September 10, 2007
Indian Breads are extensively popular all over India and there are a wide variety of flat breads and crepes that form an integral part of Indian cuisine. These breads vary from region to region reflecting the diversity of Indian culture and food habits. Based on the local ingredients grown in each region the bread differs. Since ages, we have been making breads and most of the early breads were mainly unleavened with different grains, thickness, shape and texture.
North India is one of the major producers of Wheat. Indian breads mostly originate from India, but notable Naan traces back to Central Asia. The origin refers to Moghul influence with invading rulers and travellers. Indian breads are easy to prepare and are nutritious and a very healthy diet. They are made with a variety of flours available region wise. The most common flour used for preparing the flat bread is Wheat flour, others are Maida (all-purpose flour), bajra, jowar, Makkai Ka Atta (corn – maize flour), rice flour, ragi etc. They are often eaten with accompaniments like dals (lentils), curries, shorbas, korma, chutneys etc.
Indian breads are quintessentially prepared in most Indian homes with different variations. Indian breads are either made flat, plain or stuffed while in southern India, the flat breads are basically the crepes or dosa made from black lentils and rice. Below listed are some of the popular Indian breads that are widely prepared at homes, dhabas, restaurants and various food outlets.
Popular North Indian breads are:
→ CHAPATI or ROTI : These are soft and circular flatbreads that are eaten on a daily basis in most Indian homes in North India and sometimes in south India. These chapattis are made with unleavened whole wheat flour and are cooked on a tawa or griddle while Phulkas are slightly fried on the tawa and then directly cooked over the gas flame until they puff like a nice balloon. Chapatis or rotis are fresh homemade bread, made with wheat or other grain flours and baked without yeast. A simple Indian flat bread commonly known as chapati or roti made with whole-wheat flour is served with a variety of deliciously cooked vegetables, lentils etc. Popular varieties of rotis are:
Roomali roti is extremely thin flat bread and usually served folded like a handkerchief. The bread is usually made with a combination of whole and white wheat flours (atta and maida respectively) and best cooked on a tandoor.
Jowar ki Roti
Jowar ki roti is a popular gluten free roti (Indian flat bread) made from jowari flour that can be eaten along with any pickle, meat or vegetable curries.
Roomali Roti – Homemade
Roomali roti is traditional very thin flat bread popular from the Mughlai cuisine.The bread is usually made with a combination of whole and white wheat flours (atta and maida respectively) and best cooked on a tandoor.
Bottlegourd flatbread Lauki ki Roti
Bottle gourd flatbread - Lauki ki Roti is brilliant Indian flat bread made with grated lauki/ kaddu/ bottle gourd flavoured with ajwain (carom seeds) mixed to whole wheat flour, chickpea flour combined together to form a soft dough; prepared as nice rotis and tawa fried. Serve with korma or salan or pickle.
Beetroot roti is amazing Indian flat bread made with whole wheat flour flavoured with finely grated beetroot and spiced with Indian spices.
Sweet Potato Roti poli
Sweet potato poli is stuffed flat bread made in traditional Indian style by stuffing boiled and mashed or grated sweet potato. A healthy version of the traditional calorie laden puran poli. Sweet potatoes have been used instead of dal to minimize the sugar. Enjoy them with low fat milk instead of ghee.
Indian Honey Bread Sahad Roti
Dibba rotti is one of the favorite evening snacks. It looks like a round thick cake.
Aloo ki Roti
The whole potatoes boiled and incorporated with the regular roti atta with addition of some faring ingredients leavened with soda bi carbonate and cooked on a hot tava.
→ PARATHA: These breads are thick and flaky made with unleavened flour, pan fried flatbreads. They are usually stuffed with a variety of vegetables, paneer or mince meat. There are several versions of stuffed parathas such as Aloo Paratha, Gobi Paratha or Keema Paratha and many more.
→ POORI/ PURI: Puri is a round, puffed unleavened deep-fried Indian bread, commonly eaten for breakfast or as a light meal; usually served with a delicious curry or bhaji like the Chole masala or Rajma masala. Poori with halwa is a speciality dish which is generally prepared during festivals or celebration time. This is commonly known as Poori Subzi is most Indian restaurants. You could also prepare different varieties of pooris such as:
Sweet Semolina Poori
Sweet Semolina Poori is an Indian sweet. Semolina is cooked with water and sugar flavored with cardamom powder and then stuffed into wheat flour dough. The sweet semolina poori is a very famous Maharashtrian sweet. The dish is popularly called as Sanjachi Poli in Marathi.
Green peas poori
Crispy puris stuffed with green peas are superbly flavoured and simply divine. You will enjoy these puris with Aloo ki Subji. Puris have always been considered a treat for all occasions including the worship of family deities.
BHAJANICHE VADA Maharashtrian roasted multigrain special poori
As I mentioned in my old post of Bhajaniche Thalipith, "Bhajani" is a flour of roasted multigrain and pulses. Generally we make Thalipith from it. Thalipith is made in less oil where as Bhajniche vade is deep fried snacks with same ingredients.
Sweet poori is a simple delicious sweet that looks like a crispy flaky juicy mini poori nicely dipped in sugary syrup.
→ NAAN: Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flat Indian bread popular in India, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. A typical naan involves mixing of white flour (all-purpose flour) with salt, a yeast culture and enough yoghurt or milk to make smooth elastic dough. You can make a variety of Naans like the Plain Naan, Butter Naan, Garlic Naan, Tandoori Naan etc. Naans are generally served hot with a variety of dishes like Tandoori Chicken or Kebabs.
Popular Southern Indian breads are made with rice flour and coconut. Some of the well known varieties are:
Kerala Parotta :
Malabar paratha, the very name itself makes the mouth water. Any dish from the Malabar region is a delicacy. The delectable gently cooked, mild flavored Malabar recipes are a pride to South Indian cooking. The malabar cuisine is famous for the non vegetarian recipes. When it comes to the vegetarian dishes the Malabar parathas takes the top position. This layered flakey flat bread just melts away in your mouth. This is one bread which demands ultimate patience and care while in process. This is made of maida and tastes excellent with Veg Korma or any gravy.
Dosa : Crepe made with rice and urad dal.
Appam is God’s own country’s revered food and most popular among Kerala breakfast recipes that are healthy and easy to make. These white lacy pancakes have a crisp side with an airy, soft on touch, fluffy center. Appam recipe uses minimal ingredients, simple to make and usually served with a range of sides like vegetable stew or chicken stew, sweetened coconut milk, Kerala egg cury, egg roast, korma, chutney and kadala curry.
In the states of Central India, grains like Ragi (millet), Jowar (sorghum), bajra (pearl millet) and lentils are widely used to prepare Indian breads. Below listed are few of the flatbread that I love to prepare.
Puran poli is a sweetened roti/ chapati stuffed with a delicious sweet filling made of channa dal and jaggery. This is a very popular delicacy made in the Maharashtra and Andhra regions especially during festivals or celebrations.
A popular multigrain bread which is served topped with ghee.
Jowar Bajre ki Bakri
A very nutritious Indian flat bread made with Sorghum and Pearl Millet flour. Jowar and bajra are rich in iron, protein and fibre. Being comparatively dry this roti is recommended as it will relieve you feeling of silkness. Have it as a mid morning snack or for lunch.
Do try these easy to prepare Indian flat breads as they are truly nutritious and healthy to eat. You can eat them with any type of dry or gravy curries, chutney or would also taste extremely good with raita. Further on I shall show you some of my favourite Parathas. If you wish to know more about my easy and delectable recipes, then just click on at: www.vahrehvah.com.
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VahChef Sanjay Thumma
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