The Different Types of Indian Bread
Bread is a staple in Indian cuisine. It is an integral part of a complete Indian meal. Be it breakfast or lunch, you can expect bread (or sometimes, rice) to be on the table, eaten with the main dish.
It is not hard to understand why this is the case. You see, bread perfectly complements dishes which pack heat. It gives people’s taste buds a reprieve from the food’s spiciness and cleanses their palate before they indulge in it further.
Bread is also the ideal partner for saucy dishes like curries. It enables diners to sop out the delectable sauces. In addition, it also serves as a wrap or base for flavourful stuffings and toppings.
Since it is a ubiquitous item in this South Asian cuisine, it is not surprising that there are several variants of Indian bread. Each region has its own specialty or variant, using a different ingredient and/or cooking style.
So, what are the different kinds of Indian bread? Below, we have listed 5 of the most popular or common types.
This is undeniably the most famous type of Indian bread around the world. You can count on every restaurant specialising in this ethnic cuisine to have naan on its menu.
In case you haven’t tried it yet, this is a leavened flatbread that is traditionally cooked using a clay oven called tandoor. But naan can also be made using an oven or a pan.
Ideally, this fluffy bread is best enjoyed fresh off the tandoor. It is typically paired with kebab and tandoori chicken, but it is also good with curry dishes.
When it comes to unleavened bread, paratha is probably the most widely known type. This flatbread is crispy, chewy, and dense. It is also flaky mainly because of the technic of repeatedly layering and folding the dough, similar to how puff pastries are prepared.
This layered flatbread, as some call it, is pan-fried in a griddle until brown and crispy. Paratha goes well with a lot of Indian dishes, even thick curries as it can sop up the sauce without falling apart.
Also spelled as chapatti, this is another kind of flatbread cooked without any kind of leavening agents like egg or yeast. The ingredients for the basic recipe are white flour or wheat flour (or a combination of both), water, and salt. Sometimes, water is substituted with milk or yoghurt to make the bread softer.
Derived from the Hindi word “chapat” which means slap, chapati is cooked by repeatedly slapping the dough between the palms. The traditional way of cooking it involves the use of a tava or a flat skillet. The alternative to this tool is a cast-iron skillet or a griddle.
Due to its ingredients and how it is prepared, chapati is considered a healthy bread that’s ever-present in many Indian homes. It has a nutty flavour profile that goes well with stew and curry and chutney. It can also be eaten with just butter on it.
These are just some of the many types of bread native to India. Just like other dishes from this country, you can expect their bread, regardless of the kind, to be tasty. So, next time you eat Indian food, make sure you order bread to accompany your main dish to have a complete experience.
For fresh, authentic Indian bread and dishes, order from Royal Spice – the top Indian restaurant in Kilkenny. Order online or call us on + 353 56 778 60 10!