The 7 Most Widely Used Types of Bread In Indian Food

11September 2021

This article will introduce 7 of the most widely used bread in Indian food; they form 7 of the most popular Indian types of bread worth trying.

Welcome to our Indian Cuisine Focus: First Bite Series article in which we list the 7 most widely used types of bread in Indian food.

Introduction: The 7 Most Widely Used Types of Bread In Indian Food

Indian Cuisine is known for its tasty spices, aromatic herbs and rich flavours. In addition to its desserts, drinks, spices and flavours, Indian cuisine boasts a wide variety of bread that forms part of their regular foods.

From Naan to roti, these delicious types of bread will tantalise your taste buds. You can eat these dishes on their own or with other foods like curry or vegetables. 

With so many available options, you’re unlikely to ever run out of new foods or recipes to try.

01: Bread – Naan

Indian tikka shish donner Naan wrap sandwich

Naan has origins in Central Asian cooking. Recipes for Naan vary from region to region, although they typically get made with all-purpose flour and water. 

It may or may not contain yeast, salt and fat such as ghee, butter, or vegetable oils like canola oil. Some recipes call for baking powder as well as vegetable shortening.

02: Bread – Roti

Roti in the Southern parts of India gets made from wholemeal flour. It can be cooked in a regular oven, whereas roti in Northern India gets cooked on a hot plate or griddle. 

Essential ingredients are flour, salt and water that get kneaded into dough. The dough then gets rolled out into thin rounds and layered to create the perfect roti. Roti is often locally referred to as CChapatti.

03: Bread – Puri

dal puri flatbread
Urad dal puri Indian flatbread.

A deep-friend bread from India, Puri usually has an oval shape and contains seasoned boiled chickpeas. You can eat puri on its own or with vegetables or lentils in curry.

04: Bread – Chapati

Bread - Indian Chapati
Indian Chapati or CChapatti

Sourdough chapati is a type of Indian bread from Northern India and is popular in India and Pakistan.
Chapatti, often referred to as roti, is, in fact, a kind of roti.

Chapatis get cooked on an oiled hot plate or grill with one side of the dough ball lightly coated in oil.

The dough balls are then scraped over the hot plate’s surface to create a thin round of bread.

Indians typically eat various dishes with this bread, combining it liberally with almost any dish.

They break off a small piece of bread that they then shape into a small scoop, and they gather up and eat small chunks of food. I’ve seen people deftly wrap their Chapatti around a small piece of meat before eating it.

05: Bread – Paratha

Bread - Indian Paratha
Homemade Flour Indian Paratha Bread

The dough for this dish starts with whole grain flour, water, salt, and fat. Then you roll the dough into thin rounds or disks with the help of a rolling pin. 

Vegetables are usually added to the dough to create speciality parathas like spinach or mushroom paratha. There are wide varieties of parathas found throughout India.

06: Bread – Kulcha

Bread - Indian Kulcha
Bread – Indian Kulcha

Kulcha gets made with all-purpose flour and water. 

They are flatbreads very similar to Naan (made with wheat flour), except that instead of the dough leavened with yoghurt and yeast (which makes it soft and light), Kulcha uses maida or refined white flour.

Some recipes call for baking powder and vegetable shortening to create a fluffy dough, although unnecessary.

Some recipes will also include sugar, salt, and fat like ghee or butter towards the end, but this is also optional.

Best cooked in a clay oven, Kulcha is most prevalent in Northern India and sometimes gets eaten stuffed with different fillings for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

07: Bread – Bhatura

Bread - Indian Bhatura
Close-up of deep-fried Bhature (maida puri) made from all-purpose flour, served hot on a white ceramic plate.

Originating from Northern India, Bhatura has its base in the Pakistani region of Punjab, where it got introduced by traders who travelled to India during the Partition of India.

The dough for the Bhatura starts with whole grain flour, water, and a pinch of salt.

You knead the dough until it gets smooth and elastic. Then you add a smidgen of vegetable oil to the dough.

After an hour, you would have divided the dough into marble-sized balls. Each ball gets flattened by pressing against a hot pan with the bottom of a metal cup until it’s paper-thin.

Then the Bhatura is fed through a kadhai, or deep frying pan, until it cooks to a golden brown. After the Bhatura has turned golden brown, it’s removed from the oil and dipped in hot salty water for about 5 seconds before serving.

Quote: “I am not a glutton. I am an explorer of food.”

Conclusion – The 7 Most Widely Used Types of Bread In Indian Food

So, if you’re ready to spice up your menu with some new, tasty dishes, one option is to make time for a trip to the local Indian Cash ‘N Carry!

Another option is to make your way to your favourite restaurant and try what they have to offer.

We’ve provided you with seven of the most popular and traditional kinds of bread on almost every table in India. 

Which one of them sounds like something you can’t wait to try?

The previous article in this series: Top 4 Big Myths & Misconceptions About Indian Cuisine.

The next article in this series:  How To Order Indian Food Today Like An Indian.

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Don McDonald

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