It is the staple diet of millions across the world but are we seeing the end of the simple art of making a fresh chapati?

For many first and second-generation British Asians, chapatis were cooked fresh at home, daily and without fail. The skill of making a chapati had been passed on through generations and it was, not exclusively, the mums who were the experts.

In recent years there has been a growth in the number of chapati shops and a noticeable change in eating habits.

People can no longer ‘expect’ to be served fresh chapatis when they visit a relative’s house and the days of the fresh chapati may well ‘be over’, according to some people.

Many will now opt to buy the supermarket naans or head out to the chapati shops that are popping up on every corner.

We speak to men and women who have struggled to come to terms with these changes and others who feel this was inevitable.

Asim, 54 said he wanted to be ‘brutally honest’.

“I think a lot of mums are to blame. They have not passed on the traditional skills of chapati making.

“We are now in a desperate situation within South Asian households where we will no longer enjoy freshly made chapatis.

“I think the first generation would laugh at us now knowing we have not kept the traditions alive.

“We will have to get used to pitta bread and chapati shops.

“The skills were passed down from mother to daughter or from father to son.

“It is something I have argued about with my own wife and children.”

Visiting a shop to buy chapatis has its own pitfalls, especially when you live within a community that expects a household to function in a certain way.

Wasim is 41 and said he had to hide when he went to the chapati shop for the first time.

He told us, “There are many home truths that a lot of us men have to face up too. When I got married I did not care that my wife could not cook chapatis.

“Twelve years I have to face the reality.

“I end having to go to the roti shop and it was a little shameful at first. I would try not to get seen.

“You see other men there and they have this resigned look on their face. They got married but didn’t look under the hood type of look.

“Other times I am leaving and someone in a car I know will stop and shout out ‘Do you not get roti at home?. We laugh it off but it is the reality and I am embarrassed going to the shop.

“I wish there were fresh chapatis cooked at home.

“I end up going to mums eat and my wife knows full well that I am going to eat the fresh chapatis.”

Haroon, 33 had said the expectations from couples had changed.

He said: “We have arguments over chapati. I know it is silly when you think about it but in the heat of the moment you say things that you later regret.

“She has tried her best but her chapatis are not good. “Mind you her curries are pretty awful too.

“I am also really bad at DIY so the whole thing evens out.

“Our kids are so used to eating English foods they rarely eat chapatis anymore. It is the way we grew up ourselves.”

He said he had also heard that some men opting to marry from ‘back home’ because modern British Asian women struggled to cook a ‘good roti salan’ (Chapati and curry).

“Yeah I got told that by a few friends. People got priorities.”

For others the sheer pressure of having to be able to cook has become all consuming.

Farah, 28 had been introduced to a number of young for the prospect of marriage.

She said: “I have been asked if I can cook chapatis three times by suitors.

“Their parents say it openly as if it is something that they need to tick off the list.

“It does not matter that I am earning more than him and have a first-class degree. I actually got turned down because I was unable to say with confidence that I could cook roti salan (chapati and curry).

“I know two other women who had the same conversations.

“Chapati making matters.”

Ruhi is 25 and she came across similar conversations amongst other women.

She said: “I have found it is not the men who have an issue with this as much as us women.

“I have spoken to other women who have mastered the art of chapati making and can’t wait to embarrass you at functions and family events. They want to get one up on you.

“I get it all the time in the kitchen. We can be really competitive and I have been made to feel inferior at times.

“The worst thing that happened to me was when someone came to our house for a Rishta (marriage introduction) and the mum who was in her 40s was insistent that I could cook chapati.

“It is did not matter she had never learnt to do it herself but she wanted ‘the best for her son’.

“This sense of entitlement for their sons is something that is engrained within out Asian culture.”

Nida is in her early 30s and runs her own small business. She said it was time men stopped expecting the ‘impossible’ from their prospective partners.

“We have two kids and we both work.

“There is just not enough time at the end of the day to cook fresh chapatis. I can make them (not perfectly!) but I do try but it is far easier to just buy them from the shop.

“I know my husband does not like going to the shop and has ben ridiculed a few times by his friends but working patterns have changed.

“Both parents will work and by the time you have time to yourself it is late evening. We get by and it is no big deal now.”

Nida did admit her own mother should have focussed a little more and passing on the skill to her children.

“No matter what anyone says cooking chapatis matters in our culture. It is a tradition and skill and should be passed down to the next generation.”

Sophia Choudry's invention, the 'Rotibox', simplifies the process of making the traditional roti by containing all the floury mess inside the box. The gadget has proved to be a major success since it hit the market with orders placed across the world.

She said: “It is disheartening to witness traditional culinary practices fading away in the face of convenience-driven modern lifestyles.

“Chapati making, an integral part of South Asian cuisine, not only carries immense cultural significance but also symbolizes the artistry and heritage of generations.

“Preserving and celebrating such culinary traditions is vital to connecting with our roots.

“While modern advancements have undeniably simplified our lives, it is essential to strike a balance and ensure that cherished practices like chapati making continue to thrive.

“By raising awareness, encouraging participation, and valuing these culinary traditions, we can revive and sustain the rich tapestry of cultural heritage for future generations to appreciate and cherish.”