Asha’s Breakdown on Indian Breads

India’s culinary traditions start with the basics, and from North to South and East to West, bread is there to scoop, tear, sop…and savour

Soft pillowy naan, hearty chapati, a paper-thin roomali roti, feathery masala dosa or steamy pav – what’s your favourite?

Run through a quick list of Indian breads in your head and you’ll maybe count up to a baker’s dozen or so, but in fact there are well over 50 different documented preparations to choose, and many of these can be customised to create a world of exciting flavour possibilities suited to different mealtimes.

Bread has been a carbohydrate staple on the daily menu for thousands of years and India’s diverse geography and history have shaped the familiar items on our plates with Moghul, Persian, Asian, Mongolian and Portuguese influences adding their own unique characteristics.

The Fundamental Five

Available on Asha’s menus from Dubai to Manchester, here are our top five dough-based best sellers.

1. Roti
The ubiquitous whole wheat flour chapati, or roti, is said to have originated in the north but is eaten throughout India – and at Asha’s restaurants worldwide.

2. Naan
Nothing beats a fresh, hot naan smeared with a lick of ghee and this puffy oven-baked flatbread, with its distinctive tandoor markings, is an Asha’s best seller.

3. Paratha
The pan-fried multi-layered cousin of the humble roti, these indulgent treats are the perfect accompaniment to your favourite gravy based dish.

4. Kulcha
A favourite traditional flatbread from the Punjab, ours is filled with a choice of onions, cottage cheese, cauliflower, potato, chicken or minced lamb.

5. Romali
One for the ladies, this delicate handkerchief-thin bread is made from refined flour.

Breads of India

Next time you travel, try something a little different.

Luchi: A puffy golden-friend pancake-style bread and a meal staple in the Orissa, Assam and Bengal regions. Try matar ki luchi – a green pea and masala-stuffed version.

Bhakri: Found in Gujarat, bhakri is a coarse, thick roti style bread made using sorghum, millet or even rice, and perfect with a dal fry.

Thalipeeth: Crispy on the edges and often incorporating coriander, curry leaves, onion, turmeric, cumin or chilli, this Maharashtra favourite is often made using  tapioca and amaranth flour.

Appam: The South of India is the land of soft lacy appams with their spongy centres made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk; the perfect counter to a hearty mutton curry.

Dosa: Rice, lentil or semolina flour is used to make these long thin crêpe-like pancakes. Go for the spicy potato filled version for a tasty breakfast dish served with fresh coconut chutney.

Bread the Asha’s Way

Here at Asha’s Restaurants, we prepare your classic flatbread favourites. Suitable for vegetarians, our team uses only the best refined and whole wheat flour in our roti, naan and paratha. Paired with our intricately spiced curries and kebabs, our breads are a sure way to keep you coming back for more.