Did you know that it only takes three ingredients to make vegan roti? In fact, you can even leave out the vegan butter so that it only takes two!
It's a common misconception that making Indian bread is too complicated to make. Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s actually super easy! And it will taste so much better than anything you could buy in the shop.
If you get on well with this, you may even want to try making vegan naan!
🤔 What is roti?
Roti is a flatbread that is popular in India. It’s traditionally made with stoneground, wholewheat flour (called atta), which gives it a deep and savoury flavour.
We love vegan roti on the side of a curry, it’s perfect for mopping up sauce or even biryani gravy. Or, you could forgo the curry altogether and have your roti with your favourite side dish. It goes really well with mushroom bhaji and aubergine bhaji.
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Wholemeal flour – it’s important that you use wholemeal flour as this is what gives the vegan roti its flavour.
- Water – you may need to add a little more as you work the dough.
- Melted vegan butter – this is to brush the roti with before cooking. You can also use oil, but we really like vegan butter as it adds a delicious salty flavour.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
You might be surprised at how easy it is to make vegan roti! They’re also pretty quick to make, just be sure to leave enough time to prove the dough.
- Add 2 cups of flour to a mixing bowl, then gradually begin to add the water. Be sure to mix the water with the flour as you go. You can either use a spoon/spatula or you could use your hands if you don’t mind getting messy!
- Once the flour and water are combined into a dough, gently fold and knead it for a few minutes. You’re looking for your dough to be smooth and elastic, but not wet. If the dough is wet or sticky then add a bit more flour. If it’s cracked and dry, add a bit more water. Remember to only add a little at a time, it doesn’t take much to tip it the other way!
- When you’re happy with the consistency of the dough, knead it into a smooth ball. Leave the dough ball in the mixing bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel. Let it prove for 30 minutes.
- After the 30 minutes is up, give the dough another quick knead. Cut it into 12 equal pieces using a sharp knife or a dough cutter. These don’t have to be perfect, just as close to equal as possible! Cover the dough pieces back up with the damp towel to stop them from drying out.
- One at a time, roll the dough pieces into balls in the palm of your hands. Again, these don’t need to be perfect.
- Lightly dust a clean work surface or chopping board with some flour. Take a rolling pin, and roll the dough balls into flat discs, just a few millimetres thick. If they start to stick, add more flour. Keep all of the balls apart from the one you’re working on covered so that they don’t dry out.
- Now heat up a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. It will probably take a few minutes for the pan to get hot enough. Don’t get impatient and start cooking before the pan is hot!
- Brush each side of the vegan roti with a little melted butter, or oil, and then put in the pan. Cook the first side for around a minute. You’re looking for the dough to bubble up slightly and for brown spots to appear. This can take a bit longer if your pan isn’t as hot.
- Once the first side is done, flip it over to do the next side. This side will probably cook a bit quicker than the first, so keep an eye on it. While each roti is cooking, you should have enough time to roll out the next one. Make sure that you keep all of the uncooked dough covered until you’re ready to roll and cook it.
- Repeat this process with each dough ball until you have 12 delicious rotis! If you feel like making them extra tasty, brush them with a little extra vegan butter once they’ve cooked. You can keep the finished ones warm in the oven on a really low heat while you cook the rest.
Are you wondering what to serve your vegan roti with? Or perhaps you have questions about the recipe? Read on to find out more...
👨🍳 Expert tips
Depending on which type of flour you’re using, you may need a little more water than we’ve suggested.
To get the perfect vegan roti you’re looking for the dough to be smooth and elastic, but not too wet.
If the dough is cracked and dry this indicates that you need to add a little more water. Start with ¾ cup of water, and then add a bit more, a tiny bit at a time, if you need to. Remember not to add too much at a time, you can always add more but you can’t take it away!
If you’ve baked bread or made naan before, you may know that the conditions in your kitchen can affect the dough. The temperature and humidity will impact the end result, and so will the type of flour you use.
Generally, if your kitchen is warm then you can probably reduce the proving time a little. If it’s humid, then you may not need to add as much water. You may also find that what works with one type of flour doesn’t work so well as with another. Don’t be afraid to trust your intuition and your vegan roti will be great!
Heating the pan
The secret to good vegan roti is a really hot pan. Make sure that you heat the pan for a good few minutes without anything in it before getting started. Once the pan is radiating heat, you’re ready to get started.
The first side of vegan roti always takes longer than the second side. Bear this in mind when you’re getting ready to flip it over.
Not every roti is made equally
Especially the first one! Just like when you’re making pancakes, with vegan roti it’s pretty common for the first one to be less-than-perfect. Sometimes the pan might not be the right temperature, or the timings might not be right. Sometimes it’s just ‘one of those things’ (without sounding too cliche!)
You’ll get the hang of it though, so get the first slightly weird one out of the way and crack on. Don’t let it knock your confidence.
Brush with melted butter
Brush your vegan roti with a little vegan butter before putting it in the pan. This does add some calories, but it makes it taste so good! It will add a salty edge that really takes your roti to the next level. It’s so worth it. And everything is fine in moderation, right?
Usually, yes. It’s not made with yoghurt like naan is, which makes it a good choice for vegans when you’re out and about. In traditional Indian cooking, the roti is often brushed with ghee. It’s worth checking this with restaurant staff if you’re ordering it, just in case.
They can be if you use a gluten-free wholemeal flour. Traditionally wholemeal is used when making roti.
No, you don’t have to use butter to brush the roti. It definitely makes a more delicious, salty, finishing touch though. We’ve made them without butter in the past and we’ve found that they were a little bit bland. Almost like eating a piece of toast without any topping - not awful but also not great!
Yes, vegan roti freeze really well! They will keep in the freezer for up to three months. Reheat in the oven from frozen. As they’re thin, they only need around 5-6 minutes on gas mark 5 / 190°C.
🍛 What to serve it with
Vegan roti is absolutely perfect with any dish that has a good amount of sauce that you can mop up with the bread!
Vegetable Tikka Masala
We love Vegetable Tikka Masala with roti because the sauce is so thick and creamy, but with a lovely spice! We make our Tikka Masala with cauliflower, in our opinion one of the most underrated vegetables. Marinating it in spices makes it extra tasty.
Vegetable Pasanda is a great choice when you fancy a curry that won’t blow your head off. The sauce is made with a combination of vegan yoghurt and ground almonds, making it nice and thick.
Mushrooms are a great protein source for curry because they have a ‘meaty’ texture and a delicious flavour. Try your vegan roti dunked in this Creamy Mushroom Korma, we think you’ll love it!
🍛 Other recipes you might like
If you like our vegan roti, check out some more of our Indian inspired recipes:
- Easy Vegan Naan
- Simple Mushroom Biryani
- Biryani Gravy In 7 Easy Steps
- Easy Vegetable Bhuna
- Jackfruit Curry (In Under 60 Minutes)
- 5 Minute Vegan Raita
And if you’re looking for even more Indian recipes, get inspiration in our huge Vegan Indian Recipes guide.
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Easy 3 Ingredient Vegan Roti
- 2 cups wholemeal flour plus a little extra for dusting/rolling
- ¾ cup water
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter melted
- Put 2 cups of wholemeal flour in a mixing bowl, then gradually add the water. Mix the water with the flour as you go. You can either use a spatula, spoon or your hands to mix it.
- Once the flour and water are combined into a dough, gently fold and knead it for a few minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic, but not wet. If the dough is wet or sticky then add a tiny bit more flour. If it’s dry or cracked, add a bit more water. Only add a little at a time. Remember, you can add but can’t take away!
- Knead the dough into a smooth ball. Leave it in the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Prove for 30 minutes.
- Next, give the dough another quick knead, for around 30 seconds only. Chop into 12 equal pieces using a knife or dough cutter. Cover the dough pieces back up with the damp towel.
- Roll the dough pieces, one at a time, into balls in the palm of your hands. They don’t need to be perfect.
- Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll the dough balls into flat round discs using a rolling pin, just a few millimetres thick. Add more flour to the work surface or on top of the dough if they start to stick. Keep all of the balls covered apart from the one you’re working on – so that they don’t dry out.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat.
- Brush each side of the vegan roti with a little melted butter, and then lay in the pan. Cook the first side for around a minute. You’re looking for the dough to bubble up slightly and for brown spots to appear.
- Flip it over to do the next side. The second side is likely to cook a bit quicker than the first, so keep an eye on it. While each roti is cooking, you should have enough time to roll out the next one. Keep all of the uncooked dough covered until you’re ready to roll and cook it.
- Repeat this process with each dough ball until you have 12 delicious rotis! You can optionally brush with more melted vegan butter before serving. Keep the finished roti warm in the oven on a really low heat while you cook the rest.
- You don’t have to use melted vegan butter. However, it adds a delicious salty finish to the bread. If you leave out the vegan butter they will be much plainer.
- Make these roti gluten-free by using a gluten-free wholemeal flour blend.
- These rotis freeze well. Reheat from frozen for 5-6 minutes in the oven, on gas mark 5 or 190°C.
- Don’t worry if the first roti doesn’t come out perfectly. Like when making pancakes, the first one is often the worst one. Just keep on going, remembering that the pan needs to be really hot, and the second side doesn’t take as long to cook!