West Indian-Style Roti (Flatbread)

A meal with two pieces of roti flatbread on a plate

The Spruce


Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 28 mins
Rest Time: 15 mins
Total: 68 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 8 roti
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
168 Calories
4g Fat
29g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 168
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 467mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 133mg 10%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 48mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Roti is a popular flatbread in South American countries that have East Indian influences in their cuisine, such as Suriname and Guyana. It is a simple dough that is rolled out into a circle and cooked on a hot griddle.

It can be stuffed with potatoes or lentils before it's cooked (dhal puri), used as a wrap, or simply served on the side of a plate of curry or dhal to help soak up all of the delicious sauce. This roti recipe makes thin, soft, and pliable flatbreads that can be made with white or wheat flour. If you don't have self-rising flour, you can easily make your own using all-purpose flour and baking powder.


Click Play to See This West Indian-Style Roti Recipe Come Together

"The roti was delicious with dhal! My 2 1/2 cups of flour weighed 11 1/4 ounces, and it needed (along with the oil) only about 3/4 cup of warm water to make the dough. I made eight, and each one took between 3 and 4 minutes to cook." —Diana Rattray

West Indian-Style Roti (Flatbread) Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour (or 2 cups self-rising flour plus 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour)

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided, plus extra for the pan

  • 2/3 to 1 cup warm water

  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making West Indian-style roti flatbread
    The Spruce 
  2. Place flour(s) in a bowl. Mix in 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil.

    White flour in a bowl with a metal spoon
    The Spruce
  3. Add the warm water slowly, stirring as you go, until the dough starts to come together. Keep stirring, adding more water in small amounts, until the dough forms a ball.

    Roti dough
    The Spruce
  4. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead for a few minutes, adding a little flour if it is too sticky. The dough should be soft but not sticky enough to adhere to your hands or the counter.

    Roti dough on a floured surface
    The Spruce
  5. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, covered with a damp cloth.

    Roti dough covered with a damp cloth
    The Spruce
  6. Roll out the dough into a large circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Spread the remaining 1 teaspoon vegetable oil over the surface of the dough. Roll the dough up into a long roll.

    Roti dough rolled out on a marble slab sprinkled with flour
    The Spruce
  7. Slice the log of dough into 8 to 10 pieces. Roll out each piece, cut-side down, into a 6-inch circle. Let the circles rest, covered with a damp cloth, for 5 minutes.

    Roti dough covered with cloth to let it rest
    The Spruce
  8. Heat a flat, heavy griddle or skillet (a cast-iron skillet or crepe pan works well) over medium-low heat.

    A heavy griddle is placed over gas stove flame
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  9. Roll the first circle of dough out as thin as possible (to about an 8- to 9-inch circle).

    Roti dough rolled into circles
    The Spruce
  10. Add about 1 teaspoon oil to the skillet and add a circle of dough. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, until the bread puffs up and turns light brown on the underside. Slide the roti to the side of the pan and quickly flip to brown the other side, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes more.

    Roti is toasted until golden brown
    The Spruce 
  11. Remove from the pan and place roti in a colander to cool. Cover roti with a damp towel while you cook the rest; this will help keep them from becoming hard. Add more oil to the skillet as needed.

    Roti dough is covered with a damp towel to keep it moist
    The Spruce
  12. Brush the finished roti with melted butter before serving, if desired. Serve and enjoy.

    West Indian-style roti flatbread on a plate
    The Spruce


  • Roti can be reheated just like tortillas: Wrap in foil and place in a 300 F oven for about 10 minutes or microwave covered with a damp cloth.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Refrigerate well-wrapped rotis in the fridge for up to three days.
  • To freeze cooled rotis, separate them with sheets of wax paper and wrap the stack in foil. Place in freezer bags or airtight containers. Freeze for up to three months.

What Is the Difference Between Roti and Chapati?

Chapati is another name for the flatbread roti popular in India and the surrounding region, East Africa, and the Caribbean. The exact texture, size, and thickness of roti can differ from country to country and household to household.