Indian flatbreads and puffed breads are usually tawa cooked, tandoori made, baked or deep fried. Various breads of India are popular all around the world. Roti, naan, kulcha, chapati, poori are its major types and the country has umpteen varieties in each of its type. These flatbreads are divided based on the flour of the dough, the other ingredients the dough contains, filling of stuffing that goes in, or the way they are made.
These Indian flatbreads are paired up with various Sabzis or Gravy side dishes. While most of the Indian breads are paired up with savory side dishes, many of them can simply go well with a dallop of butter or a roll of accompaniments like sugar, chutney podis, pickles, sweet preparations or various preserves. This is what makes the Indian breads versatile and all the more delicious. Here are major forms of breads made in Indian Kitchen, explained in detail.
Roti is a flatbread usually not greased and folded before cooking it on tawa. Phulka is a type of roti where the partially tawa-cooked flatbread made of whole wheat flour/all-purpose flour is fire roasted with the help of tongs. Some of the rotis are made only on tawa, with a drizzle of ghee. There are other rotis which are made of corn flour, non-glutinous rice flour, flour of various dals (pulses), amaranth flour (gluten free), multigrain flour, etc. Side dishes like Dry sabzis, chutney, chutney podi with a dollop of ghee pair up very well with roti/bhakri/rotla/rotli.
Paratha are usually stuffed roti which can have various ingredients, fruits, dry fruits, nuts or vegetables (either grated or boiled and mashed) in them. They are usually paired with homemade ghee, pickle or curds. Paratha is a great way to pack nutrients, proteins and vitamins in daily diet especially for fussy eaters and kids who are not fond of eating greens and vegetables. Parathas can also be made plain as in Tawa Paratha.
Naan is usually made with Maida or all-purpose flour. Texture and the pull of the naan is very important for its classification. Naan can also be made with whole wheat but the resultant naan will be less elastic than the ones made with maida. Hence they have a lesser pull-effect the traditional ones.
Poori is a deep fried Indian puffed bread. The flattened dough is usually made with whole wheat, all-purpose flour, bajra and other cereal flour. The dough is made with less water to avoid soaking too much oil while being fried. There are stuffed versions of poori where different pulses or vegetables are added into rolled poori dough.
Kulchas are the leavened flat breads originated in India. Kulcha is usually prepared with all-purpose flour with sesame seeds or coriander toppings on it. Kulchas are made with or without stuffing, mandatorily including the leavening or sitting time for the dough. Kulcha are a popular inclusion in occasional lunches and dinner.
Thepla differ from parathas as the veggies or spices added are mixed in finely chopped or grated form rather than adding them as a stuffing. Often mildly spiced, these theplas are a trusted breakfast in most of the Gujarati households. Also, curd/yogurt is sometimes added while preparing the dough.
This is an Indian bread which is usually deep fried but unlike most of the pooris, kachori comes with stuffing. Kachori is had as a street food or an evening snack. In some parts of North India, Kachori is squeezed in as breakfast itself.
Click here to know more about what to pair with these Indian Breads