To make plain chapattis, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil and work it into the flour, then gradually stir in 250 ml (9 fl oz) of lukewarm water, mixing until a soft dough forms.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for 4-5 minutes until any excess moisture has been absorbed. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky to handle. Cover with a damp cloth and leave it to rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, line a large piece of foil with kitchen paper to keep the chapattis hot when they are cooked.
Cut the dough in half and divide each half into eight equal balls. Cover them with a clean cloth to prevent them from drying out.
Heat a nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. Meanwhile, flatten out one ball of dough between your palms, lightly dust it with flour, then roll it out into a 15 cm (6 in) round.
Place the dough on the hot pan and cook for 30 seconds, then turn it over and continue cooking until bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Turn it over again, pressing the edges down gently to encourage the chapatti to puff up, and continue cooking until brown patches appear on the underside. Wrap the cooked chapatti in the foil and continue making chapattis in the same way. For a cool contrast, serve them with yoghurt raita.
To make chilli chapattis: add the chillies, cayenne pepper and garlic to the flour mixture in Step 1 before adding the oil and water.
To make spinach chapattis: heat a large wok or frying pan over a low heat and add the oil. When it is hot, add the chilli, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the spinach, cayenne pepper and the salt and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes until all the moisture from the spinach has evaporated. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the flour and 150 ml (5 fl oz) of water (you do not need any more oil) and mix until a soft dough forms. Then continue with the basic recipe from Step 2.
Tip: chapatti flour is available from Indian stores. If you cannot find it, use plain wholemeal flour, adding a little more water to make a stickier dough.
Nutrition is given per chapatti, for all three types.