Vikhroli Cucina

Traditional flatbreads that deserve more attention

26 June 2019 , 0 comments / 2 likes

Chapati, puri, paratha, bhatura and naan are essential components of Indian meals, whether home cooked or eaten out. These flatbreads appear deceptively simple with every bite and while they seem easy to prepare, they actually are a complex balance of textures and flavours. India has a delicious variety of traditional flatbreads that deserve their due. Here are some lesser known traditional breads that can give fancy loaves a run for their money.

1. Bakarkhani

This layered, flaky Kashmiri flatbread has a crust that is sprinkled with sesame seeds. A sheet of dough is repeatedly stretched and smeared with generous dollops of ghee before being baked crisp in a tandoor. The biscuit-like bread pairs well with kheema, creamy kormas, spicy rogan josh and kalia (Kashmiri stews).

2. Rotla

This is a winter specialty of Gujarat’s Kathiawad region. Bajra (pearl millet) flour is used to make this simple and healthy flatbread. The gluten-free rotla tastes great when smeared with homemade ghee and jaggery or when eaten with subzis such as bharela ringan (stuffed brinjal), sev tamatar (sev and tomato curry) and lasania batata (potato garlic curry).

3. Sheermal

The origins of this soft, saffron-flavoured flatbread can be traced back to the kitchens of Awadhi aristocracy. The mildly sweet bread perfectly contrasts with aromatic curries and delicately spiced shami kababs. It is also a much-loved dessert when eaten with fresh cream.

4. Jolada rotti

This is north Karnataka’s version of the jowar (sorghum) bhakri that is popular in Maharashtra. The round, unleavened bread is made in two ways — a soft, puffed up version that is served with ghee and a hard, biscuit-like variant. The jolada rotti is rich in fibre, protein and other nutrients. It tastes best with curries such as zunka (spiced gram flour), menthe palle (methi dal) and badanekayi ennegayi (stuffed brinjal).

5. Khameeri roti

Soft, spongy, chewy and slightly tangy: there are several ways to describe a khameeri roti. This leavened flatbread is the Mughlai version of sourdough bread and similar to pita bread. Khameeri roti tastes great with nalli nihari, dal makhni and kheema.

6. Kankon / Kankda

Goa is known for its paos and the kankon is a much-loved version. The crusty bread is believed to get its name from the Konkani word for bangle. The ring-shaped bread is crunchy and usually has cracks on the crust, which is a sign of it being baked well. It’s usually served with tea and soupy dishes.

7. Girda

This bread is a traditional breakfast favourite in Kashmiri households. The bread has characteristic furrows which are made by the baker’s fingerprint indentations. It is eaten along with a generous scoop of butter or jam and served with nun chai (salted tea).

Is there a traditional bread that you would recommend trying out? Let us know which one that is.