How to make Tanzanian chapati

How To Make Soft Layered Chapati ( Chapati Za Ngozi)

how to make soft layered chapati

Making Tanzanian soft layered chapati is a lot of fun but requires time ? No wonder many people prefer the direct chapati. Making layered chapati also need some skills to get those layers on the chapatti. One of the amazing things about layered chapati is that they are soft and very tasty. You don’t know how many times I used to make these chapati and they always backfired. For a while, I was stuck to making normal direct chapatis. Fortunately, I didn’t give up ? (You can never give up learning how to make chapati because it requires practice…practice..and patience) and ultimately I learnt how to make delicious and soft layered Chapati aka chapati za ngozi  ?

Although many people avoid making layered chapati because they argue they require a lot of skills and time, the truth is they are not as complicated. The procedure for making layered chapati is similar to making ordinary/direct chapati. However, layered chapati( chapati za ngozi) requires extra time, extra oil and simple skills. Tanzanians love chapati because they are always a great accompaniment for tea, soup, stew and vegetables.

To make soft layered chapati the Tanzanian way, you need all purpose flour, water, salt, sugar and oil. So, let’s head to the kitchen and make these chapati ( chapos) ?

Don’t worry if your first time seems too long and complicated. Trust me, during your second or third time, you will notice it’s a very short process.

Ingredients for Tanzanian Soft Layered Chapati

3 cups of All Purpose Flour ( not self rising), Plus extra for kneading and dusting
1 ½ cups of warm water
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
Enough Vegetable oil for frying



Step 1. In a bowl, measure three cups of flour.

kenya chapati

Step 2. In another bowl, mix salt, sugar, 2 tbps of oil and 1 cup of water. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolves.

Step 3. Pour the liquid mixture above (step 2) in the flour bowl and mix well. Keep adding the remaining water until the dough becomes soft.


Step 4. Knead the dough for five minutes and add flour if needed.

making chapatis

Step 5. Transfer the dough on a flat surface and continue kneading and adding flour when needed for 10 minutes. 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 recipe

Step 6. Return the ready chapati dough in a bowl, add some oil and knead to mix it up until it soft and not sticky. Cover the dough and leave it for 40 minutes.

making chapatis

Step 7. After the 40 minutes, divide the dough into 10 to 13 equal parts making ball like shapes. Arrange them in a flat surface dusted with flour.

chapati dough balls

Step 8. Right away, pick one of the balls and place it on a flat surface.

chapati dough ball

Step 9. With a rolling pin, roll the ball to a circular shape.

roll out the chapati dough

Step 10. Brush the circular chapati with oil on top.

oil chapati

Step 11. At the side that faces you, start folding and rolling the oiled chapati with both hands as if you are rolling a rode away from your direction.

roll the chapati


Step 12. Once you have a shape that looks like a rope, create a coil like shape.

roll the chapati 2

Step 13. Make a coiled ball and with your palm, press the ball down to make it flat.

coiled dough ball

Step 14. Next, with a rolling pin make a circular shape again. (As you can see the image, layers can be seen on the rolled out chapati).

rolled out chapati 3Step 15. In a hot pan, place the rolled out circular chapati and fry each side until its golden brown on medium heat.(Repeat step 8 to 15 until you finish the rest chapati dough balls). Put your cooked chapati in plastic wrap or container and cover. Serve after 20 minutes.

cooked chapati

They look Yummy, Don’t they? ? ?

soft chapati recipe

If you have the time, you can go ahead and separate the layers from the chapati to form many layers……I love doing this ?

separated layered chapati



Also you can follow these simple and few steps

Chapati originated in India but differ a little bit. In Tanzania chapati makes a good breakfast with soup or tea: lunch or dinner with stew and vegetables.
The process may look too long, but this is because I want to explain well, once you prepare this recipe for the first time, you will notice it is a very short process.


  • 5 cups all purpose flour (not self rising)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup Canola/Vegetable oil (heated then cool down) You will not use all of it.
  • 2 cups Extra lour for kneading


  1. In a large mixing bowl, measure 5 cups of flour.
  2. In another bowl, mix salt, 3 tbsp of oil, and 1 ½ cup of water, stir until the salt dissolves.
  3. Pour the above water in the flour bowl. Mix well; and keep adding the remaining water until dough becomes soft.
  4. Knead the dough for 10 – 15 minutes; add flour if needed.
  5. Divide in 11 to 15 equal parts (make a ball like shape), arrange them on a flat surface, and then cover with plastic wrap or a white clean cloth.
  6. Right away, continue with 6(1):
      1. With a rolling pin, roll one part of the dough thinner than ¼ centimeters (never mind if it is not a perfectly round).
      2. Brush oil on top (Look at photo #1).

    Brushing oil on Chapati to create layers

    Photo #1

      1. At the side that face you, make one centimeter fold, then roll forward with both two hands; almost like you are rolling a rode away from your direction) (Look at photo #2) It should look like a rope.

    Photo #2

      1. Then create a coil-like shape (as photo #3).

    Photo #3

    1. Then return it to the same place and cover.
    2. Repeat 6(1) to 6(5) until you finish the rest.
  7. After you are done with the above, take the first part that you rolled.
  8. With a rolling pin, roll to a nice round flat shape that is about ¼ centimeters thin. (Use flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the surface)
  9. Make four more by repeating process 8. (You will roll the rest as you are cooking).
  11. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat (use a round pancake pan). After it is heated, sprinkle a few drops of water on it. If the drops dry right away, the pan is ready for chapati.
  12. Wipe the pan to remove any oils.
    1. Place the chapati you have just rolled on a heated pan. After about a minute, check the bottom of the chapati, if it is golden brown, and the top is translucent, flip it over.
    2. Brush a little bit of oil on the top of the chapati, then check to see if the bottom is cooked and is golden brown.
    3. If yes, flip the chapati over again, now brush the oil on the second side of the chapati, and turn it over again.
    4. After about 30 seconds remove the chapati from the pan and put it on a plate and cover with a foil paper.
    5. Repeat umber 12(1) to 12(4) until you finish the rest.
  13. While you are cooking, find some times and repeat number 8 for the rest of the chapati so that you will be able to put them on the stove before you finish the first 4 that you rolled.


June 2021