Unleavened flat bread seems to be the staple food particularly, for the people living in North India. Most popular breads in India are made from atta or whole wheat flour and they are usually baked in a very hot iron girdle that is known as a tava in Hindi. There are different forms of bread that are ideal for appetisers and snacks. There are yet other kinds of Indian bread that are made especially for festivals. Indian breads are extremely popular worldwide and are often served in any reputed Indian restaurant in South Yarra. Here are some of the most popular Indian breads.
Rotis: These are unleavened flatbreads that are served piping hot with cooked vegetables, daal or curry. Rotis are made from whole wheat flour (atta) and are usually served with ghee especially, in Punjab. Roti is truly an accompaniment for several Indian dishes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The thinner version of rotis is referred to as chapattis.
Puris: Puris are again unleavened deep-fried flat bread that is made from mostly atta and in some states from maida. These appear quite crispy from the outside but they maintain a soft texture inside. Puris are deep-fried in refined oil or desi ghee until they puff up and get a light golden look. Puris are mostly served for breakfast with aloo ki sabzi. Aloo puri is a hot favourite breakfast for most Indians and is often served in restaurants abroad. Puris are a must on religious holidays and special occasions including weddings, birthdays etc.
Parathas: These are extremely popular unleavened Indian flat bread that are made from aata and fried with refined oil or ghee on a flat pan or tava. Plain parathas are served with various kinds of daal, rajma, chana, vegetarian dishes such as palak paneer, bhindi masala, etc. and even non-vegetarian dishes such as mutton korma, chicken butter masala etc. However, parathas often come with a delicious stuffing of boiled potato, paneer, cheese, radish, cauliflower etc.
Aloo paratha is stuffed with boiled potato, green chillies, coriander leaves and spices. Gobhi paratha has a grated cauliflower stuffing. Similarly, mooli paratha has a grated radish stuffing. Methi paratha and pudina paratha are also pretty popular. Parathas are usually served piping hot with chutney, pickles, butter or cheese spread or rich tasty gravy or spicy sabzi or cooked vegetables. Most Indian restaurants serve paratha with malai kofta, shahi paneer, reshmi kebabs, chicken butter masala etc. In India, paratha is often served for breakfast with curd, butter or pickle and it is a wonderful tiffin box food.
Tandoori Rotis & Naans: Tandoor is a clay oven. Any roti that is baked in a tandoor is called tandoori roti. Tandoori rotis are often made with maida or all-purpose flour and are rolled out thicker than usual rotis. Naan is a very thick leavened flatbread, which is nicely baked in a tandoor. It is served piping hot. Naan has several varieties including butter naan, cheese garlic naan and cheese naan. Mostly yeast is used for making this bread.
Kulcha: It is a variety of Indian leavened flatbread that is made from all-purpose flour or maida. It is very popular in Pakistan and North India. It is eaten with great delight along with matar or chole masala. Many variations of kulcha are very popular worldwide including aloo kulcha or paneer kulcha etc. These are rolled out into thick round bread and baked nicely in a tandoor mostly, till it gets the golden brown look.