Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside — there’s a vibrant assortment of traditional Indian breads you need to try than roti prata!
Leavened or unleavened, there are over 30 types of bread originating from India to date. They differ from region to region too! Each city puts their own spin on the type of flour and cooking method used. But one thing’s for sure — they can all house various stuffings and fillings, and also soak up the rich flavours of a delicious curry. While they’ve long been a staple of our local cuisine, we share some fun facts about these everyday Indian breads!
The Urdu word “chapat” means slap, so that should give you an idea of how this unleavened flatbread is traditionally cooked. With flour, salt and water, the dough is kneaded and pressed between both palms and slapped on a dry tava (skillet). In some regions, it is only partially cooked over an open fire to puff it up beautifully. The real beauty of FairPrice Frozen Chapatti lies in its versatility and ease of preparation. With a mild nutty flavour, it complements a simple fish curry perfectly.
2. Dosai (or tosai)
Dosai is popularly linked to Udupi cuisine (NDTV Food) that played an important part in the spread of South Indian food after India gained independence. It’s a savoury snack that rises from a batter of various fermented pulses like halba (Malay for fenugreek) with rice or semolina flour. Cumin seeds are often added for extra crunch! Despite being so crispy and thin, don’t let it’s appearance fool you — dosai is usually eaten with thicker gravies like coconut chutneys and sambar, a lentil stew popular in both South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines.
Naan is a plusher leavened flatbread compared to dosai. According to TasteAtlas, it traces back to being originally cooked as a naan e-tunuk (light bread) or naan-e-tanuri (thicker bread) in a tandoor oven. Today, naan is widely consumed across cultures in the wider Carribean region as well. In fact, its thick, yet soft and fluffy texture will remind you of Middle Eastern pita bread.
With a knob of melted butter glazing on top, naan holds up well in thicker curries. Dip it into the delicious depths of a chicken curry; if you’re feeling more on the adventurous side, try it with a Nyonya-inspired Kapitan Chicken Curry instead!
3. Roti Prata
Rounding off this list is one that needs no introduction. With South Indian origins, roti actually means “bread” and prata means “flat” in Hindi. While the most difficult part of traditional prata-making is stretching the dough, it truly is a sight to behold. The cook whirls and twirls the dough in the air, stretching it until it is paper-thin before it is slapped on a greased griddle!
Don’t stretch yourself with the cooking, though — all you need is a couple of FairPrice Frozen Prata. It could even replace other carbohydrates such as saffron rice in this mouth-watering mutton korma or sweetened up as a dessert!