Whether your favourite cuisine is Indian or you’ve never enjoyed the taste of traditional Indian food, you’re bound to know of the many exotic and tasty breads that come as a starter or with your main meal. Breads are used for many reasons when it comes to Indian cuisine, and they’re a great way to soak up the remaining sauce of your curry or nibble on when you’re too full to finish but the foods too good to stop eating. There are many different types of traditional Indian breads, from the famous Naan and Chapati to the less common Bhakri, all of which are perfect with pretty much every and any dish. So, to help you elevate your next homemade curry and bring your cooking skills to the next level, here are some recipes and guidance on how to make some of your favourite Indian breads!
Making Traditional Indian Breads At Home
You’ll hear many people say it, but there is nothing quick as delicious as freshly made Indian dinner, and that’s one of the many reasons our clients enjoy booking into our Indian restaurant in Milton Keynes or enjoying an Indian takeaway in Milton Keynes. While many of our guests enjoy tucking into their freshly made naan bread, something that they may not realise is that most Indian breads are made in India when stocks are low, or communities are unable to afford fancy meats or even vegetables, as the bread helps to fill their bellies.
The different types of breads origin in various locations of India, but are now enjoyed not just by the Indian population, but the entire world! One of the things that make Indian bread so popular is that it has a very simple recipe but can be jazzed up with various seasonings, herbs, vegetables or even meats, enhancing your takeaway experience. So, why not try these homemade Indian breads when ordering your next curry from Kakori:
Now, whether you’re an expert or novice at Indian cuisine, you’ve most definitely heard of naan bread. It has become one of Britain’s favourite Indian side dishes enjoyed with hot and mild curries. They are perfect for dunking into your sauce or scooping up the remains of your rice. The great thing about a naan bread is that you can enjoy it any way that you prefer, whether that be with a dash of fresh garlic or sweet hint of Peshwari. This makes it vegetarian friendly for those that love the spices and herbs used in Indian dishes, but want to cut the meat out.
One question that we get asked a lot is how do you put all of the flavourings into our naans. So, to transform a plain naan, which is an extremely easy to follow recipe into a delicious combination of flavours, here is how you can make your naan bread and then add your own twist by filling it with your favourite spices:
- 125ml of warm water
- 7g of dried yeast
- 2 tsp of caster sugar
- 300g of strong white bread flour
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- 25g of butter or ghee, melted
- 150ml of natural yeast
- 1 tbsp of nigella seeds
- 1 tsp of salt
Instructions To Make:
Start by placing your water into a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast along with one teaspoon of your caster sugar. Leave this mixture for 10-15 minutes or until it becomes frothy (this will help to activate the yeast). Once fermented, place the flour, the remainder of your sugar, salt and baking powder into a large bowl and mix together until fully combined.
Make a well in the centre of your flour mixture and begin to pour in the melted butter/ghee, yoghurt, nigella seeds and yeast mixture. Stir the mixture and then use your hands to bring the mixture together. If the mixture is extremely wet, then add a spoonful of flour, combine to mix and add more again if necessary. On the other hand, if the mixture is too dry, then add a splash more warm water. The dough should be very soft, but not too wet that it will not form into a ball and remain in the same shape.
When the consistency is perfect, it’s time to begin kneading the dough for around 10 minutes or until it becomes smooth and elastic. Butter or oil a large bowl, shape the dough into a ball, and place it into the bowl, cover and leave it for around an hour or until it has doubled in size. Once you are happy with the size, divide it into six balls and place a damp tea towel over the top.
Then, heat up a non-stick frying pan on high heat with a little oil and roll out the balls of dough until it forms a teardrop shape. When the pan is very hot, place the naan on and allow it to puff up for about 3 minutes and then turn it over and repeat. To keep them warm, put the oven on the lowest setting, brush the naans with butter or ghee and place into the oven on a baking tray.
If you would like to find out more about how you can fill your naan bread with delicious spices and foods, then we suggest taking a look at BBC Food’s Peshwari naan bread recipe!
For those that are not a fan of the heavy breads, a Chapati is a perfect alternative, replicating a wrap. It provides you with a tasty side that allows you to make sure no sauce is wasted, without filling you up so much that you can’t finish off your tasty meal.
In Hindi, Chapati means ‘slap’, which gives you a little indication as to how this flatbread is made. Traditionally, a Chapati is made by slapping the dough in between the hands until it becomes flat and then placing it onto a flat pan to cook. However, this can take some time to master, so we have come up with a simple guide to making this tasty traditional bread without making too much of a mess in the kitchen.
- 140g of wholemeal flour
- 140g of plain flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 180ml of hot water
Instructions To Make
Start by combining the flours and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the olive oil and a quarter of the water, then begin to combine the mixture, adding a little bit of water at a time to make the dough soft and elastic but not sticky. Please note that you may not need all of the water, so be careful not to add too much; if you do, then add half a tablespoon of each flour.
Then, begin to knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for around 5-10 minutes until it becomes smooth but not tough. Divide the dough into ten pieces and roll them into a ball. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes or so.
Place a large pan onto a high heat and lightly grease the pan. Then, take your balls of dough and roll them out until they form a flat circle. When the pan begins to smoke, it is time to cook the Chapati by placing it in the pan and allowing it to cook for around 30 seconds on each side until it forms brown spots.
You can find a host of side dishes perfect for enjoyed with your Chapati by heading over to All Recipe, which not only gives you ideas on sides to have, but recipes on how to make them!
If you are feeling up to the challenge and wanting to try something new, then we would highly recommend that you give a Parotta a go. While it is a little harder to make sure that you get it just right, it is still fairly easy to create and tastes amazing as a starter or side. The Parotta originates from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and is why it is often also referred to as a Kerala Parotta. The reason for this is because many people confuse the Parotta with the North Indian bread named Paratha, both of which are flatbreads but every different from one another.
The Parotta is flaky and crisp, making it delicious when paired with prawns of marinated chicken. In fact, some people even place the Parotta on top of their dish, creating an Indian inspired pie. Whether you come up with a unique creation or want to try it out as a side dish, here are the ingredients and instructions to making one of our favourite traditional breads:
- 375g of maida flour (or plain flour if you can’t get hold of any)
- 2 tbsp of rava, fine
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 tbsp of ghee, or butter
Instructions To Make
Begin by placing all of the ingredients apart from water and oil into a large bowl and mix them together using your hands until it begins to turn moist. Add a tablespoon of water and begin to knead; you will need to continue to add water as you knead, but you will want to try and avoid making it too wet (the dough should be soft). Once the dough has become the correct consistency, add in two tablespoons of oil and continue to knead for another 3 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl with oil and allow it to rest for around an hour.
Once left, pinch the dough and begin to knead again until all of the oil has absorbed. Cut into three and form them into a ball, soak in about 50 ml of oil and leave to sit until the dough has absorbed all of the oil. Once absorbed, take the dough and roll it gently and then cut into thin strips. Start by rolling one of the strips into a spiral and then begin to wrap the remaining strips around it to form a rose-like design. Slightly pull on the top to form small peaks. Gently roll out, making sure that the layers remain intact.
Grease a baking tray and then bake in the oven at 180 degrees from around 10 minutes, continuously checking until it becomes golden and begins to flake. Enjoy with all your favourite Indian dips and side dishes.
Not Quite A Cook But Love Indian Food
If you have attempted and failed or would rather someone else do the hard work for you, then why not give us a call to order your favourite Indian dishes or try something new? As a leading Indian restaurant in Milton Keynes, we have a wide selection of delicious Indian food that are perfect for indulging in or sharing around the table with the whole family. From mild Tikka Masala to the spicy Jalfrezi, you can enjoy a selection of freshly cooked dishes with your traditional Indian bread!