Food

Discovering Indian breads

Indian breads can broadly be categorised into roti, chapatti, phulka and naan, which are conventional breads that are made using whole-wheat flour or multi-grain flour. Photo: Mohammed Yousuf  

We all know our way around a bread basket filled with foccacia and ciabatta, but how well do we know our own Zaffaran parathas, Malabari parathas, Amritsari kulcha, Lucknowi roti, Rumali roti, Missi roti and other underrated preparations?

Indian breads can broadly be categorised into roti, chapatti, phulka and naan, which are conventional breads that are made using whole-wheat flour or multi-grain flour, and kulcha and parathas which are stuffed variations of the same.

Preparation requires tremendous patience but once the basics are right, you can swap techniques and add new flavours.

There are several ways to get the right consistency of the dough. Warm water helps to bind soft dough. Adding water little by little also helps in binding it well. Two tsp of oil in two cups flour will help keep rotis soft for hours.

Some preparations take a while as they need to be proved and refrigerated before cooking. While serving, keep in mind that heavily flavoured bread cannot be served with equally robust gravy. Keep either of the dishes toned down.

Here are a couple of recipes to get you started on a journey of discovering Indian breads.

Missi Roti:

Ingredients:

300gm gram flour

100gm wheat flour

100gm maida

1 big onion chopped

2-3 green chillies chopped

Handful of mint leaves chopped

Pinch of asafoetida

Salt to taste

Oil for cooking

Method:

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and knead into a soft dough using water. Keep it aside for 10-15 minutes. Now, rub some oil on your palms and roll the dough again to give it sheen and elasticity.

Divide into small portions and roll out each into a circular roti. Grease a smoking tava or a griddle with some oil or ghee and place roti over it. When it turns golden, apply ghee or oil on the top of the roti and turn it over. Keep flipping and cooking till the roti is golden brown on both sides. Serve hot.

Bajra Methi Roti:

Ingredients:

4 cups bajra flour

1 small bunch of fenugreek leaves cleaned and finely chopped

4 green chillies minced

1 small bunch of coriander leaves chopped

Small piece of ginger minced

Salt to taste

Method:

Add adequate water to all the ingredients to make a stiff dough.

Divide the dough into small balls and flatten them. Now place it on a greased tava and continue flattening it by pressing all around. Cook on both the sides over medium flame. Serve crisp and hot.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 10:29:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/discovering-indian-breads/article6260941.ece

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