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Tasty & healthy Indian flat breads

Tasty & healthy Indian flat breads
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Just like every other countless option in India, our bread vary along the four compass directions – North, South, East and West! From our standard...

Just like every other countless option in India, our bread vary along the four compass directions – North, South, East and West! From our standard whole wheat and rice, we also use grains like barley (jav), sorghum (jowar), pearl millet (bajra), amaranth (rajgirah), corn flour (makki), white flour (maida) and semolina (rawa).

We must be the only country in the world which uses so many grains and these grains are consumed in different forms! The most common bread is a roti, which is made from whole wheat flour and water which is kneaded into dough and then rolled into flat round circles and cooked in a thin pan over a medium flame. With the seasons and regions, the flour can change. In winter we use pearl millet and corn flour as it gives thicker than normal rotis.

The rotis came into the limelight a while ago as GST was taxed to it and it was very interesting to read about the reduction of GST on khakhras the Gujarati equivalent to bread and none other. However, the only distinction I will give to breads is if they are healthy or unhealthy for our body.

Yes, you read that correctly, healthy breads! Bread, the number one carb factory, has always been feared as a food that will make you feel bloated as it helps gain extra pounds. Here is a list of some healthy and unhealthy breads which can be found in India....

Healthy breads

  • Chappati/ Phulka – no fried flatbread (also known as roti) normally made from whole wheat flour. A staple food in India.
  • Paratha - layered or stuffed flatbread - traditionally made from whole wheat flour by baking with oil on a hot surface.
  • Khakhra – dry roasted like thin papad made from any whole grain.
  • Rotla / Bakhri – Thick roti normally made from millets like ragi, bajra, juwar.
  • Tandoori Roti – baked in a clay oven called a tandoor. Thicker than a normal roti.
  • Thalipeeth – savoury multi-grain pancake popular in Western India
  • Thepla / Dhebra – rotis made from whole grain flour with spices, nuts, seeds and leafy vegetables.
  • Koki – similar to a bhakri normally made of juwar or wheat.
  • Dosa - fermented crêpe or pancake made with rice batter and black lentils.
  • Idli – rice and fermented black lentil batter that is steamed. Rava idli - variation of idli made with semolina (rava) Sanna – spongy rice cake available at Coastal Karnataka and Goa, made from fermented or unfermented Rice batter with or without sweeteners
  • Neer Dosa - a type of South Indian pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk.
  • Baati - hard, unleavened bread cooked in the desert areas of Rajasthan, and in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh
  • Cheela - crepes made from a batter of varying ingredients in North India - ingredients usually include dal flour, wheat flour and sometimes finely chopped vegetables. Pesaruttu - crepe-like bread that is similar to dosa, made out of mung dal.
  • Utthapam – dosa-like dish made from cooking ingredients in a batter
  • For an Indian, no meal is complete without a grain. From a nutritionists point of view, a balanced meal must have a form of grain. So roti, sabzi and daal or dosa, sambhar and chutney or sabzi, daal and chawal is the way to go.

Unhealthy breads

  • Kulcha – made of white flour in a tandoor
  • Naan - white flour flatbread made in a tandoor
  • Puri – made of white flour and deep fried
  • Rumali Roti – soft and chewy roti made of white flour
  • Bhatoora - made of white flour and deep fried
  • Puran Poli - traditional type of sweet flatbread sweetened with sugar
  • Malabari paratha / Lachha Paratha – layered paratha made of white flour
  • Bakshalu - made of white flour and sweetened with sugar and jaggery
  • Daal Puri – fried puris stuffed with daal and spices
  • Luchi - deep-fried white flour similar to puri.
  • Sheermal - saffron-flavoured flatbread made of white flour
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