Life. Love. Food

Butternut and Dhania Chapati

I still hear our squeaky little voices, our bodies bursting through the gate after an entire day of playing. With small dusty feet and tangles in our hair, my sisters and I would rush to the chair where our mom sat watching TV next to daddy or to her room where she would be “resting her eyes.”

“What’s for supper? ”  We would ask.

This is the question we have asked and she has answered most. Her answer could either make us not really look forward to supper (ugali and sukumawiki) or it would make us rush to the table and have some already (chapati and meatballs).
Chapati is a flat bread, which has Indian origin, but has been tightly woven into Kenyan culture. It makes a perfect accompaniment to many stews and soups. This dish is the corner stone of any Kenyan celebration; be it Christmas, a birthday, weddings or graduation party. I made super soft chapatis but,as usual, with a little twist. My elder sister, Cheredi, put butternut in hers and I decided to follow the same route. The only difference is that I added dhania (coriander) for extra color and nutrients. If you are ready for crazy soft, beautifull tasty chapati, read on!

butternut & dhania chapati.1


chapati ingredients
All purpose flour
1 cup of hot water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of vegetable oil
½ small butternut
1 bunch of dhania (coriander)

In a small jug, mix the water, half of the oil and the salt. After the salt has dissolved, put the mixture in a small bowl. Then, peel cut and boil your butternut. After it is soft, drain the water and mash them into a puree.

To this, slowly add your all purpose flour bit by bit and mix until you get a dough, then fold in your butternut. At this point it may still be sticky, so add more flour, kneading after each addition. Your dough will be ready just after it is no longer sticking to your fingers or to your bowl, which will take roughly 15 minutes. The dough should be soft, elastic and smooth.
Divide your dough into medium sized pieces and roll them out. Put a thin layer of your vegetable oil on the surface of the chapati. Then, make a cut from the center, and roll it around the center. It will form a cone, push the tip of the cone in, fold the top of the cone and form a ball.

There are many ways of making these rolls, but personally I find this one the best. You can get clearer instructions here.

chapati dough

making chapati roll

dusted Chapati dough

After the rolls are done, allow them to rest for 20 minutes. This helps relax the gluten and make it easier to work with and helps produce tender chapati.

Chapati balls ready for rolling out

After this time has elapsed, take your finely chopped coriander and put some on the rolled dough. Take your rolling pin and flatten it on a flour dusted surface from the center outwards. I like my chapatis thin and light so that they are not too chewy and starchy. Flip your chapati as you roll it out as this helps you get near perfect circles.

rolling out chapatis
You may add more dhania as you roll so that they are evenly spread out. The coriander sticks inside the dough so even when cooking they will not come off. That’s is why you must roll them into the dough and not merely sprinkle them ontop.
Put some oil on a heavy pan and let it become hot over a medium heat. Put your rolled out dough and LIGHTLY oil each side. Turn after about two minutes when they have turned golden brown. The butternut gives them a soft yellow tint, and if you use plenty of it, the chapatis will be orange. So you can adjust the butternut quantity according to your preferences. Using butternut in chapati is a clever way of sneaking in something healthy into a popular dish. You do not really taste it, but you can tell it is present by the warm yellow color and the undeniable velvet softness of the chapati.

chapati rolled up

Serve warm
Making chapattis is a labour of love, as it may take quite some time to make, but once you have these, it all becomes worth it.

dhania chapatis
Do not let making chapatis intimidate you. Your first chapatis may be really hard or gang-sign shaped but practice makes perfect. Start with a tiny quantity, practice, learn and improve from your errors.

butternut & dhania chapati
I have no doubt that you will enjoy these butternut and dhania chapati: soft, light and unforgettable.

How do you sneak healthy foods into your meals to get people to eat them? Or how do you mask unpleasantly tasting foods to make them taste better if not marvelous? Let me know in the comments below.

Peace and Happiness,

Kaluhi 🙂

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  1. Eva

    Made them and love them!! Now I cant go back to the regular plain chapatis

    • kaluhiskitchen

      It seriously is a point of no return! Once you have these, there is no turning back. So glad you loved them, Eva 🙂

  2. marth

    looooooved it… after this recipe, i don’t think am ever going back to regular chapatis 😉

  3. Miss JB

    I make mine with grated carrots too,…very appealing, soft and delicious!…

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Adding veggies to chapati always makes a huge difference. Glad we can relate on that, Jackie. 🙂

  4. Cheptoo Cece

    This is interesting Foodie. I should try this out. {Foodie Heaven}

  5. Flo Nightingale

    How much flour?

    • Kaluhi's_Kitchen

      I never specify the amount of flour. Reason being, we use different quantities of water. But what I would recommend is for you to add the flour a small bit at a time. When it stops sticking on your hands and becomes a ball while kneeding, then at that point you stop adding flour.

      • carole

        Any other recipe for chapos..I need to try something different.Thanks alot.You are amaizing.Would be willing to have cooking classes?

        • kaluhiskitchen

          Hey Carol, I at the moment do not offer cooking classes. But when I do begin, if at all, I shall email you. Another chapo recipe is scheduled for end of November. Dont worry, it is coming

  6. Ladwene

    so how do I go back to the Chapo ya kawaida after what I’ve eaten this morning?!!!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      It is just not possible!!!!! #PointOfNoReturn

  7. Wambui

    Love your blog! Thank you for making cooking so simple and fun. Would you mind recommending the amount of flour ideal for a chapati making beginner? Thanks!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Thank you so much Wambui!With chapati, the amount of flour is not measured. It is the amount of water that is measured. That is the method I was taught. For example, with one cup of water, add your flour bit by bit until it becomes more cogealed. Bit by bit. Same will apply for 2 cups or one jug. The water os the control measuring qualtity, not the flour.

  8. Donnah

    Hey Adagala!

    What substitute can I use instead of Royco, I really don’t like it. I know it’s not here but in other recipes.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Royco is a spice blend- a blend of 8 or more sun dried spices. It is difficult t get a perfect substitute for that. If you do not like it, you can use a combination of other individual spices that suit your personal taste and depending on what you will be cooking.

  9. Miriam

    i love it, i know its a Monday but i will try tonight to make some. For now, nakula kwa macho. They are appetizing.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Monday also deserves some love and some great food :))


    Now i want recipes for pilau and carbonated beef. The chapatis are on point! biggup!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Awesome! I have two pilau recipes on the blog already so you can check them out :))

  11. Ray

    I definately have to try this.Looks yummy

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Dope! Let me know how it goes!

  12. Shakila

    I really love this.. Thank you dear your methods are simple for us and the ingredients are readily available.

    • kaluhiskitchen


  13. Miss Dee

    Made this today and boy was i proud of myself.. They came out very good. I especially had a problem with the folding and rolling amd i must say i followed the link @ pendo la mama and it really worked .Alot of work though but the results are worth it !
    Thanks Aloot😊😊

    Pilau next !!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      So glad you enjoyed this recipe!!!! <3 <3 <3 Cheers to many more!!

  14. Hope

    I was skeptical at first then made them and OMG Kaluhi, these were the softest and tastiest chapos I’ve ever made. No going back to the regular way of making chapo. Good job Kaluhi!

    • kaluhiskitchen


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