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India is a country of humongous diversity that’s reflected in its culinary traditions—and its wide variety of regional breads is no exception. The influence of multiple cultures and different geographical regions is clearly evident in the smorgasbord of Indian breads on offer. The rotis, parathas, and bhakri (millet rotis) are traditionally an intrinsic part of everyday meals. The foreign settlers and migrants, too, left a mark on breads. From Goa’s popular pav to Himachal’s lesser-known steamed bread, tingmo, influence from Portugal to Tibet is seen.
Although rice is a staple for a large part of India, breads are very much a part of daily diet. Indian breads come in all shapes and sizes, flat or fluffy, leavened or unleavened, soft or hard. They might be roasted, fried, baked, or steamed; round, oblong, square or triangle-shaped. Some breads in India just need to be paired with their other half, like chhole bhature, luchis-aloor dum, pav bhaji, makki roti-sarson ka saag, and litti-chokha. Some are standalone, filling dishes, like stuffed parathas. Just add a pat of butter and a dash of tangy pickle and you’re good to go.
But what is the difference between roti and naan? Or puri and kachori? Here are the regional Indian breads to know, from the very popular to the highly localized.
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