Indian bread is popular across the globe for its delicious taste and texture. This is commonly served in all restaurants as a side with traditional and authentic Indian dishes, specially gravies and curries.
As you all know, there is a huge variety of Indian bread, from the famous naan bread (leavened) to roti or chapati (unleaved bread), poori, and more. Some are fried, while other flatbreads are cooked on a cast iron skillet, tawa (griddle), or tandoori oven.
Indian bread is so versatile that it can be served for any meal. Here is a complete list of the authentic and the best Indian bread and flatbreads (North Indian and South Indian). You can easily make it at home for breakfast, lunch, dinner, lunchbox, potluck, picnics, or even as an afterschool snack. Do try these delicious recipes.
Naan is the most famous of all Indian bread recipes. This leavened bread is soft and fluffy and traditionally is made in a cylindrical clay oven called tandoor, but you can easily make this at home on the stovetop in a skillet or tawa or oven.
Roti and Chapati
Roti or Chapati (pulka) is unleavened flatbread. If you are impatient like me and looking for an instant or quick bread recipe, you should try this roti or chapati recipe. No yeast is used to make this Indian flatbread.
You need water, salt, and flour traditionally to make chapati. Kneading the dough is key here for your flatbreads to be softer. You can even use this as a pizza crust or to make quesadillas, chicken wraps, paneer rolls, and more.
Parathas are pan-fried Indian flatbread made using whole wheat flour (atta) and/or all-purpose flour(maida). Parathas can be plain or stuffed. Plain parathas, also called Malabar parotta, are thicker than chapatis or rotis as they are layered with desi ghee or oil and folded multiple times, just like you make pastry sheet or laminated croissant dough, making the end bread flakier.
Stuffed parathas are made using the basic chapati dough, which is stuffed with ingredients of your choice, like aloo (potato), paneer, cheese, onion, minced meat, and more.
Kulcha is very similar to naan bread, with slight differences in dough ingredients. Also, it is a little thicker and softer than naan bread.
Poori and Bhatura
Poori and Bhatura are popular fried bread, one from the North and the other from the South. Puri is unleavened fried dough, and bhature is leavened. Both taste best when served hot and puffed right out of the pan with curries like potato bhaji, aloo masala, and chole, or chana masala.
Banan buns are also one of the excellent recipes for your potluck, picnic, beach days, or travel, just like thepla.
If North India is famous for roti, South India is popular for rotti. These South Indian rotis or flatbreads are prepared using ragi (finger millet), akki (rice), jola (jowar), known as ragi rotti, akki rotti and jolada rotti. If you are gluten-free, I highly recommend adding these South Indian rotis to your daily meal plan.
In India, during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Holi, and Navratri, sweetbreads are made using lentils (dal) or coconut, along with jaggery as a filling.
We have puran poli (grandmother's ubbati or obbattu) and kayi holige (coconut-stuffed sweet flatbread).
Naan is the most famous Indian bread worldwide, traditionally prepared in a clay oven called tandoor. This flatbread is served with Indian curries or appetizers like chicken tikka and tandoori paneer tikka for a complete meal.
Indian bread comes in different varieties from both North and south India, and some popular types of these traditional Indian bread include Chapati (phulka), roti, thepla, paratha, naan, kulcha, bhatura, luchi, pathiri, sheermal, puran poli, parotta, missi roti, puri (poori), Mangalore banana buns, taftan and more.
Naan is a type of Indian flatbread popularly served in restaurants with other flatbreads like roti, stuffed kulcha, dosa, appam, rotti.
Indian bread is mostly round flatbreads (leavened or unleavened) and some deep-fried prepared on a cast iron or nonstick skillet or tawa.
Thin Indian flatbread is called roti, or chapati prepared using wheat flour (atta) which is a quick and healthy alternative to naan, which requires the dough to rise.
Indian bread can be served as a side with soup, appetizers, dips, chutneys, or with popular Indian curries like paneer masala, mushroom masala, butter chicken. I have a detailed collection of Indian recipes to serve with bread and flatbreads.
Most Indian bread is made using wheat flour or all-purpose flour (maida), which contains gluten and thus is not gluten-free. For a gluten-free diet, you can make traditional South Indian ragi rotti, soybean bread, makki ki roti (cornbread, Indian style).
Yes, you can make all Indian bread easily at home on a nonstick pan, cast iron pan, or a skillet.
Wrap the leftover bread in aluminum foil or parchment paper and keep them in an airtight conatiner. You can keep them in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or freezer for up to three months. Reheat them in a skillet or microwave until heated through.
Accompaniments for Indian bread & flatbreads
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Best Indian Bread Recipes
- Tawa or Skillet
Ingredients for Roti or Chapati
- 1 cup Whole wheat flour (atta)
- ⅓ cup Water (approx)
- Salt, a pinch
How to make the roti or chapati?
- In a bowl or large wide plate, add flour, a pinch of salt and mix. Now add water little by little and mix so that everything comes together. The amount of water you need may be more or less, depending on the type and texture of the flour.1 cup Whole wheat flour (atta), ⅓ cup Water (approx), Salt, a pinch
- Knead the dough using your palm and knuckles until the dough becomes soft and smooth. If the dough is sticky, add more flour and knead, and if it is too dry, add extra water and knead.
- You can rest the dough for 15 minutes or immediately start making the rotis or chapati.
- Divide the dough into six equal parts. Roll each piece between your palms to form a round ball.
- Dust the flour on the working surface. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a roti of 6-inch diameter.
- Heat the tawa or skillet, and once it becomes hot, place the roti. Cook for 20 to 30 seconds or until you see bubbles on top. Flip and cook on the other side for another 20 seconds till golden brown spots appear. Brush with butter or ghee if needed. Serve and enjoy.
- This is a traditional roti recipe made using wheat flour (atta). You can combine different flours to make a healthy multigrain roti.
- The more you knead, the softer your rotis will be.
- Always make sure the pan is hot before you add the roti (chapati).