Indian Cooking – North Indian Breads

The world over, Indian meals is essentially perceived as curries. Whereas this is not strictly true-considering the big quantities of spices and their portions and kinds used-it is actually fairly inevitable, until one is conscious of the cooking kinds on this nation.

India is a land of ample cultures and sub cultures, every having their very own distinctive means of cooking, with little or no in frequent between them. Cooking kinds range, and so do tastes, textures and spices used. Nevertheless, three important spices are frequent all through India- Turmeric (Haldi), Salt (Namak) and Crimson Chilli Powder (Mirch). Maintaining these as a base, Indian cooks create an enormous number of dishes by various add-on spices.

On this article, I will introduce some frequent and never so well-known north Indian breads. For the file, the time period ‘North India’, from a cultural viewpoint, consists of New Delhi, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, and Rajasthan. Besides New Delhi, which is extra of a cosmopolitan city-state, all these locations have their very own distinct meals tradition and traditions. It’s due to this fact barely unfair to membership all of them in a single time period when discussing meals, nevertheless it must do for the aim of this text.

North India usually has a large number of griddle (tava) baked breads made with unleavened dough for probably the most half. The bottom dough for many consists of complete meal flour blended with water and a little bit salt, the entire of which is then kneaded to a smooth pliable consistency. That is then made into various kinds of breads as beneath.

Roti or Chapaati

For this bread, a small ball of dough is rolled out flat (about 1 – 2mm) in a round form (about 6 inches in diameter), these are dry baked on a sizzling griddle till splotchy brown and cooked via. The Roti has a couple of variants that are talked about beneath.


A really shut relative of the Roti, Phulkas are cooked on one aspect on a griddle after which laid on an open flame, which causes the Roti to puff up, at which level it turns into a phulka. The time period ‘phul’ means to puff up or to bloat, therefore the by-product Phulka.

Makki Ki Roti

This can be a favourite winter time roti made utilizing corn flour (makki ka atta). After making a easy dough with water (and maybe some grated veggies like radish or carrots) a ball of the dough is pressed down on a bit of material or versatile plastic, because the dough could be very brittle and would not cling collectively. When the circle is roti sized, it’s flipped over on to a sizzling griddle and often served with vegetable pickle or sarson ka saag (mustard greens).

Ulte Tave Ki Roti

Actually translated, this implies ‘Rotis cooked on an upturned Griddle’. Made the identical means as regular Rotis, these are about double the conventional thickness and positioned on a sizzling griddle after wetting each side of the raw Roti with water. This makes it follow the griddle that in flip produces the wishes impact when the griddle is upturned and the roti uncovered to a unadorned flame. These Rotis are usually eaten with non-vegetarian dishes, however that is largely a matter of particular person desire.

Missi Roti

A Missi Roti is definitely a traditional roti, made with the conventional dough as described earlier, to which varied different sorts of flour and spices have been added. There is no mounted recipe for this – it is each to his personal right here. One easy instance could be to combine equal proportions of complete meal wheat and gram flour with some pink chilli powder, salt, kasuri methi and maybe a little bit cuminseed, add some water and make a smooth dough. You would additionally knead in a little bit oil in the event you like. When carried out, prepare dinner on a sizzling griddle like a traditional Roti.

The Tandoor

The Tandoor is an upright cylinder with an outer sheath of steel and an inside manufactured from a really thick layer of baked clay. Rotis made inside it are plastered to the interior partitions. When roasting meats or cooking kebabs, the meals is threaded on lengthy steel skewers or Seekhs therefore the identify of the highly regarded kebab – Seekh Kebab.

Tandoori Roti

Much like Ulte Tave Ki Roti when rolled out, these are cooked within the Tandoor. After rolling, the roti is positioned on the within partitions of the Tandoor and left to bake. Tandoori Rotis are often a little bit greater than double the thickness of regular Rotis.

The Kashmiris have a variant referred to as Lavasa, which too is kind of bland because it would not have any seasoning. The dough makes use of refined flour versus the wholemeal flour used for the Tandoori Roti. Whereas it may be eaten with something, it’s usually eaten with extremely spiced Kashmiri fashion mutton stews.

Tandoori Paratha

Tandoori Parathas are made a lot the identical means as Lachha Parathas. The one distinction is that they’re cooked contained in the Tandoor, reasonably than a sizzling griddle.


Naans are made utilizing dough manufactured from refined flour with a leavening agent of some kind. Some use fermented dough, others might use yeast and few folks combine lively yoghurt into the dough. The top end result nevertheless, is similar – the dough should rise. Naans range in measurement from a couple of inches throughout to a monster I’ve personally had the pleasure of demolishing, which was a little bit greater than 1.5 toes in diameter. Usually, Naan’s are cooked within the tandoor, although an oven does the job too. Coal nevertheless, delivers a taste that can not be matched by a traditional oven.

Stuffed Naan (Amritsari)

Amritsar is a vital metropolis within the state of Punjab. The stuffed Naan takes its identify from this metropolis and can be referred to as Amritsari Naan. A stuffed naan is made utilizing the Naan dough, full of a filling just like a stuffed paratha and often rolled right into a circle. It’s then caught to the interior partitions of the Tandoor to prepare dinner.


There are lots of sorts of parathas and so they’re all excessive calorie and fairly scrumptious.

Typical Paratha

A skinny layer of oil or clarified butter (ghee) is unfold on the floor of the rolled Roti and folded till it is a sq. about an inch throughout, with oil being unfold on each un-oiled floor that is uncovered upwards. It’s then rolled once more and the method is repeated a couple of instances. The Paratha is then cooked on a sizzling griddle, with liberal splashes of oil or ghee. The ultimate result’s a crisp (or not) bread that’s multi layered and tastes fairly good with absolutely anything. Usually, it is not eaten with non-vegetarian dishes. In ethnic Muslim delicacies, that is additionally referred to as Roghani Roti, the place ‘Roghani’ refers to ‘fats’.

Stuffed Paratha

The stuffed paratha begins out as a Roti rolled out, within the centre of which is positioned a dollop of stuffing (spiced, mashed boiled potatoes, cauliflour and so on). The Roti is then picked up by the sides, sealed (by urgent collectively) after which rolled out once more. That is then cooked the identical means as a Paratha. Usually it’s served crisp, with yoghurt (generally whipped) with pickles. An concept after-paratha drink is nice, milky tea.

Lachha Paratha

A Lachha Paratha consists of many layers – many greater than a traditional paratha. Additionally, the layers listed below are horizontal in addition to vertical, versus solely vertical in a traditional Paratha. That is made by rolling out a Roti, spreading oil or ghee on the floor after which slicing it into strips. These strips are place one on prime of the opposite and holding the pile by each ends, twisted right into a roundish form. That is then rolled flat and cooked on a griddle. One other means of constructing that is to make a protracted cylindrical form with the dough, coating it with oil and ranging from one finish, making it right into a wheel form with concentric circles. As with method #1, that is then rolled flat and cooked on a sizzling griddle, or in a Tandoor.

Within the context of Muslim delicacies, that is also called a Warqui Paratha, the place Warqui means ‘leaves’ and is just like the phrase Warq, which refers back to the crushed silver or gold sheets which are used to brighten sweets.

Roomali Roti

That is extra of a method than a recipe. Actually translated ‘Roomal’ means ‘Handkerchief’ and the Roomali Roti is simply that. A really smooth, skinny and huge bread that folds and bends identical to fabric. Whereas it may be eaten with absolutely anything, it’s a explicit favourite in terms of making rolls or wraps.


Cheela is a variant of the Roti that’s made with gram flour as an alternative of the conventional wholemeal wheat flour. Nevertheless, not like the standard Roti, there’s appreciable scope for creativity right here. Varied additions may be made to the fundamental gram flour combination like finely chopped onions, inexperienced chilli, coriander and absolutely anything else that has been nicely drained, just like the outer flesh of tomatoes for instance. The Cheela can be fairly nicely seasoned, often with Ajowan (carom, ajwain, or bishop’s weed), powdered black pepper, pink chilli powder and coriander powder (dhania). After mixing the whole lot along with a little bit water to make the dough, Cheelas are cooking identical to Parathas, on a sizzling, flat griddle, brushing both sides with a little bit oil earlier than turning over.


The Kulcha is quite a lot of baked flat bread that’s made utilizing refined flour. It’s leavened with baking powder and lively, complete milk yoghurt. It may be eaten as is or flippantly toasted in a pan or toaster. It tastes barely bitter and is typically garnished with chopped coriander leaves on prime. Kulchas are often eaten with a chickpea curry and are additionally good with Indian pickles for breakfast.

One other variant is the Kashmiri Kulcha. Made with a dough that’s fairly just like the one used for Tel Varu, the Kashmiri Kulcha is kind of totally different from the conventional Kulcha. Whereas the conventional Kulcha is barely bitter tasting and fairly smooth, the Kashmiri Kulcha is kind of crisp and rusk-like. It is available in two flavors – candy and salty with a spot of cumin seed. The Kashmiri Kulcha too is often eaten with tea – Sheer Chai, Kahwa or regular tea.


Bhaturas are one in every of my all time favorites. Often thick and smooth, they are often crispy too and are historically eaten with one in every of many types of chickpea curry. Refined flour kinds the bottom for this bread, which is leavened with yoghurt and yeast and flavored with a little bit sugar and salt. After rising, the dough is rolled out and pulled from one aspect to make it barely elongated, after which it’s deep fried in sizzling oil.


Puris are made utilizing the identical dough as that for the Roti. The one distinction is that a little bit oil is added and the Puri dough must be stiff versus smooth for the Roti. After permitting the dough to relaxation for 30 – 90 minutes, the dough is taken off the principle mass in a hunk, rolled right into a ball, a nook dipped in oil after which rolled in a round form to about four inches in diameter. When frying, the Puri should inflate and swell out, which is often achieved by tossing sizzling oil over it from the pan wherein it is being fried. When flippantly brown on prime, it’s taken out and drained. Puris are often eaten with potato or hen pea curry. In some elements of India, puris are additionally eaten with a candy mango puree or semolina halva (a candy dish made utilizing clarified butter, nuts and roasted semolina)

One other variation is the Luchi. Utilizing the identical dough because the Puri, it often greater than 2 toes throughout, generally practically a meter in diameter. Luchis are made on festive events and clearly require particular utensils for the oil and for retrieval. Fairly gentle in texture, they’re shallow fried, not deep fried just like the Puri.


Sheermaal is a baked flatbread from ethnic Muslim delicacies. It’s made utilizing a dough comprising refined flour, milk, a pinch of salt, sugar, clarified butter (ghee) and Vetivier (kewda). This dough is rolled into round form about 2 – 3mm thick. The saffron is blended with some heat milk and used to brush the bread on occasion when it is baking within the oven. This offers the bread its attribute orangish yellow coloration. When carried out the sheermaal have to be brushed with some white (freshly churned) butter and served instantly.


Bakarkhani is a spongy, thick, spherical bread that has its origins in ethnic Muslim delicacies. Made with leavened flour, mawa and eggs, it’s baked in an oven and is often eaten with mutton dishes comparable to Nihari or Korma. The preparation course of is kind of time consuming because the dough must be kneaded for hours then rolled out and folded over (with clarified butter and flour sprinkled on each fold) a number of instances earlier than it’s prepared. When the dough is prepared, it’s rolled into disc a couple of centimeter thick and four to five inches in diameter. These are then sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked. Whereas baking they’re basted twice with complete milk. The feel of Bakarkhani could be a bit dry at instances, nevertheless, contemplating it’s eaten with curries in most half, this characteristic really helps absorb and retain taste whereas consuming.

This bread too has a Kashmiri variation referred to as the Katlam. The one distinction is within the measurement, the place the Kashmiri model is often smaller and crisper than its mainline cousin. Like many Kashmiri breads, it’s eaten with sizzling tea.


The Bhati is kind of not like every other Indian bread. Predominantly eaten within the state of Rajasthan, Bhatis are made with unleavened wholemeal flour dough into which a little bit salt and clarified butter have been blended. The dough is formed into small balls and baked in a reasonably sizzling oven till brown on the skin and smooth on the within. Bhatis are historically served in a container that’s then stuffed with clarified butter. They’re eaten after being allowed to soak for some time.

Tel Varu

This bread is Kashmiri in origin. Tel Varu carefully resembles a bun and is sprinkled with sesame seeds on the crust, which is kind of crisp. Barely salty in style, it’s made with regular bread dough – actually a neighborhood variation of bread as everyone knows and love. Tel Varu is often eaten with Sheer Chai, which is salty Kashmiri tea.

… and that completes the record, although there are most likely a couple of regional specialiaties I’ve missed out.

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