Here's an ultimate guide to breads of India that'll leave you craving for more right now!
An Indian staple bread, it is made with wheat flour. It has various cooking techniques; it can be roasted on a flat tawa or cooked on an open flame for the famous phulka version of it. Every household has its own version, but in the end, it is ladled with one common ingredient, ghee, which makes it utterly delicious.
Naan is a leavened bread, that is made with yeast and maida. From stuffed naans to the regular garlic and exotic ones like nawaabi, paneer, chur chur, keema & Peshawari naan, it can made in a tandoor and then slathered with generous amounts of ghee or butter.
Mostly eaten in the Punjab region, this fluffy puri like bread made with maida, curd & yeast is generally eaten with chole or a spicy chickpea curry. Due to the maida or all-purpose flour, this bread is chewy & elastic in its texture. This deep-fried bread is devoured in certain parts of northern India as a breakfast staple too.
It is the most commonly made bread in Indian homes during a celebratory occasion. Be it aamras that is paired with it during the mango season or shrikhand or the classic potato curry, this deep-fried, small puffed up bread can be eaten for breakfast as well as lunch.
Derived from the word parat & atta (wheat flour), which means layered of cooked dough, paratha is the most commonly eaten bread after chapati on a regular basis. There are two types of Parathas-one filled with stuffing and the other, the ingredient is mixed while preparing the dough.
Originated from the Bengal region, Luchi is a deep-fried flatbread, made up of maida. It is one of the most popular street foods in Kolkata and is mainly eaten for breakfast. This fluffy bread resembles a poori and is devoured with dum aloo.
Kulcha is often mistaken for a naan by their appearance but there's a distinguished difference between the two. While naan can be stuffed & plain, Kulcha is always stuffed with a spiced mix of potatoes & other vegetables, depending on the variation you prefer.
An interesting bowl-shaped pancake that is popular in Tamil Nadu & Kerala, this bread is made with fermented rice batter. It is relatively thick in the centre and crispy or soft on the sides and edges. It is neutral on the palette therefore it can be paired with sweet coconut milk or spicy curries & stews.
With different names across India, puran poli in Gujarati & Marathi, Obattu in Kannada Poli in Konkani, Upittu in Malayalam & Tamil. Usually, it is made with soaked & ground chana dal mixture that is flavoured with cardamom powder, nutmeg and stuffed inside a dough ball and laden with ghee.
Originated in Iran, this saffron-flavoured bread is now a popular delicacy in the Awadhi Cuisine. In Kashmir, it is made in both sweet and savoury version. Sheermal is made using ingredients like maida, milk powder, yeast, eggs, milk, salt, sugar, rose water, butter, cream & warm water.
Originated in the Mughal Era in Bangladesh, Bhakarkhani is popular in Kashmir and parts of Old Delhi. Bakarkhani is a sweet, puff-pastry like bread made with flour, baking powder, ghee, milk, raisins, almonds and kewra.
A much-loved recipe amongst the Muslim communities of Kerala, Pathiri is a rice flour bread that is very similar to a crepe. It is made on special occasions like a wedding and is popular in the Malabar region during Iftar.
Litti is popular in the states of Bihar & Jharkhand. Stuffed with sattu atta made from chickpea & barley flour on the inside, it is a dough ball made up of whole wheat flour. These dough balls are then roasted over coal & tossed in ghee. It is paired with chokha, an eggplant mash cooked in pungent mustard oil with onions, tomatoes & flavoured with spices.
Flaky, crispy yet soft, a traditional parotta is a layered flatbread that originated in Southern India. It is often mistaken with the laccha paratha but the stark difference lies in its making technique. Malabar Parotta or Barota is made with maida, salt, oil & water.
Made with the coarser wheat flour than the regular chapati, bhakri is mostly eaten in Maharashtra, Gujarat & Karnataka. However, the bhakris made in Gujarat are different than the ones made in Maharashtra. The texture, colour and width of the bhakris are different. It is eaten with pithla or thecha in Maharashtra and curries in Karnataka & Gujarat.
This is a speciality of dry regions like Rajasthan & Gujarat. Using pearl millet flour and some salt with lukewarm water, the dough is kneaded and toasted on a clay tawa until cooked. It is served with (lehsun) garlic chutney and smeared with white homemade butter, evoking the rustic vibes.
Made with wheat flour, semolina or sooji, salt & ghee, Baati has a crispy exterior and is toasted on coals & dunked in ghee. The interior of the bhaati could feel dry and therefore is eaten with dal, garlic chutney & churma (a sweet crumbly dessert) on the side which completes the dish.
A savoury multi-grain flatbread that is popularly eaten in Maharashtra. The dough is prepared by adding finely chopped onions, green chillies & coriander. It is generally eaten for breakfast or as a snack in Maharashtrian households. It can generally be eaten with anything but is mostly served with toop or ghee & curd.
A fresh fenugreek flatbread that sees its origin from Gujarat, thepla is made with wheat flour, sometimes with the addition of chickpea & millet flour. It is enjoyed as a breakfast, with an afternoon tea or even for lunch or dinner. It is also eaten with chunda (a sweet, grated mango pickle) or dipped in curd on a hot day.
Originated in Iran, taftan is leavened bread made with milk, yoghurt, and eggs and is baked in a clay oven or a normal oven. It is often flavoured with saffron and a small amount of cardamom powder and decorated with poppy seeds. It looks almost like naan, but is flakier, thicker yet lighter in texture, this bread is a part of Awadhi cuisine.
Also called Manda, Rumali roti is famous is India & Pakistan and is devoured with tandoori meats & curries. It is made using a mix of wheat & maida flour & kneaded with salt and milk. It is cooked on an inverted wok and is often served as is without adding ghee or butter.
A Kashmiri bread, Chochwor resembles a bagel, it has a soft centre, with a hole in the middle and is sprinkled with poppy seeds. It is devoured with the salty noon chai in the afternoons. It is like a desi doughnut, soft round bread sprinkled with til (sesame seeds) or poppy seeds and the lower crust is crispy.
Resembling the deep-fried process of the pooris, Mangalore buns are quite different in most ways. These buns were a result of overripe bananas in kitchen which were then added to flour & deep-fried! These buns are mildly sweet, soft and fluff up just like pooris. They're also called banana buns.
The name comes from the way it is arranged & baked; exactly like a repetitive pattern in a tile. These ladi pavs have become a part of our food culture and are used to complete dishes like Pav Bhaji, Vada Pav, Keema Pav, Misal Pav, akuri etc. They look similar to the dinner rolls of the west but have a distinct flavour and can be made without eggs too.
Although a traditional bread from the royal city of Jodhpur, it is one of the most underrated breads in India. It is relatively a thick roti, made with wheat flour and loaded with ghee. It is cooked on a low flame on a gas tandoor to give it a crispy exterior.
Pitha is a rice cake from Eastern Indian states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam and also Kerala. Pithas are made in both sweet and savoury versions. It is with deep-fried, baked, slow-roasted or steamed in banana leaves.
A steamed rice cake from Meghalaya, Putharo is also made of rice flour, powdered jaggery & grated coconut. It is a Khasi snack, prepared by pounding fermented rice in a traditional mortar until powdered. It is then mixed with water and sometimes with jaggery & grated coconut and baked in a traditional pan known as 'saraw'.
A Sindhi speciality, koki is almost an everyday affair in Sindhi households. It is a rich textured paratha made with wheat flour and ghee. It is made in both sweet and savoury version. The taste lies in the slow-cooking of the imperfectly edged dough that is flavourful and attractive at the same time.
Popular in the state of Karnataka, Akki roti is a rice-based breakfast item made of rice flour which is mixed with salt and water and kneaded well till it forms a soft dough. This flatbread can also be made in various versions, with grated vegetables or by completely avoiding it, with cooked rice or with dill leaves.
A chickpea flour pancake, chilla is often eaten as a snack with chutney or tea. It is mostly made with onions, green chillies, tomatoes and salt mixed in the chickpea batter. It is placed on a tawa and needs only about 5 minutes to cook, making it an easy and quick snack recipe.
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