Teff Chapati – Easy, Breezy, Gluten Free!!!!

More and more people are eating gluten free grains now a days, some out of choice and some out of circumstance. Lot of people find that they generally do and feel better on wheat free diets, off course for people afflicted with Celiac disease it is not a choice.

I am quite intrigued by the amount of interest from people from different corners of the world for the Quinoa chapati recipe and other gluten free recipes.

Therefore my new challenge is to come up with good recipes for different breads and crepes made from gluten free or alternative flours ,this can help people who want to make the switch completely to gluten free grains or even have gluten free substitutes occasionally.

I was exposed to Teff also known as ‘love bush’ many years back|,maybe 15 years .In those days I made lot of crepes by mixing different flours ( teff millet, quinoa, sorghum, buckwheat, amaranth etc.) with different leafy greens with delicious results. Lately I have started eating more gluten free foods so I was quite intrigued by the Teff grain for its nutritional profile and its use in making ‘Injera’ bread ( sour fermented crepe ) which is staple in Ethiopian cuisine. And because it has no gluten it has become very popular in recent times for people with Celiac disease or food sensitivities.

Teff is an ancient grain with an impressive nutritional profile. It packs  lot of good stuff in its tiny size.It packs a high mineral content, containing 17 times the Calcium and twice the amount of iron of whole wheat and barley. Generally nutrients are concentrated in the bran and germ but in Teff because  its too small to hull all the nutrients are concentrated in the grain itself making it a powerhouse of nutrients.

Teff flour is perhaps one of the easiest alternative flours to work with. The flour is easier to knead, the chapati is easy to roll and the taste is good .In all a win – win situation. Teff flour comes in white and red colour. I have used red here because of its higher iron content. I will definitely try the white Teff flour and share the difference with you.
  • 1/2  cup Teff flour
  • 1/4 cup and a couple more tablespoons  of water
  • 2 tsp. Oil
  • Little dry Teff flour to roll the chapatis
  • Little ghee or butter to apply on the chapatis
  • Rolling pin
  • Marble or wooden board
  • Cast iron or non stick skillet


  1. Knead the dough adding little water at a time to the flour and rubbing it between your fingers.
  2. Continue to add the water in small quantities till the dough starts to come together and is not very wet.
  3. The dough is ready when it starts to peel off your hands ( teff flour is not sticky like quinoa so its easy to get  the dough off your hands).Use a little oil or ghee to get the dough off your hands completely.
  4. Make a round ball and let it sit for half an hour or more. You should have a smooth glistening brownish ball of dough .
  5. Divide this dough into 4-5 balls of equal size. Meanwhile heat a seasoned cast iron griddle or nonstick skillet.
  6. Roll the ball between both your palms and make a smooth ball.
  7. Roll the ball in dry flour and with a rolling pin carefully roll it out an inch or two and carefully peel it off the board and roll it in dry flour again.
  8. Carefully continue to roll and repeat the above step till you have a circle of 3-4 inch diameter of even thickness. Use a spatula and carefully peel it off the board though it is relatively easy  almost like wheat chapati in the ease with which it can be removed from the board.
  9. Do not be disheartened if the chapati does not come off the board or tears while doing that. Few attempts are necessary before you get nice soft, smooth  chapatis.
  10. Put the rolled chapati on the heated griddle ( it should be on medium heat )
  11. After  20 seconds or so when the chapati loses its wet look, turn it on the other side, let it cook for another 20 seconds and you small bubbles turn it again, if the chapati is rolled evenly and without any tears it will puff up (may puff up partly).
  12. Use a paper towel or a clean dish towel to press the thicker edges so that they are well cooked.
  13. Normally a traditional whole wheat chapati is cooked in the 3 steps described above but teff chapati needs to be turned more than few times before it is well cooked. cook it on medium head so that it does get burnt or crisp.
  14. Once cooked, you may apply butter or extra virgin olive oil, or ghee and wrap in a soft cheese cloth and so that they stay soft. It is not as soft as wheat or quinoa chapati but is quite moist when fresh.
IMG_0540 - CopyEnjoy !!!

14 thoughts on “Teff Chapati – Easy, Breezy, Gluten Free!!!!

    • I guess if you are looking for the elasticity of wheat chapati in this ,you may not be too satisfied.The texture and taste of Teff is very different so it is of all the other alternative flours like buckwheat,corn ,millet, quinoa etc.it is an acquired taste.

    • Also Brittany I was exposed to Chapatis made from different flours from a very young age thanks to my late mother not just an amazing mother and cook but an unusually open minded person for trying new and different cuisines. I daresay she has passed that love, passion and fearlessness for different cuisines on to me.

  1. I made this a couple of days ago and we really loved them. I didn’t need to use as much water as the recipe specified and I wonder what the 2 tsp. of oil is for. Is it for putting on your hands to get the dough off or is it incorporated in the dough? I didn’t use it and everything worked fine but am just wondering what it is for.

    • Thanks for the feedback Ruth. The oil is for applying on the hand to get the dough off your hands and incorporating some also in the dough to make it more supple and moist which will in turn make the chapatis soft. You could also apply the oil, ghee or butter on the chapatis so that they stay soft even if not eaten fresh.

      • Thanks for your reply. I find I don’t need to use a lot of oil but I will keep experimenting with these recipes. They are excellent! I find one of the keys to keeping them from tearing is very light touch with the rolling pin and not to roll too many times without turning it over. Keeps it from sticking to the rolling pin and the counter.

      • Thanks for your prompt response and input. My receipes are just guidelines, feel free to improvise and modify and continue to post your experiences as that would help other people. I just wish others would do the same.

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