Monica Haldar bread recipe

One Dough, Three Indian Breads - Tips from an Expert

Learn to cook chapatis, parathas and laccha parathas: in the step-by-step recipe below with expert on Indian cooking, Monica Haldar

The chef, presenter and food writer founded the acclaimed Indian pop-up restaurant and cookery school The Spice Club, as well as the online cookery school Shikshak.

She is the host of Fine Dining Lovers' Secrets of Indian Cooking series, and an authority on authentic Indian food (with a little help from her mother).

26 February, 2021
Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

serves for

3

ingredients

Chapati flour
1 cup (120g)
Water
Just less than 1/2cup (95-110ml)
Oil
Ghee

Learn how to cook three Indian breads with one dough with Monica Haldar's recipe steps. 

See Monica's Indian Pantry 101: a list of ingredients you'll need to master Indian cooking.

You can also watch Monica making bread in the video tutorial below:

Step 01

chapati flour and water for indian dough

To make the dough:

To make the dough, place the flour in a bowl or wide tray. Add the water a little at a time, mixing in between. Combine to create a soft dough that is tacky but not overly sticky. If it becomes too wet you can add a little more dry chapati flour.

Step 02

add oil to dough for indian bread

Once it has combined together into a dough, very lightly grease your hand with a little oil and begin to knead the dough. Continue to knead for a few minutes until your bowl/tray is nice and clean and you have a soft dough. It’s important that your dough is not too tough (it should be soft). Cover with cling film or a damp towel and leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes.

Step 03

knead the dough for indian bread

Lightly grease your hand once again and knead the dough for 1-2 minutes, or until you have smooth pliable dough that is soft and springs back when you press it. Then, divide the dough and roll into three smooth dough balls.

Step 04

make chapatis

To Make Chapatis

Warm up a non-stick chapati/crepe/frying pan on a medium heat. Take one dough ball and press it in dry flour on both sides.

Using a rolling pin, roll into a 5-7 inch circle. Turn the chapati as you roll it to ensure it is even all the way around. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin or rolling surface, lightly dust the chapati with flour. The chapati should be nice and thin (10p piece thickness) and even all the way around.

Step 05

chapatis on hot pan

Web your fingers and 'clap' the chapati between your hands to get rid of any excess flour. Place the chapati on the hot pan.

Step 06

press the chapati lightly using a small towel

You will notice the chapati will start to change colour. Flip it over and increase the temperature to maximum heat. Cook the other side and do not flip until it is fully cooked (there should be no doughy areas and the chapati should have golden spots all over).

Once fully cooked, flip the chapati. Now, very lightly, press the chapati using a small towel scrunched into a ball. The chapati should begin to puff. Check the other side and ensure it is fully cooked (no doughy patches etc). Remove from heat.

Step 07

ghee on the bread

Finish with a little bit of ghee. This is optional, but butter adds flavour.
Keep in an insulated box or wrap in foil and then in a tea towel to keep warm before serving.

Step 08

To make Parathas

To Make Parathas

Dip a dough ball into the bowl of flour and with a rolling pin, begin to roll out until it is the size of a tea saucer, forming a small chapati.

Spread butter evenly all over the chapati. Now fold into a semi-circle and fold again to make a triangle.

Step 09

cook Parathas

Dip this into the dry flour and roll out gently, evenly. It should be thicker than a chapati and thinner than a naan. Increase the heat of the frying pan to the maximum setting.

Carefully pick up the paratha and flip from hand to hand to get rid of any excess flour.

Place it on the frying pan. When it changes colour, turn it over. Let it cook for 10-12 seconds and flip it over again - it will be semi-cooked.

Now, brush over a little oil. Flip the paratha and brush the other side with oil.

Let it cook for about 10-20 seconds. Now repeat for the other side until your paratha is golden all over and crispy.

Finish by smearing on a teaspoon of ghee or butter. Make the rest of the parathas using the same process.

Step 10

To make Laccha Parathas

To Make Laccha Parathas

Press one dough ball in the flour and then turn it over and press the other side. Shake off any excess flour. Using a rolling pin, begin to roll it out so the dough ball forms a disc approx 7-8 inches wide.

Now, generously spread ghee or oil over the surface and sprinkle on some dry plain flour. 

Step 11

long narrow strip for Laccha Parathas

Start making small pleat-like folds, about ½ inch wide, starting from one side of the circle and working toward the other side.

The more pleats you make, the more layers the paratha will have. You will end up with a long narrow strip.

Step 12

roll the strips

Stretch it out slightly. Now roll up the strip so it resembles a Danish swirl. 

Step 13

cook Laccha Parathas

Tuck in the end. Press flat and press both sides into the dry flour. Shake off the excess.

Now begin to roll out until 7-8 inches wide. Dust off any excess flour by clapping the paratha between your hands.

Place the paratha on the hot pan. When it changes colour and small bubbles begin to appear, turn it over and cook the other side. Lightly brush the surface with oil and turn it over.

Repeat on other side and cook until your paratha is golden and crispy. Remove from heat.   

You can finish by brushing with butter or leave it as it is.