No meal in India is complete without this quintessential flatbread or commonly Indian Roti. It’s the utmost amount of an Indian cuisine table essential as rice. Roti is a staple in Indian households and is an unleavened flatbread and is generally made with wheat flour. India however is a vastly diverse nation and the recipe for making rotis differ according to the local ingredients available in each region.
The Indian Roti is a standard flatbread from the Indian subcontinent. It’s normally eaten with cooked vegetables or curries. Rotis can be rolled into varying thicknesses and are rolled in a wooden board known as chakla where another wooden pin known as belan is used to roll. After that, the roti is prepared in a flat or slightly concave iron griddle called a Tawa. Traditionally, rotis are made by combining wheat flour and water, however, the grain used is region-specific. Many people also use flours like millet, maize, jowar, and even rice.
Other variants of the simple roti can be tandoori roti which is cooked by sticking the flattened dough to the within the wall of a tandoor oven, where it bakes quickly at heat. Indian chapatis are made of wheat flour more commonly known as atta by mixing atta with hot water and using your hands to make a soft dough. Edible oil and salt are also optionally mixed and then baked in a tawa (skillet). Roti is also known as phulka in Punjabi & and maani in Sindhi. Another variant murassa originated in Murshidabad can also be mentioned as 7 layered roti, where cream, nuts, pistachios, & other produce are spread between the layers. Some other versions made from rice flour mande from Karnataka & chitua from Bengal also use the same technique of layering.
The diversity of various versions of Indian Roti can be best seen in kachoris, pooris, and the paranthas. Chana dal or Bengal gram (which got its name because the British discovered it in Bengal) could also be a favorite protein stuffing for rotis and parathas. So are Gram Flour or Besan and Sattu. Balls of dough were simmered in lentil broth to make a wholesome dal roti staple less tediously.
Let us now have a look into the 7 most common Indian roti types that are staples in Indian households.
This is the most common Indian roti that is made almost every day in many Indian houses especially in Northern and Eastern India. Chapati is made up of wheat flour, water, salt, and a little oil. The flour and lukewarm water is mixed with a small quantity of oil and salt to create a soft dough. The dough is then rolled into a thin flat round shape using a belan which is then baked in a flat iron skillet.
Ragi roti is a roti made with ragi flour and is most popular in the Southern regions of India. The flour cake is stuffed with locally available vegetables, spices, onions, and green chilies. This roti is an extremely healthy food consumed either for lunch or dinner and is shown to help with conditions like depression, migraine attacks, and sleeplessness.
Popular flatbreads originating from Punjab, Makki di roti and Sarson da shag is a very common dish consumed by people there and all around the northern regions of India. Makki roti is made from maize flour or cornflour. It is made in a tawa and sometimes chopped veggies like spinach, methi, and others can also be mixed with the dough. It is a bit heavy on the tummy and can be consumed as lunch or dinner.
Originating from Maharashtra, thalipeeth roti is made by combining rice flour, besan, jowar, and whole wheat flour. Mixed with spices and chopped veggies, this roti is a wholesome and healthy meal. Served hot with ghee or yogurt, thalipeeth roti is a must-try.
Missi roti is a Rajasthani delicacy and has the same ingredients as the chapati. Spices like chili powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder are added to the dough and they are cooked in a tawa with a little oil. Missi roti can be taken with any Indian curry.
Paratha is a layered Indian flatbread most commonly made by mixing flour (wheat or maida), water, oil, ghee, and salt. It is a delicacy consumed all over India and is best served with white butter, pickle or yogurt. Parathas can be stuffed with spicy vegetable preparations like mashed aloo, paneer, and other vegetables of choice.
A soft and thin roti, rumali rotis can also be folded like a handkerchief and hence the name ‘rumali’. This roti is consumed all over India especially in Awadhi or Hyderabadi cuisine. Whole wheat & refined flours are mixed and a soft sticky dough is prepared which is then rolled into an extremely thin entity and cooked on a griddle!!!