The delicious flatbreads of Indian cuisine are renowned all over the world. Indian flatbreads come in a variety of shapes and sizes—leavened or unleavened, baked, fried, steamed, or slapped over the tandoor’s vast walls. There are currently over 30 different Indian flatbread varieties, which vary by area, with each city putting its own twist on the type of flour used and the cooking process utilized.
Chapati, Roti, Naan, Thepla, Naan, Kulcha, and a variety of other Indian flatbreads are just a few examples. The capacity to soak up excellent curry sauces or house numerous toppings and stuffings is something that all of these bread have in common.
We understand that venturing into the vast realm of Indian flatbread types might be intimidating, so we’re here to assist.
Here’s an overview of 15 popular Indian breads, including some suggestions on how to enjoy them:
In Hindi, the term chapat means “to slap,” which gives us an indication of how the Indian flatbread is prepared. The unleavened bread is made by slapping and stretching the dough between the cook’s palms before being placed on a tava, which is a flat, disc-shaped frying pan.
The chapati’s true charm lies in its ability to go with almost any gravied dish or stew. Its mild, nutty flavor, along with its reasonably nutritious preparation, makes it a typical staple dish in India.
Luchi with aloo dum, a classic Bengali main dish, is one of the most customary breakfast items you may prepare for your loved ones. Luchi is a deep-fried poori made with ghee or white oil that East Indians enjoy with spicy potato curry.
Parathas are flaky, chewy, and denser than chapatis, making them one of the most popular unleavened Indian flatbread. The texture of the paratha is obtained by a sequence of ghee coating and folding stages, similar to how puff pastry is made. After that, the parathas are cooked on a hot tava before being shallow-fried.
Stuffed parathas are somewhat thicker than regular parathas and can be filled with everything from meat to vegetables, potatoes, paneer, cheese, sugar, gur, or even dals and vegetables.
This delectable leavened bread, probably the most renowned of Indian breads, is best served hot from the tandoor with meals like tandoori chicken and kebab. While it’s usually baked in a tandoor, it’s simple to make at home in an oven or pan. Just remember to finish it off with a ghee or butter brushing.
Thepla is a delectable Indian flatbread made with wheat flour, gram flour, or millet flour, and spices from Gujarati cuisine. You may cook thepla without vegetables, but adding vegetables and greens like fenugreek leaves or bottle gourd isn’t a bad idea. Unlike the vegetables stuffed inside parathas, the vegetables in this dish are combined with dough and rolled out before being prepared.
South Indian Roti
You’ll appreciate gluten-free south Indian flatbread like akki roti (rice flour roti), ragi roti (finger millet flour roti), and bajra roti (pearl millet flour roti) if you’re on a gluten-free diet. This gluten-free roti is made using a combination of gluten-free flours, onion, and spices.
Poori (or puri) is a whole wheat flour-based, deep-fried, unleavened flatbread. When compared to bhatura, poori is smaller. These golden beauties are deep-fried and served with aloo (potato) or chana masala (chickpea curry).
Khakhra is a delicious, crispy Indian flatbread that originated in Gujarat, India. The crackers, which are made with wheat flour, mat bean, and oil, are often eaten for breakfast and provide a nutritious snack that is best enjoyed with chutneys or curries.
Rumali roti is a famous Indian bread made with flour, water, and oil. The dough is baked on a traditional tawa, and it is known as handkerchief (rumali) bread because of its extreme thinness. Some believe the bread earned its name from the fact that it was used as a handkerchief after a meal.
Bhakri is a famous unleavened Indian flatbread that originated in Maharashtra but is now widely available in Gujarat, Goa, and Rajasthan. Bhakri is a wholesome flatbread that may be prepared using jowar, ragi, sorghum, wheat, or rice flour, all of which are high in dietary fibers.
Kulcha is a wheat-based Indian flatbread that is usually eaten as a side dish with any vegetable curry. The bread is prepared in a tandoor or on a griddle, then smeared with ghee and served while still warm. It’s chewy and soft, and it’s easy to cook on a conventional tawa, making it accessible to both commoners and royalty, a feature that led to its immense popularity in the northern parts of India.
Appam is a type of soft, bowl-shaped pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut. They’re quite popular in southern India, particularly in Kerala. Around the edges, they’re crispy and lacy, and in the center, they’re soft and thick. For a great breakfast, serve with coconut milk or veggie stew.
The bhatura is a deep-fried golden ball of bliss, similar to a puri. But, unlike the puri, the bhatura is a leavened bread prepared with maida flour, yogurt, ghee, and yeast, and is more like naan. For breakfast, it’s usually served with chana masala and a tall glass of lassi, a yogurt drink made with water and spices that originated in India’s Punjab area.
Sheermal is a leavened Indian flatbread prepared in a tandoor that is an intricate part of traditional Awadhi and Nizami cuisine. This classic meal is simple to prepare. It’s normally produced as a crispy paratha covered with a honey glaze and saffron milk mixture. This sweet delicacy provides a delicious main meal that may be served for lunch or dinner. When served with seviyan or kheer, this decadent bread is at its finest.
Kachori is a thicker version of poori that is packed with a range of ingredients such as peas, onion, potato, mawa, and so on. It is an undeniable component of Indian festivities. Bengali Radhaballabhi, a type of stuffed poori that is similar to it but thinner, is a similar bread dish.