5 Maharashtrian Sustainable Recipes For Leftover Chapati

Chapati, or poli, is an inextricable part of Maharashtrian cuisine. Nearly every household has a big container full of wheat flour, out of which small amounts are extracted every day to be kneaded into a soft dough and flattened with a rolling pin into a large, circular chapati. The ghadichi poli is made by taking a thick ball of dough and folding it into a triangular shape before rolling it into a large, thin, circular sheet.

The chapati puffing on the tawa is an indication of well-kneaded dough, and it does taste airier than the one that sits flat on the pan. The staple poli-bhaji is an everyday component for lunch, in tiffins, and even at dinner. Served hot with generous amounts of ghee, the poli can simply be devoured by itself or with a spoonful of any chutney available in the kitchen.

Yet, no matter the thorough calculations of how many chapatis will be required by the household on any given day, there are always some leftovers at the end of the evening meal. The chapati remains fresh for at least two days after it is made, yet having stale poli with subzi is not an inviting prospect. But there are other, more interesting dishes that can be quickly prepared using leftover roti and are great options for breakfast or afternoon tea munchies. Read on below for some recipes that make use of leftover chapatis:

Phodnichi Poli

This delicious breakfast bowl is so popular in Marathi households that most mothers and grandmothers seldom worry about what to do with leftover chapatis. The phodnichi poli is a tempting and easy-to-cook dish made from basic ingredients like chopped onions, curry leaves, chilli, and turmeric powder and garnished with generous helpings of coriander. Phodni literally means tempering, and the stale chapati is coarsely ground into a chura before mixing it with the chauka. Phodnichi poli tastes great with curd!

Poli Crisps/Nachos

This is a clever little way to polish off leftover chapatis and turn them into a kid-favourite snack. Cut up the polis into triangular pieces, deep fry them in hot oil, and garnish with salt, pepper, and a bit of red chilli powder. The crunch of the poli dipped into ketchup or any mayonnaise- or sriracha-based dipping sauce is such a tempting sound. Poli nachos are also a great option as a party snack or as namkeen with afternoon tea. 


While a Frankie or a version of the poli quesadilla is not unique to Marathi cuisine, it has been popularised as a favourite snack item in Maharashtra’s cities and towns owing to its fame in the hill stations of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. Served with a stuffing of corn, chaat masala, mayonnaise, and potato, the Frankie, or roll, is a delicious treat, especially for children, and the perfect way to use stale chapati as the outer wrap. Shallow-frying the Frankie in butter or oil makes the poli crisp and warm. The stuffing can also be made using whatever vegetables are available in the fridge.


Easy to make and best enjoyed with groundnut chutney, the plain khakra made from stale poli is the perfect accompaniment for evening tea. Roast the poli on the tawa until it becomes crispy, and have this nutritious option as a substitute for oilier munchies at snack time. The khakra can also be given a ‘chana jor garam’ spin by crushing it in a bowl and adding some onions, tomatoes, chaat masala, and a splash of lime juice.

Chapati Samosa

This is a rather elaborate way to make use of stale rotis, but it is still delicious and crispy. The stuffing can be anything from lightly sautéed cabbage to a potato mash filled with spice and flavour. Put the stuffing on the chapati and fold it into a triangular shape before deep frying. You can also cut the roti in half if the full round becomes too thick for the crispy snack.