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Some of the most popular breads served in India

Posted Sep 20 2009 10:11pm

Bread features prominently in almost all cultures across the world.The earliest record of bread - making can be traced back to Egypt. From Egypt it is believed to have spread to Greece and thereon to the rest of the western world through trade routes.

Today, bread is no longer just a staple; it is a symbol of the basic necessities of human existence.

Throughout India, the basic ingredients of bread - flour, water and salt, remain the constant . Rotis, the generic name for bread in Hindi, made from different grains and eaten mostly in rural, Western and Central India, while wholewheat remains the main cereal of northern and most of urban India except regions where rice is the main cereal.

Among unleavened breads, chapati , phulka, poori and paratha are commonly made at home as part of everyday meals. Most region specific and sometimes elaborate breads include roghaniroti, missiroti, khastaroti. Rotis made from different grains like makki ( corn ), bajra ( pearl millet ), jowar ( sorghum ), ragi ( finger millet ) and chawal ( rice ) are eaten with specific dishes in particular seasons.


Among leavened breads, naan is one of the most popular staples. Other types of leavened bread popular as a street food in many parts of North India include kulchas and bhaturas.

Cooking methods vary as well. Bread can be baked on tawas ( iron griddle ), in tandoors ( clay ovens ), on ultatawas ( dome - shaped iron griddle ), fried in woks or steamed, or even boiled: a method known as dubki ( drowning).

Different rotis and naans are served with different kebabs, qormas, salans and vegetable curries. A fairly simple rule lays down that all breads rich in fats are served with kebabs and dry meat preparations. Unleavened breads are served with thin gravies and vegetable dishes. But there are some breads, the pairing of which are eternal; for instance makkikiroti with sarsonkasaag, baati with dal, pooris with alookisubzi, kaddukisabzi or chick pea gravy and bhatura with chole.

However, planning and serving a meal with Indian breads need not make undue demands on your time. All it takes is a little imagination and some common sense in complementing dishes and flavors.

Some of the most popular breads served in India


It is a hard, dumpling - shaped, unleavened bread cooked in the desert areas of Rajasthan, Malwa and Gujarat in Northwest and Western India. It is values for its exceptionally long life and high energy content, as well as for the minimal quantity of water it requires in preparation. Always eaten with dal, baati can be plain or filled with onions, peas and sattu ( roasted gram flour ).


It is a round, flat unleavened bread popular in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka. It is made mostly from jowar flour, bajra flour, ragi flour or rice flour ( in the Konkan region ), combined with oil and water. Usually eaten with a curry called zhunka, it is considered a traditional farmer’s meal, prepared at the crack of dawn and consumed for both breakfast and lunch.


It is a soft, fluffy, leavened fried bread, typically eaten with spicy chickpeas ( chole ). This classic Punjabi bread made with white flour, yogurt, ghee or oil, and yeast. Once kneaded well, the dough is left to rise, after which small balls of it are either hand - rolled or flattened using a rolling pin. Then deep fried until they puff up into a lightly browned, soft , fluffy bread.


It is an unleavened bread made of jowar, typical to North Karnataka where it is eaten with pulse curries such as zhunka.


It is a typical Punjabi bread, most famous in the city of Amritsar, with one style of kulcha is even called the AmritsariKulcha. A type of leavened bread, it is made with flour dough, often stuffed with mashed potatoes or paneer, onion ( optional ), dry fruits ( Dry fruit kulcha is famous in Kashmir ) and spices, then rolled into a flat round bread and baked in an earthen clay oven ( tandoor ).


A cousin of the poori, is a deep - fried flat bread made of wheat flour that is typical to Bengali cuisine. The dough for luchis, is prepared by mixing fine maida flour with water and spoonful of ghee. Small balls of the dough are then flattened using a rolling pin and ddep - fried.


In general, refers to Indian flat bread cooked on iron griddle.


It is leavened wheat flour bread baked in tandoor, popular across North India.


It is a leavened wheat flour bread using yeast. It is simple bread baked in tandoors.


Literally means roti made from maize flour. Yellow in color, once cooked, it has very little adhesive strength, which makes it difficult to handle. That’s why it’s usually patted in to shape and not rolled out using rolling pin. A winter bread, it is best paired with sarsonkasaag ( cooked leaves of mustard ) and lassi, a sweet drink made from yogurt and water.

Information & Photo Credit - ITC - WELCOMGROUP
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