Illustrated Atta Recipe For Indian Flatbread Dough in 7 Easy Steps

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Atta Recipe For Indian Flatbread Dough

Atta Dough for Making Roti or Chapati
Atta Dough for Making Roti or Chapati. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Atta Whole Grain Flour

Atta is a whole grain blend of flour used in the basic dough needed for making various kinds of Indian style flat bread such as:

  • Roti, commonly called Chapati.
  • Paratha, flatbread stuffed with potatoes, cauliflower, daikon radish, or spinach, along with onions and spices.
  • Poori, a deep fried, crispy flatbread.

Atta is a staple used in the preparation of langar, a meal served to the congregation attending a Sikh worship service. Whoever prepares langar is required to follow guidelines, cover the hair with a turban, or scarf, and to keep the tongue and mind focused lovingly on God while busy with the hands.

Atta Recipe

Atta is simple to make. Basically it requires about 1 part water mixed with two parts dry atta (chapti flour). This recipe will make about 1 dozen 4" - 5" flatbread, enough to serve 3 to 6 people:

  • 2 cups dry atta (chapti flour or whole wheat flour).
  • One cup water.
  • (Optional) 1 - 2 Tablesoons oil.

Oil may be desirable when making large quantities of atta to aid in keeping the dough fresh and smooth, or to aid in keeping any prepared flatbread soft which will not be eaten immediately upon cooking.

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Measure Atta Dough Ingredients

Atta Dough Ingredients
Atta Dough Ingredients. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Measure Ingredients Needed for Making Atta Dough

To make dry atta into dough to be used for making Indian style flatbread:

  • Measure 2 cups of flour and place in a mixing bowl.
  • Measure one cup water and pour into a separate bowl.
Keep extra water on hand to be used when kneading the dough.
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Mix the Atta Dough

Partially Mixed Crumbly Atta Dough
Partially Mixed Crumbly Atta Dough. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Mix Atta Dough Ingredients Together

Pour half a cup of water over the dry atta flour and stir loosely with the fingers to make a crumbly dough. Oil may be added at this stage if desired. Keep stirring to evenly distribute the bits of dough through the dry atta.

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Stir Atta and Water To Form a Ball

Gather the Atta Into a Ball
Gather the Atta Into a Ball. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Gather the Atta Dough Into a Ball

Pour the other half cup of water over the atta and stir until it forms a ball of dough. Roll the ball of dough around the sides of the bowl to pick up any loose crumbs.

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Knead the Ball of Atta Dough

Knead the Ball of Atta Dough
Knead the Ball of Atta Dough. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Knead Atta Dough

Make a fist and knead the atta dough. Push, punch, and roll the atta until the dough is well mixed. Continue mixing the ball of atta dough until the sides of the bowl are clean.

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Moisten the Atta Dough

Moisten Atta Dough
Moisten Atta Dough.

Moisten Atta

If the atta is dry, moisten the fingers with water. Scoop up a small amount of water and sprinkle over the dough. If the atta is sticky, moisten the fingers and knead the dough well until smooth. Repeat as necessary.

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The Atta Dough is Ready to Use

Atta is Ready For Use
Atta is Ready For Use. Photo © [S Khalsa]

How to Tell When Atta Dough is Ready For Use

Knead atta to desired dough consistency. Depending on what the atta is to be used for, either a firm or soft texture may be preferable:

  • To make poori, the dough should be firm to the touch. There should not too much moisture so that it puffs and crisps when deep fried. A finger should leave an indentation.
  • To make paratha the dough needs to roll easily. It should be somewhat stretchy, but not too soft, so that it does not tear while stuffing or rolling. The dough should be somewhat springy when intended with a finger.
  • To make roti, or chapatis, the atta should form a soft and stretchy dough. There should be maximum moisture so that the roti puffs from the steam created while cooking. A finger should easily indent the dough and leave a deep impression without becoming sticky.

When the atta is the proper consistency knead the dough until it is smooth. It is ready to be used right away.

For later use:

  • To keep the atta from drying out or forming a crust, dampen the top of the dough, or cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside for up to 2 hours.
  • The atta may be stored in the refrigerator for a day or so if the dough is inside of a tightly covered container.

Knead the dough slightly to distribute the moisture evenly before using.

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Roti (Indian Flatbread)

Stack of Fresh Hot Roti
Stack of Fresh Hot Roti. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Roti

Roti is an unleavened Indian flatbread made from atta dough. Roti, sometimes referred to as Chapati, is typically eaten with most every meal served for langar. Use atta dough to make Roti from scratch with illustrated recipe instructions.

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Paratha

Aloo Paratha, Roti Stuffed With Spicy Potato Filling
Aloo Paratha, Roti Stuffed With Spicy Potato Filling. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Paratha

Paratha, a delicious Indian Flatbread roti that may be stuffed with a variety of fillings. Paratha stuffed with a spicy vegetable, or potato filling is often served with dahee, homemade yogurt. Use prepared atta dough to make Aloo Paratha.

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Poori

Delicious Crispy Deep Fried Poori
Delicious Crispy Deep Fried Poori. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Poori

Poori, is a deep-fried crispy Indian flatbread usually served with chole, a kind of chickpea curry. Use Atta dough to prepare Poori illustrated recipe for deep Fried crispy Indian flatbread.

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Increase Atta Recipe For Gurdwara Langar

San Jose Gurdwara Sangat Preparing Roti for Langar
San Jose Gurdwara Sangat Preparing Roti for Langar. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Increase Atta Recipe Measurements

When making langar for hundreds of people increase Atta dough recipe measurements accordingly.

Substitute 1 gallon for each cup, and 1 cup for each tablespoon.

  • 2 gallons dry atta (chapti flour or whole wheat flour).
  • One gallon water.
  • 1 or 2 cups of oil is optional, but recommended.

Pour ingredients bit by bit into a large steel mixer with dough hook. Recipe yields enough atta dough for about 16 dozen, or nearly 200, Roti and makes enough servings to feed about 100 people two Roti apiece.