01 Feb

How To Cook Kenyan Chapati (Chapos) (Flatbread)

Kenyan Chapati recipe

Chapati… or Chapo…is a common meal here in Kenya. I love chapati/ chapatis. Since I was growing up I always got extremely excited every time my mum used to declare we are eating chapati for the day. Am sure am not the only one who used to get overwhelmed with excitement over chapos :). Until now am sure we all are 😀

Although many people avoid making chapati, it is very easy to make them and all you need is to practice. With patience and the right ingredients, you can learn how to make Kenyan chapati dough and make delicious and soft chapatis within a short period of time.

Chapati can be eaten with a lot of dishes from cabbage to stew.  Kenyan chapati is a common swallow dish that many can’t resist. What you need to know is that kneading chapati dough the wrong way can make you chapati to be hard. Another thing that makes chapati hard is cooking on very high heat. There are different types of Kenyan chapati; direct chapati and layered chapati.

Making chapati require flour, water, sugar, salt and oil. So, let head to the kitchen and learn how to make chapatis.

****  Learn How to Make Kenyan Soft Layered Chapati  *****

How To Cook Kenyan Chapati

•Prep time:  1 hr
Cook time: 30 mins
•Yields:        3 servings


2 1/2 cups of Chapati flour ( Unga wa ngano) or All purpose Flour ( Plus extra                                               for kneading and dusting)

2 Tbsp of Oil

1 tsp of Salt to taste

1 tsp of Sugar to taste

Oil to fry

Rolling stick

1 cup warm Water


1.In a bowl put 2 1/2 cups of flour, add salt and sugar.

2.Add 1 cup of warm water

 chapati flour with water

3.Mix the flour and water to form a thick paste.

chapati flour paste

4.Add more flour to make it more thick but not too hard. (I love kneading my dough on a flat space until I have attained the right elasticity)

chapati dough

5. Apply the 2 tbsp oil to the dough once you have attained the right extensibility and elasticity.

chapati dough

6.Cover the dough for 30 minutes. This makes the chapati dough to rest and spreading it becomes very easy.

covered chapati dough

7.Once the 30 minutes are over, roll your chapati dough into small ball according to the number of chapati you want to make.

chapati dough balls

8.Spread each chapati dough ball with a wooden rolling pin into circular flat bread adding flour where necessary so as to avoid the bread from sticking to the surface.

spread chapati ball

9. Heat oil in a pan and fry each chapati until they are over.

cooking chapati

10. Put your cooked chapati in plastic wrap or container and cover. Serve after 20 minutes with a meal of your choice.

soft chapati

Enjoy 🙂

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82 thoughts on “How To Cook Kenyan Chapati (Chapos) (Flatbread)

  1. Oh, I feel nostalgic just looking at it. I used to buy them when I was living in Nairobi, from a family restaurant near my house and enjoy it. I have tried making it but did not match the original. This looks amazing, smooth and soft. Very tempting!

  2. thanks Nelly!this is the first tym ave made them the right way n with a lot of confidence.i always tried but dey wld b hard n at tyms burnt!today dey were perfect!i proud of my work in the kitchen coz of u!i’ll not buy dem from da streets anymore!

  3. so this guy that I’m trying to impress just asked me to make these for him and he is from Kenya I am very worried that I won’t do it right

  4. wen cooking, u can place then on low heat first and wait untill they start browning and then add the oil.this will ensure they are well cooked inside and not just outside

  5. nice article but not practical for a beginner. cups how big? salt how much? sugar how much? etc No actual quantities defined for one starting out to actually follow.

  6. Thanx for the recipe. My family love chapati since we stayed in Kenya for a couple of years. /Jessica from Sweden

    • Did you follow the given steps? Did you let your dough rest? Did you fry on medium heat? Did you cover your chapatis after frying them?

  7. Hi Nelly,
    I am so thankful that I found your site. The recipes look so inviting not to mention delicious. I am looking forward to making many of your dishes.
    Thanks so much for sharing your cultural dishes.

  8. Hi. My wife and I once drove from SA to Lake Turkana region in Kenya with a TV crew in 4×4’s. There we needed some starch to go with our meal. The locals brought us something that looks like pancakes. I found it to be very nice to my taste, but we never caught the name of it. The other day, two decades after our trip, I worked at a house here in Pretoria, South Africa, where a Kenyan woman worked in the kitchen and I immediately recognised those kind of pancakes she was buzy frying. There I got my opportunity to ask her the name of it an d how to make it. She was amazed that I knew of it and that I have been to her country of birth. I told her my story and how I got to know it. “Chapati” she said and started to explain to me how to make it. Too much info and as she was in the middle of frying them she could not write it down for me and I was working by the hour so I could not waste my klients money by writing down recipies. I only noted the name “Chapati” on my phone. My work there was done, we greeted and thereafter, when I got home, I looked for a recipe on the internet and bookmarked yours. Tonight, probably 3 months later, I got arround to make it. I was nervous but the recipe was so clear that I thought I, as a novice in the kitchen, will try it. Your recipe worked 100% and was excelent for the purpose. I got five 30cm Chapatis as serving. Thanks a lot, I relived those beatifull memories of visiting Lake Turkana, Kenya. Tonight we used the Chapati as Wraps for chickenstrips and salad. Lovely.

  9. Its agood lesson Nelly. How about if am to engage in chapati business and am to mix unique ingridients to make them of the best quality to outcompete the competetors. What should i apply to make them tastefully different? Thanx

  10. I had in Kenya and loved it! Now I’m back to Brazil and made it today using your recipe. Thank you so much!

  11. i’m a chef but i’ve never made chapati in my life. just going through chapati recipes and thought why not give it a try. it doesn’t hurt trying. does it. let’s hope this works

  12. Thanks a lot. My question is. Cups are of different sizes , I wish you gaves quantities in terms of weight.In this Iam avoiding puting too much salt

  13. I tried your recipe and made the chapos! Wah great!! For a 1st timer zilitokea good, soft. But shape! Hehe na niliunguza kidogo. Thanks again for the recipe. 😉

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