Breads are not the patent food for the English alone, even Indians have their own varieties. This is not always the typical fluffy ones and neither are they too hard. Indian breads come in various size and shapes, adding more essence to your meal. Usually, ‘naan’ and ‘chapatti’ are the most known Indian breads throughout the world. But to think these two as the only types would be very wrong. Across the Indian subcontinent, there are many types of flatbreads made out of different ingredients and unique techniques. So, if you have the right side dish and you eat it along with that particular bread, the feel you get is remarkable.
The usual components for making these breads are flour of various kinds. ‘Roti’, as it is also known as, is the common meal accompaniment in Northern India. Flour is mixed with water and dough is prepared. Next, balls are made out of the dough and placed on a flat surface. Using a rolling pin and flour, you roll the ball and flatten it into neat round Rotis. After that, the Rotis are baked on a ‘tava’ (flat cast iron pan). This is the basic manner of making Indian bread but the processes differ in case of some other flatbreads.
These breads have now found its way out of India and are very poplar abroad. Some of these Rotis come with stuffing, which are called ‘Parathas’ and some are deep fried. Here is a list of breads that are even available in England.
- Chapattis – The process of making Chapattis is similar as that of Roti. However, the former is thick when compared to the latter. These unleavened flatbreads come without stuffing but spices like cumin seeds, turmeric, and coriander leaves can be added to give it a flavour.
- Naan – This is leavened bread made of yeast, white flour, water and at times milk is added as well. Naan is baked in tandoor form or using oven. It is served smearing ‘ghee’ or butter over it.
- Parathas – These forms of flatbreads can be, with or without any stuffing. The process of making Parathas is same as Rotis. It can be circular in shape or even triangular. Some of the most popular Parathas are ‘Aloo Paratha’, ‘Methi Paratha’ and ‘Gobi Paratha’; all these are stuffed bread with vegetables and spices.
- Puris and Luchis – Both of these are East Indian form of deep-fried breads. Puris are made of wheat and the balls that are made out of the dough are usually small. The technique is all the same but in place of Tava, these small circular Rotis are deep-fried in Ghee or vegetable oil. Luchis on the other hand, are made of cake flour. These are crispy in nature and you can make them flat or puffed; but Luchis are served in puffed form. A side dish is necessary to have this Indian snack.
- Dosas – These are not the typical form of Rotis rather it is better associated with Indian Pancakes. The ingredients used here is a mixture of rice and Indian black lentils. These are grounded in water to form a batter that stays overnight to ferment. Next, on a greased hot Tava, a thin layer of the batter is layered and then wrapped with some fillings. Dosas are crepe-like flatbreads that originated in South India and even have a number of variations. Dosas are served with coconut chutney and Sambar (lentil based vegetable stew).
Bread and butter might have been the common English platter, but it is not the same with Indian flat or puffed bread. You need to have a side dish to enjoy the real taste of the Indian breads. If you have planned to try out Naan, thick and saucy preparations like Paneer or Chicken Butter Masala can be a good choice. Naan is basically dry and fluffy bread that tastes amazing with thick gravy dishes. If you want to enjoy Parathas, enjoy it with a pickle or chutney. Puris or Luchis can be accompanied with fried vegetables and curry dishes, which can be vegetarian and non vegetarian as well. Chapattis can be taken with anything you prefer. So, pick the bread of your choice and give yourself the delight of Indian cuisines by dipping it in any platter.