How to make the perfect East African Chapati

How does one make the perfect chapati, the Kenya style? In this post, we will give you 3 recipes for making the circular and soft flat bread commonly known as chapati in the region.  These will be covered in a 3 series posts to give you the various ingredients and procedures for making;

  • Plain white chapatis
  • Flaky or layered chapati
  • Brown chapati

Chapati is one of the key dishes in Kenya. It’s a common meal in all urban and rural homes. In addition, you will find it common in all common menus for big and small food businesses including the roadside kiosks. There is no traditional occasion or religious ceremony such as Christmas or a wedding, that is complete in Kenya without the chapati.

How to make white East African Chapati in Kenya

Recipe by Agcenture Foods


Prep time


Cooking time





The white chapati is made with refined wheat flour. Its a common accompaniment during dinner, lunch or served with a hot beverage on breakfast.


  • 4 1/3 cups (576 g) wheat flour, refined, fortified

  • 1 ½ cups (318 g) water

  • 1 tsp. (5 g) white sugar

  • ½ tsp. (2 g) salt, iodized

  • ¾ cup (168 g) cooking oil


  • Measure flour, salt, sugar, cooking oil and water into separate bowls.
  • Mix the dry ingredients; flour, sugar and salt.
  • Mix the dry ingredients; flour, sugar and salt.
  • Warm all the water and add into the dry ingredients mixture.
  • Knead the mixture to soft dough for 6 minutes.
  • Set the dough aside and cover for 16 minutes before use.
  • Place the cast iron pan over the fire and heat
  • Dust the working surface lightly with flour and start rolling the dough to desired thickness.
  • Apply ¼ cup oil on top, cut into strips and roll strips into balls of desired size.
  • Cover with cling film or a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rest.
  • Cooking oil is added into the mixture either in water, in dry ingredients or when kneading. You can also use oil to cover the dough to prevent it from drying/ crusting. Oil can also be applied on top.
  • Start rolling each ball on a lightly floured work surface into a disc shape.
  • Cook each chapati on the pan one at a time until lightly browned on both sides.
  • Lightly oil each side and turn before removing it from the heat. Repeat for all the chapati’s.
  • Stack up the cooked chapati as you remove them from the pan. Keep covered.


  • Nutrition data per 100g of recipe: Energy 1,774 kJ/ 424 kcal │| Fat 21.1 g │| Carbohydrates 49.6 g |│ Protein 7.8 g |│ Fibre 2.5 g │Vitamin A 59 mcg │| Iron 3.9 mg |│ Zinc 0.61 mg

Related; The Secret recipe to make tasty Brown Chapati

Chapati making attracts many funny memes if one cannot make a well round one and soft. Others make fun by attaching a lady’s suitability to marry by how well she can make good chapati. So, how does one make the perfect chapati, the Kenyan style?

What to know about the Kenya chapati?

The East African chapati is an unleavened-pan-grilled bread. It’s not only popular in Kenya but all other East African countries of Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Burundi. The chapati traces its origin from India.

How is the Kenya chapati different from the India Chapati? Though originating from India, Chapati cooking Kenya has developed unique or distinct cooking methods.

The Kenyan Chapati uses cooking oil in its preparation unlike the Indian Roti or Shabaati.

Most chapati recipes in East Africa a produce a multi layered flat bread that closely resembles the Indian Parantha.

 What types of East African chapati are there in Kenya?

Commonly known as “chapos” in the local slang, there are various types of chapati you can make in Kenya. You can have the plain or layered chapati if you make it with layers.

  • Plain chapati- are made without any layers. They are easier and faster to prepare at home.
  • Flaky/Layered chapati- Are made with layers. They are people’s favorite in hotels and occasions.  They are harder to prepare at home.

The second type of chapati you can have are the white and brown chapati depending on the types of flour you use to make the dough.

  • White chapati -To make them, use an all-purpose white refined wheat flour.
  • Brown Chapati Are made from unrefined or atta wheat flour. Its considered more nutritional and healthier than the white chapati. It has lower calories and more proteins. It also has more fibre and micronutrients.
  • Other chapati types– Include pumpkin chapati, sorghum chapati, cassava chapati etc. You will make these by mixing wheat flour with flours or paste from your preferred flavor.

In this post, we will give you three recipes for making the perfect chapati in Kenya. The plain White chapati, the white flaky chapati and a brown chapati recipe

How to make the best white chapati

The following is a list of the kitchen equipment needed in making chapati.

  • Deep bowl to mix ingredients
  • Rolling pin
  • Wooden board
  • Pastry brush
  • Spatula
  • Heavy frying pan, tawa, crepe or griddle.
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