Curated Cuisine At Home With Haley House

Curated Cuisine at Home aims to highlight local restaurants, cafes and chefs. Every week, we'll share a unique recipe using ingredients easily found in grocery stores while supporting and uplifting local businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Join us as we get to know and connect with our community!
Haley House in Nubian Square “uses food with purpose and the power of community to break down barriers between people, empower individuals, and strengthen neighborhoods.” This pillar of the community has an incredible new chef, Alima Mbabazi, who shares her favorite recipe for chapati with us. Chapati is an unleavened flatbread that originated from the Indian subcontinent and is a staple across South Asia, as well as East Africa and the Caribbean.

Want to hear more about how Alima made a living cooking and selling chapati in Kenya? Read our Q&A with her below!

Alima’s Chapati 

Yield : 7 - 9 chapatis


5 ½ c. + ¼ c. all purpose flour

1 tb + 1 tsp. Kosher salt

½ c. canola oil + more for rolling

2 ¾ c. water


  • In a large bowl combine flour and salt. Slowly drizzle the canola oil while constantly stirring with your hand. Mix until fully combined.
  • Drizzle water and stir again with your hands until an elastic dough is formed.
  • Add the remaining ¼ cup of flour and form into a ball.
  • Divide dough into equal parts and form into smaller balls about 7 - 9.
  • Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until you get an ⅛  of an inch thick disk/tortilla.
  • With a brush or spoon spread and coat the top of the disk with oil.
  • With a knife, cut the disk into 1inch wide strips. Stack the strips and twist, then shape dough length into a ball (think cinnamon rolls). Repeat for all balls and let rest for 3-5 mins.
  • Roll out each ball for a 2nd time to a ⅛ inch disk.
  • Over medium high heat, add a teaspoon of oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, place disk into pan.
  • Brush and lightly coat the top of the disk with oil before flipping. About 1-2 mins for each side to cook.
  • Once cooked, transfer onto a plate and cover with a clean dry towel. Repeat the process for the remaining balls of dough.

You can eat the chapatis right away or store them in the freezer. If frozen, reheat in the oven at 400F for 3 - 4 min or microwave.

Get to know Alima from Haley House

Why is this dish special to you?

I grew up eating Chapati, my mother used to make Chapati.  It was my favorite food.

How has your background influenced your work as a chef?

I’ve been cooking my entire life. Growing up, I moved between Tanzania and Mombasa, Kenya a lot.  Chapati was a main staple, easy to make and it was delicious.  One day I decided my make a living out of it and the rest was history.  I sold chapati to shops of all kinds and catered for local celebration.  Naturally Kenyan weddings feature lots of Chapati

What's your favorite item on the menu at Haley House?

Oh my favorite thing is the chapti, sambusas and the lentils.  They are delicious and I know how to make them the way I want to.  Super easy to make and reminds me of home

So far, what has this pandemic taught you most about yourself?

I learned how much I love stories and sharing my travels with my colleagues.  I’ve learned how important it is to take care of the little things.  I’ve learned how much I don’t like the smell of bleach.

How can our readers and listeners continue to support your work at Haley House?

Order food, love yourselves and cherish that people you’re with.


Desiree Arevalo CitySpace Events Administrator
Desiree is the events administrator for WBUR’s CitySpace.