Indian breads are an integral element of India cuisine; a ubiquitous delicacy that is served alongside curries or gravy-based dishes. In fact, an Indian thali is incomplete without any kind of bread. From North to South and East to West, the remarkable variation in Indian breads reflects the country’s diversity of culture and food habits.
Indian Bread Varieties – Great Choice, Great Food
There is a splendid variety of Indian breads with different regions of the country having their unique styles and ingredients of baking breads. Some of the most popular varieties include:
- Chapati – Also known as Tawa Roti or Phulka, Chapati is the most widely used Indian bread variety and is a stable in Indian cuisine, especially in North India, Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
- Luchi or Poori – It is the bread of celebration and happy occasions. This crispy, unleavened Indian flatbread is deep fried until light golden in colour and served with any side dish. Luchi, a delicacy of Bengal, is made with refined flour, while Poori is prepared with whole wheat flour.
- Paratha – The pan-fried Indian flatbread hails from North India, especially in Punjab, and is now eaten everywhere, especially with gravy dishes or dry stir-fry.
- Naan: The North-Indian bread is perhaps the most famous in Indian cuisine and is made in a tandoor (or clay oven). The leavened flatbread is served best with gravy-based delicacies like tandoori chicken or Indian curries.
- Thepla: It is the most popularly eaten flatbread variety from Gujarat and is traditionally made with Fenugreek.
- Appam: A South Indian flatbread, Appam is prepared with a batter of rice and coconut milk, and served with sambhar or chutney.
- Puran Poli: It is a famous bread delicacy from Maharashtra; a type of parantha stuffed with a mixture of chana daal, coconut and jaggery.
Indian Breads: Featuring an Intriguing History
Our most humble roti is believed to date back to 1600 A.D. and has its mention in Tulsidas’ Raamcharitmanas. Even the 12th century Manasollasa had mentioned our popular parantha. The famous naan hails from Central Asia and had been an integral part of Mughlai cuisine since centuries.
Recipe: Naan Bread
Naan is best made in a tandoor but you can also prepare it at your home. Here is the recipe:
Take 1 cup refined flour, 1/ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon baking soda and sieve together. Next, add 1 tablespoon butter, ½ tablespoon refined oil and ¼ cup yogurt or curd, and crumble with your fingers. Now knead the ingredients into a soft dough, adding little milk as and when required.
Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth, place another plate on it and keep aside for 5-6 hours. Next, knead the dough again lightly and make small balls of it. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a shape of thick triangle.
Sprinkle little water atop the rolled naan and place it on a heated tawa. Now, invert the tawa carefully and roast the naan directly over the flame. Once it is done, serve hot with butter on it.