Mamta's Kitchen - A Family Cookbook

Keeping Chapatties soft?

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On 24/06/2007 06:06am, Mamta wrote:

Received 22-Jun

Hi Mamta,

I recently was surfing the web and came across your website. It is wonderful and has a huge collection of recipes. I congratulate you for that.

I had a question...

I cook at night and take lunch in the morning. However, where I live

(Chicago, US), it is very cold, and the rotis become hard. Please advice

what should be done so that rotis remain soft even on the next day.

(Posted by Mamta)

On 24/06/2007 06:06am, Mamta wrote:

Note: Sorry, that last post was from Deergha, it came under my name by mistake. I am posting this thread here from my mail box, just in case anyone here has a better answer for Deergha.


Hello Deergha

When you make roties for the next day, stack them, fold them and immediately wrap them in Aluminium foil, before they cool down. Do you not have a microwave at your place of work? You can heat them for 30-40 seconds, before you eat. You can't be eating cold food from previous night surely?

Alternatively, make parathas with a little oil in the dough, they will stay softer for longer.


On 24/06/2007 06:06am, Deergha wrote:

24/06/07 01:47 (5 hours ago)

Hi Mamta,

Thanks for your reply.

I have tried using aluminium foil before but it still becomes hard the next day.

I have a microwave at my work place, but after keeping it for 30-40 secs and removing the them, makes the rotis harder than before.

Parathas remain soft, but not rotis.

I am looking for ways to keep rotis soft since a long time but in vain. Please let me know what should I do?



On 24/06/2007 07:06am, Mamta wrote:

24-Jun-2007 06:44 AM

Hello Deergha

Microwaved heated chapatties can become hard, if not eaten immediately. Bear in mind that cold chapatties will not be soft. That is the reason why Indians always take parathas or poories in their packed meals. Or, they take rice, which is much easier to heat in a microwave, just by sprinkling a little water before microwaving it for 2-3 minutes. It comes out soft and fluffy.

Take a look here; Chapatti. If you scroll down the page, it tells you how to make chapatties soft. If you put a bit of 'mone', a little oil in the dough, that also helps, but this will of course increases the fat content.


I will post your query on the forum, someone else might have another answer for you, many excellent cooks visit the forum. Keep an eye out there.


On 24/06/2007 12:06pm, AskCy wrote:

I take pitta breads (that I've made) straight from the freezer to my lunchbox in the morning , this allows them to defrost by lunch time....

I'd guess keeping chapaties or roti in a sealed plastic sandwich bag would keep it moist.


On 25/06/2007 04:06am, syedz wrote:

I cannot offer an expert opinion but I believe that the quality of flour makes a great deal of difference.

Mai'daa was never used for chapatties. It was reserved for pooris or parathasas or for items collectively known as pakvaan. The flour used for chapatties was either brown or light brown and perhaps the quality of the grain also contributes to the quality of the finished product. An alternative to chapatty, which is more likely to remain soft, is the phulka - a shorter diameter, more thickness and it rises on the girdle in making. Chappaty making is an art. In order to have soft chapatties there should be a far higher content of water in the dough. That is where the art comes in.


On 04/07/2007 11:07am, khichri wrote:

Hi! I know what you mean about keeping "chaps" soft!

I find that at the rolling stage, if they are just ever so slightly thicker, they tend to stay softer (my mum's an expert - mine tend to be a little on the thin side)

Also, when making the atta try to use hot water (never use cold, and not straight boiled either) that helps the consistancy of the flour and need it really well to help roll the chapatis better.

Hope these hints and tips are of help.



On 05/07/2007 05:07pm, Krishma wrote:

Hi Mamta - I think the amount of oil also makes a difference - doesn't it? I use hot water too and little oil. Also I leave the dough to then rest for 10 minutes before kneeding again.

On 05/07/2007 05:07pm, Mamta wrote:

Hi Krishma

I don't think I have ever used hot water to make dough. I have occasionally used lukewarm water, if the day is exceptionally cold. I never add oil to chapatti dough. I do, sometimes, to paratha dough, but never chapatti dough. I don't think anyone from my part of India does, I have never seen anyone do it. Mostly people from Gujarat add oil to the dough. My chapattis are always soft, because the dough is soft, they always balloon up and I stack them on top of each other, so their steam keeps them soft.

I am sure adding oil will soften them, but it will also increase their fat content.

Good luck with whichever method gets you to your goal :-)!


On 05/07/2007 09:07pm, monalisa wrote:

Hi all, I keep on travelling to US every year for 4-5 months for vacation and to join my husband who stays here on project. During my stay I used to buy different varities of atta and always found this problem - no matter what atta I use.

Once I tried putting 2 tsp of silken Tofu while preparing the atta and also used warm water and one tsp of oil. It did help to make the chapatis soft.

One thing to keep in mind, whenever u pack chapati never use paper tissue to wrap, as it absorbs all the moisture.

On 06/07/2007 05:07pm, Channa wrote:

Is it possible you're cooking the chapatis a little too long? They may seem soft enough when you first make them, but then get harder as they cool.

Are you keeping them in the fridge? Breads stale very quickly in the fridge. If you have to chill them, use the freezer. But there's no reason you can't leave them on the counter overnight (covered).

I have a high-wattage microwave, and 5-10 seconds is all it takes to reheat one or two chapatis. Check every 5 seconds until you get the timing right, and flip them each time you check. After that, you'll know how long it takes.

Good luck!

On 17/08/2007 09:08am, Susan (clayms) wrote:

Hi Deergha

I make chappatis that poof and are lovely at first. I freeze the rest and they are rather hard even after they are thawed. Perhaps they are overcooked. Regardless, to soften them and warm them, you can wet them with water, yes, I mean run them quick under a faucet, then wrap in a paper towel and microwave them about 10 seconds, more or less. Works for me. A trick I learned with corn tortillas.

I live north of you in Milwaukee, and perhaps it the location that dries our chappatis.

On 17/08/2007 06:08pm, AskCy wrote:

oy yes indeed if the temperature is 30 deg's all day and night things are going to dry up a lot quicker than if like here (the UK) its raining cold and damp most of the year (in summer the rain is just warmer).


On 21/08/2007 06:08pm, Chut ka Pakoda wrote:

Few tricks.

  1. Use warm milk to make dough

  1. Use ghee or butter or oil to make dough.

  1. Use buttermilk or chancha to make dough.

This will give you a chapatis as soft as soft wooly. I have been using milk or malai for long, my chapatis stay soft even after 60 days deep freezed :) I cook over 500 chapatis in one day and store then for next 3 months or so. Got a special dough maker and chapati roller :)

On 21/08/2007 07:08pm, AskCy wrote:

500 in one day !!! I look like a snowman after 20, never mind into the hundreds...!

thanks for the ideas


On 22/08/2007 05:08am, Mamta wrote:

Hello C... ka Pakoda

This is interesting. I am sure adding these things to the dough helps, but for me, it will hadd to the fat content, so not practical. I know a few Gujrati friends who add oil and salt to their dough.

I have not known anyone from North India who adds milk/butter/butter milk (chaach) to their everyday chapatti dough. Chapatties remain soft, simply because they are stacked on top of each other as they are made. A Punjabi lady who makes bulk chapatties for me now and then, which I freeze in packs of 10, doesn't either. I know my GM and Mum used to add ghee and milk to Paratha/poori dough, for making them for travel, because they had to last for a couple of days in a hot train.

Are yoy storing your chapatties in the fridge or freezer?


Can I please ask how you acquired your name?


On 22/08/2007 05:08pm, tippu wrote:

my grandmother gave me this idea of steaming the rotis this way you bring back the moisture lost in the fridge or while exposed to air.

though cumbersome, this is a sure way to get back soft eatable chapatis.

On 21/06/2012 06:06am, Varsha wrote:

Once you heat the roti in the microwave, do not directly expose it to the heat.

Enclose it in microwave box and then heat it. It will be soft.

Try out!

On 03/09/2012 10:09pm, Richa wrote:

Hi Mamta,

I wnt to add little bit here. If the dough is made with milk 1 or 2 percent, the chapatis will be soft. If you put little butter on that and store it, while microwaving the very next day, it will be as soft as fresh roti.


On 04/09/2012 06:09am, Mamta wrote:

Yes, milk and butter do help, but I don't like any butter or ghee on my chapatties, unless I am eating them very crisp, straight off the fire. I know milk works, it is generally used in dough with parathas & poories that are made for long journeys, precisely for this reason.

On 04/09/2012 09:09am, Guria wrote:

i like your tikka reciepy to much

On 04/09/2012 09:09am, Mamta wrote:

Thanks. Which Tikka?

On 23/10/2012 11:10am, Payal wrote:

Keeping rotis soft after reheating is hard to achieve but not impossible.I love fresh rotis but you can't always have them when you're at work.The dough should be kneaded with some oil.Also as soon as you make the rotis, just when some steam is released, wrap them quickly in glad wrap or cling film to trap most of the steam.Putting some ghee on rotis also helps but not necessary.And when you need to reheat them, do not remove the rotis from the cling film.Heat them in 1100w microwave, for about 30-40 seconds for 3 folded rotis for eg.Then let it cool down still wrapped in the cling film till its cool enough to handle.Now when you open the cling film, the rotis will be much softer and won't get hard even after they are allowed to stand for a few minutes or so.Hope this helps.

On 30/10/2012 02:10pm, Lavanya wrote:

Hi mamta, can u pls tell me whether I should use milk and water together to make the dough or, only milk with butter. This quite interesting , I have been trying to understand this secret as I get chappathis from a Gujarati lady , which very soft for a week. Pls help.

On 12/11/2012 07:11am, Mamta wrote:

Gujarati friends that I have, add some oil to their dough, which helps to keep roties soft.

I make mine without oil in the dough, do not butter them and make my dough quite soft. I stack them as I make them, not spread them out. Then I place enough for us for a meal, say 5-6, in a plastic, zip-lock type of sandwich bag, leaving the end open (ajar) until all steam has escaped and roties are cool. I then seal the bags and put them in fridge or freezer, depending on when I need them. I don't make many for the freezer/fridge these days though, only when I have many left over or I am anticipating lack of time.

I defrost them and heat them on a tava/frying pan. They come out almost as good as fresh.

On 28/05/2013 11:05am, Sherry wrote:

Hi friends,

I stay in Germany and pack paratha s for lunch for my husband. But they tend to become dry by the lunch time and which in turns comes back home :( my husband also does not like microwave cooking so he even does not warms up the food in office.

Pls suggest some techniques to keep the paratha soft n moist for the lunch box.

Hope to get some responses.


On 29/05/2013 08:05am, Mamta wrote:

Hello Sherry

Have you thought of adding a little mashed potato to the dough? That will keep them soft. You can even use re-constituted dry mash potato powder, to save time. Alternatively, you can make Alu Paratha or other stuffed paratha, using leftover vegetable, mashed, from previous night. They will all keep soft. Cool them completely and the n wrap them in a foil, they will be fine.

Microwave oven is fine for heating, if he uses it properly. Too long, and his paratha will become leathery. He just has to heat it for 30 seconds or so on full. Cold parathas can't be very tasty!

He is lucky to have a wife who makes him parathas for packed lunch every day :-)!

On 03/04/2014 01:04am, rashi wrote:

I freeze the cooked chapati but when I took out for thawing in microwave it gets crispy.What should I do for soft chapati ?

On 03/04/2014 07:04am, Mamta wrote:

Microwave is absolutely the wrong thing to re-heat and kind of bread. Try it with re-heating freshly made chapatties, they will also get leather like. They should be re-heated on a tava/pan or quickly under a hot grill.

On 21/08/2014 05:08pm, Trish wrote:

I have some frozen roti skin/dough how do I used them to make roti

On 22/08/2014 02:08pm, Mamta wrote:

Defrost it completely, give it a quick knead to soften it and make chapatties in the normal way. It should be okay, as long as it is not too old.

On 09/07/2015 03:07pm, neha verma wrote:

Hello, to keep rotis soft knead the dough using milk and water and store them in a cassarole. This way your rotis or parathas will remain soft.

On 09/07/2015 06:07pm, Mamta wrote:

Milk is not used for making everyday roties/chapatties, only parathas and poories.

On 02/09/2015 11:09am, Poorna wrote:

What I do that works for me is -

Put the stack of chapathis/Rotis on a flat microwavable plate. Take little water in a small microwavable cup and keep the cup on top of chapathis. Now microwave the whole setup for 1 minute 30 seconds.

Rotis will come out hot and soft like fresh ones.

On 02/09/2015 11:09am, Mamta wrote:

Interesting! Do you cover the chapatties Poorna?

On 03/09/2015 09:09am, Poorna wrote:

I have not tried covering with a lid. You can try covering with a lid and see the results and let me know what you think.

On 03/09/2015 10:09am, Mamta wrote:

Thanks Poorna. I don't very often heat chapatties in a microwave, preferring to freshen them on a tava, but I will certainly keep it in mind next time I have any leftover chapatties to heat :)

On 27/06/2016 11:06am, Jannat wrote:

i want to preserve roti/chappati with milk mixture ,how long can i preserve them in the freezer or refrigerator? i will use it for business thats why i need to make bulk. thank you

On 05/07/2016 09:07am, Mamta wrote:

Sorry for the late reply, have been busy!

I know that my mum and GM used to add milk to dough when making poories/parathas for a journey, so that they will last longer. But I am not sure I can tell you how long they will last and prove it scientifically if this is correct.

I think that you will need to check what is allowed legally, if you are going to sell them. Check with the Environmental Health department at your local council. They will be able to advice you whether this mix is suitable/permissible.

Also, if you are selling food, your kitchen will need to be inspected and passed by the local council. You can get into trouble, if you don't do this.

On 18/07/2016 07:07am, Komal wrote:

Sprinkle little water on both sides of cooked chapathi and preheat in microwave for 30 seconds

On 14/03/2017 03:03am, male cook wrote:

initially i used to belive that water makes roti soft , but as i read more and do more experiment i realized mixture of water and oil ( emulsion ) makes roti soft , that is because where as water makes roti soft , oil trap that water inside roti because roti has to go through heat and cool cycle so that will evaporate water inside it , same happens when you microwave roti without sealing inside a air tight container , it makes roti as hard as rock , so moral of the story ? use wise mixture of water and oil to make roti , also cover the roti in oil coating by putting more oil when you store it ( inside or outside refridgerator ) , to that end whenever roti need to be heat in microwave do so in airtight container and put some water drops inside container to produce steam, also using milk to make roti will be the best instead of oil this is because milk is natural emulsion , obviously quality of dough makes difference too , however key players are same

On 15/03/2017 07:03pm, Mamta wrote:

Interesting theory! I never add oil or Milk to my chapatti dough and my chapatties are always soft. I have never seen any north Indian, the main chapatti eaters of India, adding oil to chapatti dough. To paratha and pooro dough yes, but to chapatti dough, no.

I know that in some regions of India they do add oil, but it is not the norm.

The trick is to make the dough soft, cook on a hot (not over hot) gridle, put them in a stack and keep them in an airtight container or wrapped in aluminium foil.

Hope this helps😀

On 19/03/2018 06:03am, geetika wrote:

I know that earlier my grand mother added milk to make the dough of chapaties and parathas.

I dont understand though how they last longer?

They remail soft ofcourse

Any ideas?

On 20/03/2018 06:03am, Mamta wrote:

Milk in dough will keep them soft, perhaps because of the fat content of it, just like adding oil/ghee. I am not sure how it will keep it fresher longer, although I remember my grandmother doing the same for poories and parathas made for travelling.

On 29/03/2018 07:03pm, Chuffa wrote:

Even when the roti are hard, I lightly soak them in water, then microwave them for 15 seconds or warm through in the oven for two minutes. Works every time.

On 30/03/2018 05:03am, Mamta wrote:

...or you can lightly pan fry them on both sides, they make pretty reasonable parathas.

On 03/04/2019 02:04pm, Neha wrote:

This is a trick I learned as a student reheating pizza the next day (I’ve grown past that!) but the trick to microwaving and not removing all the moisture is to take a paper towel and saturate it with water and place it in the corner of the microwave. This effectively steams the chapatti/ bread and you get warm, soft rotis without any sogginess from direct wetting.

On 14/04/2019 01:04pm, Mamta wrote:

Although I never heat Chapatties or bread of any kind in a microwave oven, I must try this trick of yours. Thanks for sharing 🙂

On 16/05/2020 09:05am, Manju Narula wrote:

To keep rotis soft the next day...put rotis in a zip lock bag n seal.Mirowave it for 20 to 25 secs.

Voila!! You have hot n soft rotis ready.

Remove one roti at a time as needed.Rest let them be in the bag as it keeps warm.

Do try out n let me know..I found this solution after struggling for a long time with this problem.

On 18/05/2020 07:05am, Mamta wrote:

Sounds like a great ideas, but I have now stopped buying plastic bags, using up the last ones I have, so not a solution for me. But thank you for sharing. Plastic bags/cling film do make life easy for many, many things, but it is killing our wildlife and planet at great speed, so trying to stop it's use as much as possible.


On 10/07/2020 11:07pm, Neha wrote:

Adding oil to roti dough is an old technique to make chapattis soft until the next day (according to my mother in law in India).

My family is Kenyan-Indian and nearly every Kenyan family I know adds oil as we typically don?t eat thin phulkas and will eat cold chapatti with chai the next day!

On 02/08/2020 07:08am, Sonal shah wrote:

C... ka pagoda

Can you share details of your roti rolling appliance/ roti roller please?I have severe spine issues so this could be of great help for ?

On 02/08/2020 07:08am, Sonal shah wrote:

C... ka pagoda

Can you share details of your roti rolling appliance/ roti roller please?I have severe spine issues so this could be of great help for ?

On 03/08/2020 12:08pm, Mamta wrote:

I use an ordinary rolling pin. But you can use a poori or tortilla press. Electric tortilla maker is supposed to be good to, though I have not used it myself.

There is an electric, fully automatic chapatti maker now available, but I haven?t seen one in use myself.

I do feel your pain, I too am getting arthritis in my wrists now!


On 13/11/2020 05:11pm, Ruth Whetsel wrote:

Hello...I didn't know where else to put my appreciation for your site, so I'm here where I don't belong. It's just that I find your recipes so very helpfully written and I wanted to thank you. Hoping to try many more of your recipes beyond the one I'm using now (for a besan pancake). Great! Thanks!

On 14/11/2020 12:11pm, Mamta wrote:

Good morning Ruth Whetsel

Thank you for your comment, much appreciated. Not being a professional cook, I have always written the recipe that would make sense to me. I am happy to know that you find them helpful.

Happy Diwali to you ??


PS I can mostly be found on Mamta?s Kitchen linked fb page

On 15/01/2024 09:01pm, Tamilselvi wrote:

Add milk, little butter when making dough

Leave it for 2 hours

Then make chapatis

And role it in a aluminum foil when hot.

It will stay soft until lunch.

I packed this way for my sons

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