Chapati – a favorite bread for every meal

Kenyans love their chapatis.  We eat them for breakfast with a good strong chai; use them to scoop up soup when we make a tasty stew; and wrap nyama choma (grilled meat) and kachumbari up in them in our own version of a makeshift fajita.

Street Vendor makes Chapati (Photo:
Street Vendor makes Chapati (Photo:

No matter where we go, we seek out our chapatis.  Fortunately for us, there are many places to find our favorite bread.  Indian restaurants are usually our default treasure spots.

There are some resourceful folks, however, who decide that they can’t count on others to provide their favorite bread, and learn to make it themselves.

For those of you who are ready to make your own, we provide a video, and recipe for you to follow.  Eat and enjoy.


2 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix dry ingredients well. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the flour mixture and mix in with your hands until flour feels a little bit like sand. Add enough water to form an elastic dough.

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll out 1 ball into a circle and spread 1/2 teaspoon oil over it. Roll the circle up, like a jelly roll, then roll it up again. It should resemble a snail shell.

Do the same for the other three balls.

Let the dough sit 20 minutes to 8 hours, depending on when you make them.

Roll out into circles 10 to 12 inches in diameter.

Melt a bit of shortening in a frying pan (I prefer a cast iron pan) and wait until it is hot to cook the chapati.

Cook rapidly and watch them bubble up.

Makes 4 chapatis.

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