This recipe is one of the few I brought back from Tanzania with me. A Chapati looks similar to a tortilla, but is so much more flavorful and moist.

Hot Chapatis for Lunch - Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania


  • 5 cups all purpose plain flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup Canola/Vegetable oil (heated then cool down) You will not use all of it.
  • 2 cups Extra flour for kneading


  1. In a small bowl, mix salt, 3 tbsp of oil, and 1-1/2 cups of warm water, stirring until salt dissolves.
  2. Measure 5 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. Depress the center of the flour with fist.
  3. Pour salt water into depression. Mix while adding the remaining 1/2 cup water. Dough should be soft.
  4. Knead dough about 12 minutes; adding flour as needed.
  5. Divide dough into 12 equal parts, shaping each into a ball. Arrange on a flat surface and cover with a clean white cloth.
  6. With a rolling pin, roll one part of dough to the same thickness as tortillas.
  7. Brush oil on top.


  1. Roll dough into rope.
  2. Roll rope into ‘pinwheel’ and place under cover with dough ‘balls.’
  3. When all are ‘pinwheels’, use a rolling pin to roll each one into a flat circle like a tortilla. After you have a few rolled flat, you can begin cooking.
  4. Heat wok to medium heat. To test heat, sprinkle a few drops of water on it. If the drops sizzle away, the pan is ready for Chapati. Add a teaspoon of oil.
  5. Place a Chapati in wok. When the bottom is golden brown and the top is translucent, brush a little oil on top of the Chapati and flip it over.
  6. When the bottom is golden brown, flip it one more time. After about 30 seconds transfer Chapati to a plate. Cover to keep hot.
  7. While you are cooking, continue rolling out the other Chapatis.

Serve as a bread or as a wrap. I have served them as communion bread.