Indian Breads

Indian breads are a wide variety of flatbreads and crêpes which are an integral part of Indian cuisine. Their variation reflects the diversity of Indian culture and food habits.


Most flatbreads from northern India are made primarily from milled flour, usually atta or maida, and water. Some flatbreads, especially paratha, may be stuffed with vegetables and layered with either ghee or butter. In southern India and the West Coast, most flatbreads are basically crêpe made from black lentils and rice. Popular varieties include dosa, Appam, uttapam and rice rotis and ragi rotis. Most Indian breads make use of the yeast spores in the atmosphere for fermentation.


In northern India, a dough of the main ingredient is prepared and flattened by rolling. Most Indian breads, such as roti and chapati, are baked on tava, a griddle made from cast iron, steel or aluminium. Others such as puri and bhatura are deep-fried. In Southern India, a batter of rice and black lentils is prepared and ladled in small amounts onto a hot greased skillet, where it is spread out into a thin circle and fried with oil or ghee until golden brown. In Western India (including the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan) bread may be made from coarse grains such as bajra, sorghum or ragi, though wheat is the staple in these regions. These breads are known by various names rotlo (Gujarati), bhakri (Marathi), roti (Rajasthan) or rotti (North Karnataka). Indian breads of Central Asian origin, such as naan and tandoori roti, are baked in a tandoor. Naan is usually leavened with yeast.


Different varieties of Indian bread include: Chapati, Phulka, Puri, Roti, Bajra Rotla, Thepla, Paratha, Naan, Kulcha, Bhatoora, Baqar Khani, Appam, Dosa, Luchi, Puran Poli, Pathiri, Parotta and many more. Some of these, like Paratha and Roti have many varieties. Some varieties depend on the kind of grain used to prepare them, and others depend on the fillings they contain. The Appam is a fermented bread usually prepared with finely powdered rice flour. In Kerala in South India, there are Kallappam, Vattayappam and Palappam (Vellayappam). The kallappam is made on flat iron griddles. The vattayappam is a steamed bread, and palappam is made in small shallow bottomed pans, which are kept covered while the bread cooks. Palappam has a thin crisp lace like strip around it.

List of Indian breads

This is a list of Indian breads. Indian breads are a wide variety of flatbreads and crêpes which are an integral part of Indian cuisine. Their variation reflects the diversity of Indian culture, food habits and geography. The staple and most simple Indian bread is the Roti. Most Indian breads are flatbreads that are made from wheat flours such as Atta flour and Maida flour except in the south where Rice Flour is used since rice is the staple food there.

  • Appam – type of South Indian pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk
  • Bakshalu – made of maida, chanadal, sugar/jaggery, from the cuisine of Telangana, specially prepared for the Ugadi (Telugu New Year) festival
  • Baati – hard, unleavened bread cooked in the desert areas of Rajasthan, and in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh
  • Bhakri – round flat unleavened bread often used in the cuisine of the state of Maharashtra in India but is also common in western and central India, especially in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Malwa, Goa, and northern Karnataka.
  • Bhatoora – fluffy deep-fried leavened bread from North India
  • Chapati – unleavened flatbread (also known as roti) from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan which is baked on a hot surface. It is a common staple food in India
  • Cheela – crepes made from batter of varying ingredients in North India – ingredients usually include pulse (dal) flour, wheat flour and sometimes finely chopped vegetables.
  • Chikkolee – spicy wheat dish common in southern Andhra Pradesh and parts of Maharashtra.
  • Chili parotha – essentially a plain paratha shredded into small, bite-sized pieces mixed with sauteed onions, tomatoes, and chilli powder
  • Daal Puri – fried flatbread from Bengal where the dough is filled with cooked & spiced Cholar Dal (Bengal Gram lentil). Popular as a breakfast food.
  • Dhebra – made with pearl millet (bajra) flour, often flavoured with fenugreek leaf (methi)
  • Dosa – fermented crêpe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils. It is a staple dish in South Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
    • Masala dosa – dosa stuffed with fried potato,spices and onions
    • Benne dose – type of dosa which traces its origin from the city of Davangere in Karnataka
    • Rava dosa – crêpe of South India
    • Neer dosa – crêpe prepared from rice batter. It is light type of dosa.
  • Idli – rice and fermented black lentil batter that is steamed
  • Kachori – unleavened deep-fried bread with lentils filling
  • Khakhra – thin crackers made from mat bean, wheat flour and oil
  • Kulcha – leavened bread eaten in India and Pakistan, made from maida flour (wheat flour)
  • Luchi – deep-fried flatbread from Bengal similar to Puri but made with maida flour instead of atta.
  • Naan – a yeast-raised East Indian flat bread with a delicious chewy texture, traditionally cooked in a clay oven or tandoor.
  • Papadum – thin, crisp disc-shaped Indian food typically based on a seasoned dough made from black gram (urad flour), fried or cooked with dry heat
  • Paratha – layered or stuffed flatbread from North India – traditionally made from whole wheat flour by baking with oil on a hot surface.
    • Aloo paratha – This recipe uses the most popular filling – potatoes.
    • Gobhi paratha
    • Laccha paratha
  • Parotta – layered flat bread of Kerala and some parts of Southern India, notably in Tamil Nadu made from maida flour
  • Pashti – flatbread prepared with rice flour and pan fried in ghee
  • Pathiri – pancake made of rice flour
  • Pesaha Appam – unleavened Passover bread made by the Saint Thomas Christians (also known as Syrian Christians or Nasrani) of Kerala, India to be served on Passover night.
  • Pesarattu – crepe-like bread that is similar to dosa, made out of mung dal.
  • Phulka – see chapati
  • Pitha/Pithe – type of cake, dim sum or bread common in Bengal, Assam and Orissa.
    • Til Pitha – dry powdered rice cakes with Sesame seeds and Jaggery filling Assam
    • Puli Pithe – from Bengal
    • Patishapta – from Bengal
    • Chitoi Pithe – from Bengal
    • Narikol Pitha – dry powdered rice cakes with grated and sweetened coconut filling Assam
    • Manda Pitha – steamed Pitha Orissa
    • Kakara Pitha – Orissa
  • Puran Poli – traditional type of sweet flatbread
  • Puri – unleavened deep-fried bread
  • Radhaballabhi fried flatbread similar to Dalpuri but the filling consists of Urad Dal [Black Lentils] instead of Cholar Dal.
  • Ragi dosa – dosa made out of finger millet.
  • Roti – most simple and most common of all Indian breads.
    • Akki rotti
    • Jolada rotti
    • Makki di roti
    • Ragi rotti – made of ragi (finger millet) flour
    • Rumali Roti
  • Sheermal – saffron-flavored flatbread
  • Taftan – leavened bread from Uttar Pradesh
  • Tandoori Roti – baked in a clay oven called a tandoor. Thicker than a normal Roti.
  • Thalipeeth – savoury multi-grain pancake popular in Western India
  • Utthapam – dosa-like dish made by cooking ingredients in a batter
  • Sanna – spongy rice cake available at Coastal Karnataka and Goa, made from fermented or unfermented Rice batter with or without sweeteners
  • Kori Rotti – crisp dry wafers (about 1mm thick) made from boiled rice and served along with spicy Chicken curry. Usually available in A4 size packs and very popular bread in Coastal Karnataka.

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