If you are fascinated by pizzas, buns, bruschetta, bagels, baguettes, focaccia, tortilla etc, you must know that your own country has several interesting bread types made in such amazingly creative manner that they act as wonderful accompaniments to any side dish they are served with. Can you imagine an Indian thali without any kind of bread? The humble roti that we eat has even been mentioned in Tulsidas’ Raamcharitmanas (1600 AD) when it resembled the katori and was probably called rotika. Similarly, Naan is believed to have come to our land from central Asia and even the Paratha finds mention in the 12th century Sanskrit encyclopaedia, Manasollasa, compiled by Someshawar III, the then ruler of Karnataka. Here is a list of Indian breads that prove India is indeed a land of diversity and unity when it comes to food.
The bread of happy occasions, puri is unleavened and made with whole-wheat dough and is deep fried.
Luchi is almost like puri, is more popular in Bengal and uses refined flour instead of whole wheat flour.
Paratha is made with two words-parat and atta which means layered bread. A perfect paratha is the one which separates into different layers. It can be made in several ways. The triangle or tikona paratha has several layers that make it light and delicious and the stuffed parathas are slightly thick and can be stuffed with anything from meat to veggies, potatoes, paneer, cheese, sugar, gur and even dals and veggies.
Naan in Persian means bread. This soft, spongy leavened bread came to India from Central Asia and became an inseparable part of Mughlai food. It is cooked in tandoor and while kneading the dough, usually milk is used instead of water, to make it soft.
A Punjabi variation of naan, it is a leavened flatbread made with refined flour and cooked in tandoor. It is made with or without stuffings.
A South Indian flatbread made with rice and coconut milk batter, it has several variations and can be sweet as well as savoury.
Deep fried and served with Chhole, this leavened bread is crispy and much larger in size than poori.
9. Puran Poli
A popular Maharashtrian delicacy, it is a kind of paratha stuffed with chana daal, jaggery and coconut mixture and then cooked with some ghee.
An inseparable part of traditional Awadhi and Nizami cuisine, Sheermal is a leavened bread cooked in tandoor. It is flavoured with saffron and has a mildly sweet taste.
Bakarkhani is a leavened bread and has a biscuit like texture. It is mildly spiced, is sweet and is flavoured with saffron. It is a part of Eid celebrations and tastes great with meats and gravies.
This white, thin pancake made with rice flour, Pathiri is popular with Malabari Muslims and is an essential part of Iftaar during Ramzaan
Parotta is a layered flatbread, midway between laccha paratha and tikona paratha and is popular in Kerala.
14. Laccha Paratha
It is a round bread that has several layers which are made by applying ghee while rolling the dough. It is usually served with Mughlai dishes.
Round and soft, roti or chapati is made with whole-wheat flour and is a part of our daily diet.
Hard and crisp, it is an unleavened bread made with flour and is popular in Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat.
17. Tandoori Roti
Similar to naan this bread is made of whole wheat and is cooked in clay oven at a high temperature. It is usually smeared with butter before serving.
A Rajasthani preparation it is round and small and is served with daal and choorma.
A popular Bihari dish, it looks like a ball which is baked in clay oven and is stuffed with sattu. It is served with chokha made with brinjal and potatoes.
It is another inalienable part of festivals and celebrations in India, kachori is thicker than poori and is stuffed with a variety of ingredients like peas, onion, potato, mawa etc. Its close cousin is Bengali Radhabalabhi which is also a type of stuffed poori, but is thinner than kachori.
Popular in Maharashtra, Gujarat and some other parts of Western India, Thalipeeth is made with rice, wheat, jowar, bajra, urad and chana. It is spicy and savoury.
Made with whole wheat flour, gram flour, fenugreek leaves and spices, this Gujarati bread is soft and has a longer shelf life than most breads.
Taftan came to India from Iran and is a leavened bread made with eggs, flour, saffron, spices and kneaded in milk.