Breads of India
Published: Tuesday, 4 September 2018
It's easy to become confused and slightly overwhelmed by the large variety of Indian breads now available within the UK. We shall therefore endeavour to enlighten you about a few of these and hopefully encourage you to perhaps be a little more adventurous by trying something new!
Naan, coming from the Persian word which simply means bread, is an oven baked, yeast leavened flatbread normally made using wheat flour and often flavoured or stuffed with other tasty ingredients. Naan in its many guises is obviously the best known bread in the UK to accompany Indian dishes. It is very popular across central, southern and western Asia. Our menu contains five different naan breads and for something truly unusual why not select our Red Leicester and Chilli Naan when you next come to dine?
Bhatura is a leavened bread which is deep fried and comes from the heart of Delhi. It is commonly served with a chickpea curry known as Chole. Whilst it may sound unhealthy, being deep fried, the art is in the frying where no fat is retained on the bread which fluffs up to give a nice soft textured finish. Whilst not on our menu, if you come in on a Sunday for our Thali menu and ask a member of our waiting staff to speak with the chef, the chances are he will prepare one for you!
A Chapati, also known as a Roti, which is an unleavened flatbread, is a common staple within the Indian sub-continent. It normally comprises stoneground wholemeal flour mixed with water and is usually cooked on a hot skillet.
Papadums, also known as poppadoms, are a popular starter enjoyed by just about all visitors to Indian restaurants in this country. They are common throughout India and are made from a seasoned dough generally made up of lentil flour. This thin crispy wafer like bread is often eaten with chutneys or spicy dips and can be fried or cooked using a dry heat.
Cheela, a gluten free pancake made from batter containing either dal or chickpea flour, comes from Rajasthan in the north of India and is often filled with chopped vegetables. Normally eaten hot it is popular as a breakfast food and sometimes known as a vegetarian omelette favoured by vegans as it contains no eggs.
Similar in characteristics to the Cheela, the south Indian Dosa is a type of fermented pancake made from rice batter and black lentils. Eaten as a breakfast staple across the south of the sub-continent it is cooked on a skillet and either folded or rolled like a wrap.
Parathas can be eaten either plain or stuffed and are a layered unleavened flatbread traditionally made from finely ground whole wheat flour and ghee (clarified butter) constructed in a way similar to European puff pastry. They are generally cooked using a skillet and often finished by shallow frying. The fillings used in parathas are many and various but some of the more common are mixed vegetables, spinach, spiced potatoes, lentils or paneer. For something different try our Lacha Paratha which is a simple but tasty multi layered shallow fried flatbread.
Puri is an unleavened deep-fried bread which is cooked until golden brown. During cooking steam inside the dough makes the puri expand into a ‘puff ball’. It is usually served as an accompaniment to a curry or bhaji but can also be eaten with a dessert. Sometimes puris are ‘punctured’ prior to frying in order to let the steam escape and in this case, they remain flat but still crispy.
Whilst a Chapati is also known as Roti, a wholemeal flour flatbread as described earlier; this simplest of all Indian breads which dates back to the time of the bronze age can come in a slightly different form when its cooking method is altered. The Tandoori Roti differs from the simple Roti both in its appearance and the fact that it is baked in a traditional tandoor, a clay oven, which produces a thicker texture than a simple roti.
We hope that you find that the choice of breads on our restaurant menu are the perfect accompaniment to any of our main course dishes and we look forward to serving you soon.Back to latest news