sides of the bowl are completely clean, then form a ball and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.

2. Heat a dry iron skillet or frying pan on high heat on the stovetop. Pull off a piece of the dough and form into a ball about the diameter of a quarter. Press the ball between the palms of your hands repeatedly so the dough turns into the shape of a smooth, round river stone.

(To get the hand position Shweta did, put the four fingers of one hand in between the thumb and pointer finger of the other hand and the dough in between your palms. Wrap fingers around the backs of the hands. Squeeze hands together tightly. Rotate dough in hands and squeeze again, repeating three or four times to get the smoothest, roundest shape possible. (The more circular the shape is that you start with, the better odds you have of rolling it out into a perfect circle).

3. Roll dough into as perfect a circle shape as you can (it takes practice, but no matter what the shape, it always tastes good!), about 1/8th inch thick.

4. Put roti on hot pan 1 minute on each side until the color gets lighter. Then use tongs to hold it directly over high gas flame (if you have gas, if not, just keep it on the pan). If you're lucky the roti will puff up like a pufferfish. Before it burns, turn to other side. Stack roti on serving platter. Continue making more roti until you've finished all the dough. Cover with a towel to keep warm or keep warm in a rice cooker until serving.