For a country stapling in rice, you would not expect India to be home to a wide many varieties of rotis as well. But in the many regions of India, roti preparations differ indeed enormously. Whether it be the influence of other cuisinal elements or the adaptations to diverse gastronomic demands, roti today has types that go well beyond just a score. Here’s circling however just 20 types of this Indian bread so that you have a new roti to tear into every time you want to relish rare rotund refection-
The basic roti, one that needs to puff up perfectly on cooking, is the phulka that is perhaps the most common type of the flatbread. Made with wheat flour dough, phulkas or rotis make for a very healthy meal with high amounts of nutrients and fiber and low fat. Savoured typically with some veggie preparation called sabji, phulkas are named so because of their ideal tendency to pump up when put on a tawa or on the fire. Tearing into hot steaming rotis is all the Indianness you will need to satiate your ravenous morning appetite. The fluff and softness of fresh rotis is something that makes even the simplest of meals go all indulgent.
Chapatis also are very much the basic Indian roti but with a thin line of distinction. Usually thinner than the phulka roti, chapatis generally do not encompass the puff up characteristic which means they are as flat breads as they possibly can be. Also made from wheat flour and accompanied with sabji, chapati is one of the many types of roti though it claims greater proximity to being one than most of the other varieties.
Perhaps the most widely popular name of the roti clan is the paratha, which even has quite many types of its own. A chapati that includes oil or ghee in its cooking mode- that’s what essentially the paratha happens to be. Of course, this is only the simplest version of the paratha. Other more sophisticated picks include stuffed parathas that incorporate fillings of your choice.
From the most commonly stuffed aloo parathas to the fancy paneer filled ones, healthy gobi parathas and nutritious palak ones, even humble dal stuffed and matar incorporated ones, there’s some paratha to suit every desire. There’s even chicken parathas and egg stuffed parathas for the die hard non veg buffs and wait for it, there can be an exotic fish paratha as well! No wonder in all their stuffed mealsome entities, you need as much as just a bowl of curd to do up your parathas in no time ever!
Apart from their plain and stuffed folds however, there also are special types of parathas that undeniably deserve special mention. And one such very unique but very popular paratha is the laccha paratha. Layered and flaky unlike your typical paratha, lachha paratha uses the same ingredients but a somewhat different and slightly extensive preparation method that renders it its standout essence. Because of the many flaky thin layers, lachha parathas are best done up with curries that are perfectly soaked up by the bread.
Diverging from the wheat monopoly of the roti making business is Karnataka’s breakfast staple preparation of the akki roti. Made of rice flour, akki roti encompashes the diversion in its very name. Akki means rice in Kannada, hence akki roti or pathiri is very evidently rice flour roti. Generally incorporating also some spices and veggies into the dough itself, akki rotis cook in minimal amounts of oil and taste best hot with some chutney. Soft yet crispy, akki rotis are also unique to the preparation in that the dough is not rolled out but flattened on the tawa itself with the hands.
Thalipeeth might be more of a pancake rather than being one among the many types of roti but it still is a flatbread which is all we need to include it in our list. A specialty of Maharashtra, thalipeeth makes use of an assortment of different flours, both of grains and legumes. Apart from wheat flour, rice, bajra, jowar as well as chana and urad dal flours also are key ingredients in making the thalipeeth dough. Additionally even spices and veggies are added to the dough making for a wholesome meal altogether. With such an extensive mix of flours and vegetables and with little to no oil, Thalipeeth is undoubtedly one of the healthiest snacking options around. Some butter or curd is all you need to do up this very interesting and spicy flatbread.
Tandoori roti is among the types of roti that differ from its counterparts just in the medium of cooking and not in the ingredients or the essence. Made of a mix of wheat flour and maida or just wheat flour if you so prefer, tandoor rotis, as the name suggests are cooked in tandoor or clay oven and generally happen to be oil less. Characterised by some brown spots on its face, tandoori rotis are best had piping hot with some rich curry that balances out its bland preparation. Because of their relative crisp and stiffness, tandoori rotis however tend to turn chewy when cold.
Another oft encountered name in the roti menu of restaurants and eateries is a preparation that goes by the name naan. A very dominant north Indian presence, naan is also prepared inside a tandoor but it might not exactly be a flatbread given that yeast or other such leavening agents are used in the dough. Within the ambit of common discussion of Indian roti types however, naan is a quintessential inclusion. Either plain or stuffed, naan goes best with butter chicken and other similar gravy based dishes.
While we are still at naans, it’s worth bringing another north Indian pick among the many types of roti into the picture. Soft and fluffy, plain or stuffed, kulchas- Amritsari kulchas to be specific, are made of all purpose flour and is a mildly leavened flatbread that still is crusty despite its airy texture. Somewhat similar to naans, kulchas too are more prep extensive than the common roti but with all that flavour and taste it surely is worth all the effort.
Makki ki Roti
No discussion of Indian food, roti included, would ever be complete if there isn’t the mention of some classic Punjabi dishes. And when it is something as iconic as the makki ki roti on our platter, we really can only be thankful for the indeed many types that the humble roti takes on in its face. A winter favorite, makki ki roti is made with maize flour or makki atta, also called cornmeal and is very distinctly an eponymous fit as well. Distinctly yellow in color as well because of the maize, there’s nothing like pairing up these coarse rotis with some sarson ka saag for a feel of the authentic Punjabi gastronomic experience.
We don’t care even when pooris essentially aren’t among the types of roti to include them in our compilation. A very Indian food, one that is made of maida and deep fried after being rolled out, pooris are the epitome of the simplest yet the most sinful comfort food there ever could be. Of course you can make pooris with wheat flour as well if you don’t mind them a bit coarse and savor them with exactly what you want.
Also called luchis, these puffed up fried pieces of dough can be savored the Bengali way with kosha mangsho, the greater Indian way with ghugni, the regular way with aloo bhaji, the sweet way with payesh, the humble way with pickles or the spicy way with some chanar dal. Biting into these crunchy breads just like that, with maybe a cup of masala chai for accompaniment is also as divine a delectable experience as any other that will have you basking in food euphoria.
Another very distinctive among the numerous types of rotis in the Indian food pantheon is the roomali roti that is exactly what it sounds like. Thin and soft like rumals or handkerchiefs, rumali roti indeed comes folded like one and does up curries so brilliantly that you could go on and on about them forever. In fact with their light essence, both to the appearance and to the stomach, these rotis can be gulped up numerously at once. The preparation though needs some level of expertise as rolling out the sticky wheat flour and maida dough to almost translucent and achieving the perfect soft texture calls for some insane exercise in chefgiri!
A type of roti that is very much your regular pick yet somewhat different is the crisp and flaky khasta roti. Khasta itself means crisp and flaky which is why the name. A perfect balance of flaky crispness and a soft yet not melt in the mouth texture, a prominent blistered texture characterise khasta rotis. One of the much lesser known among the many types of roti, khasta rotis go pretty well with dense dal dishes or gravy based preparations.
A saffron flavoured flatbread, in fact a mildly sweet naan, sheermal is among the types of roti that preferred to acquire its own definite taste. Literally meaning milk rubbed, the sheermal dough is prepared by mixing flour with ghee, salt, sugar and bind together by saffron infused milk. Generally cooked on a tawa or in the oven, sheermals go surprising well with a meat dish called the nihari. There also are saltier variations of the sheermal that go well with chai.
The Punjabi variant of the puri, Bhaturas are larger and flatter and therefore crispier than the luchis. Made of a refined flour dough that is bind by curd and water, deep fried bhatures go typically well with chole as a classic combo. Leavened though unlike puris or luchis, bhaturas can also be stuffed. In essence however, bhaturas tend to be closer to kulchas as they both are made from the same dough with difference in just the medium of cooking.
Made of wheat and maize flour, tikkars are dry and chewy unleavened rotis that come from the desert regions of Rajasthan. Made with ghee and flavoured with ginger, garlic, coriander et all, these rotis are crisp enough to harden quite fast. Also called crunchy rotis, tikkars make for humble snacks that are done up with just some pickle and curds for accompaniment.
Now that’s a really unique name for a roti! But dosti roti indeed is among the many types of roti that happen to encompass dosti or friendship within its layers. Made by layering a flattened and greased dough ball with another before rolling it out as a single entity, dosti rotis are cooked on a tawa together but are separated while serving. Very thin and soft variants that almost emulate roomali rotis, Dosti Rotis go well with just about anything that you want to pair them with.
A really unique roti that owes its allegiance to the Indian state of Orissa, janta roti happens to be a rare precooked variant among the many types of the flatbread. Unlike the other types where the dough is just made with water, the janta roti is made by first cooking the flour in water or milk before it is kneaded into the dough out of which the roti is made. Typically cooked on the tawa, janta rotis can however also be fried or baked. Because the flour is cooked, these rotis are softer and stay like that for long and can be savored with dal and sabji.
Khamiri roti is a leavened baked flatbread that makes the leavening apparent in its very name. Because khamiri means yeast, khamiri roti is a roti that originates from a yeast infused dough. Needless to say khamiri rotis are extremely soft and spongy types of the Indian bread that go well with rich, dense curries.
Hands down the most unique roti among the myriad types on the food horizon is the Rajasthani khoba roti. Thick and crusty and definitely a vision in itself, khoba roti is nowhere near to any regular roti though open baking on a tawa is still the mode of cooking it. Khoba is the Marwari word for cavity or depression which is why the Khoba Roti comes inundated with many such dents. The cavities are made by hand on the roti over the tawa which are then filled with desi ghee. Typically thicker and larger, khoba roti is eaten also in a unique way- the veggie accompaniments are generally put into the cavities and eaten all together.