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All About Indian Breads!

Updated on September 6, 2015


All these breads are a very important part of the Indian Cuisine. A huge variety of crepes and fermented flat breads are extremely diverse. Most of them are made from rice, wheat and flour, served with curries, pickles and vegetables. They are usually layered with ghee (clarified butter) or butter.

Almost each of the 29 states of India have their own cuisine, dresses, language, dance and music, in short- culture. So naturally, most of them have different breads too. There are so many, they couldn't possibly come in one Hub, so there'll be another.


Appam is mostly eaten for breakfast in the southern states of India, namely Kerala and Tamil Nadu and even Sri Lanka. While there are many variations in the recipe all over the country, the basic one includes rice batter and coconut milk. I first got to know about Appam on a trip to Kerala where they were served as a light breakfast before our return flight. It is served with a vegetable stew. Traditionally, appam’s are fermented by a local alcoholic drink made by coconut leaves called toddy. But since this is not available everywhere, dry yeast is used and it works just the same.

In 1 appam,

Total carbs 20g

Calories 120

Total Fat 10g

There is no saturated, polysaturated or monosaturated fat. No sodium, potassium or cholesterol either.



Baati is a hard bread cooked in the desert areas of Rajsthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Since minimal water is required for preparation, it is mostly prepared in the desert areas where water is scarce. It is either plain or filled with onions and peas. Baati is always served with dal (dried pulses without outer covering) or churma, which is crushed ground wheat, mixed with sugar and ghee( clarified butter, which originated in India and is used in cooking, medicines and religious rituals.)

In 3 servings of Baati,

Total Fat 23g but no Trans fat

Total carbohydrates are 55g

Calories are 489

And 15.5g protein



Bhakri is a round, flat, biscuit like bread, served in central and western India, in Rajsthan, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnatka. It is served with chutneys, sauces, curd, vegetables or rice. It has traditionally been farmer’s food, which would be carried to the farm for breakfast and lunch.

In 1 serving,

Calories 176

7.7g fat

23.8g Carbs



Bhatoora is traditional to north Indian states. It is a deep fried, fluffy and leavened bread. Mostly served with chickpea curry or chole, it is a very popular dish called Chole Bhatoore. Whenever I go out to eat with my family, this is a must. And not only with us, with everyone. It has everything for a perfect brunch; it’s filling and makes for a complete meal. Typically, it is made with white flour, oil and baking powder. The dough is made into small balls and rolled with a rolling pin. The bread is then deep fried till it becomes light brown, fluffy, elastic and chewy.

In 1 Bhatoora, there are

230 calories

9g fat

32 carbs and

5g Protein



Chapati is a flat bread found in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It is one of the most commonly eaten breads, and is usually eaten at least once in a day. It is a common staple in South and Central Asia. The word ‘Chapati’ means flattened round in Indian languages. It is a form of roti and the words are often used interchangeably. The dough are made using flour and water, kneaded and then rolled into small balls. It is rolled into a flat, round bread with a rolling pin and cooked on a preheated griddle. Though for beginners like me, achieving the perfect circle is quite impossible. The chapatis I roll always look like maps of different countries!

In some regions, they are partly cooked on the griddle and then directly put on a high flame. The hot air cooks the chapati from inside. Chapati is also called phulka or roti, depending on the region.

In 1 Chapati,

There are 68 calories

0.62 g fat

13 g carbs

2.34 g proteins



Cheela is a simple pancake made with either chickpea powder or green gram, mild spices and some vegetables. Like the chapatti, it is also cooked on a preheated griddle. When I was a kid, I used to eat a besan cheela or chickpea powder cheela every single day. I totally loved it. Still do, but I don’t eat them every day, only on weekends. These pancakes are soft and spicy and if cooked with the minimum amount oil, definitely make a very healthy meal. My mother used to add onions, coriander leaves and cottage cheese to my cheela. You can add these or any other vegetables you like to make this delicious pancake healthier and even more delicious!

In 1 besan cheela,

143 calories

2 g Total Fat

23 g carbs

5% Vitamin A

71% Vitamin C

11% Iron

3% Calcium



Dosa is a famous recipe, not only in the southern states, from where it originated, but all over India. It can be found on the menus of a lot of North Indian Restaurants. Being the staple diet of all the South Indian states, it is obviously found everywhere. So what is Dosa? Made from rice and lentils, it a fermented crepe, mostly served with various chutneys and a vegetable curry called Sambhar, traditionally served on a banana leaf. The rice and the urad dal (lentil) are made into a paste and fermented overnight. The batter is spread upon a preheated griddle and spread evenly to form a very thin pancake. There are numerous forms of dosa, like

Masala Dosa- It just has spicy potatoes inside, and is one of the most popular dishes, not only in India, but also in Nepal, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and more. It was listed as number 49 on CNN Go’s 50 Most Delicious Foods in 2011. It is my favorite dosa and a must try for everyone!

Rava Dosa- Instead of rice, suji or semolina is used to prepare this. Like the Masala Dosa, it too is served with spiced potatoes and may have onions. The one with onions is simply called Onion Rava Dosa.

In 1 Dosa, there are

1.02g Fat

0 mg Cholesterol

2.48 g Protein

500 mg Sodium

53 mg Potassium



Idli is a pungent cake, popular all over India and its neighboring countries. Served as breakfast in many Indian households, it is made with a batter consisting rice and black lentils. It is fermented and steamed, for fluffiness and breaking down starch. The fermented batter is put into an idli tray for steaming. They take about 15 to 20 minutes to be ready, depending on the size. Since idlis alone are mild in taste, they are usually served with sambhar or different types of chutneys.

Apart from the traditional plain idli, there are many variants. My mother makes idli as stated, but instead of serving it with sambhar, she mixes the pieces with onions, carrots and cabbage. For taste, she adds some basic spices. I prefer idli this way but it is equally delicious with sambhar, though I’m not a big fan of the chutneys.

In 1 Idli,

Carbohydrates 7.89 g

Fat 0.19 g

Saturated 0.037 g

Monounsaturated 0.035 g

Polyunsaturated 0.043 g

Protein 1.91 g



Kachori is a spicy snack popular in a lot of northern states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi. Kacori is made by dough of water and fine flour. This is made into small balls and flattened, and if filled with a stuffing. These flattened balls are deep fried until they become crispy and light brown. Even though it’s not exactly healthy, it is admired by many, including me. One of the most popular street foods, everyone should eat it, at least once. I totally adore it but don’t really get the chance to have it often because of the undesirable nutritional value. Like the rest of Indian Breads, it too has many variants, like

Dal Kacori- It is filled with baked yellow moong dal (lentils).

Matar Kachori- This one is stuffed with spicy boiled peas. This one’s my favourite, but I don’t mind having any form of this mouthwatering dish!

Pyaz Kachori- Pyaz means onion, so this one is full of onions and a lot of spices.

In one Kachori,

Calories 45

12 g Fat

0 mg Cholestrol

Total Carbs 10 g



Khakhras are thin crackers made from wheat flour and oil. Usually served during breakfast, they originated from Gujarat. Kharkhras are handmade and are a crunchy, mouth-watering and healthy snack. They are made in several varieties, like

Black Pepper

Chilly Garlic







Plain salted

And a lot more. You could call them Indian Chips as they are eaten as snacks and have a lot of flavours.



Kulcha is a type of leavened bread very popular in both India and Pakistan. It is made of whole wheat. The dough made from water and flour is rolled into flat, round bread. It is baked until golden brown. It is usually rubbed with butter. In Amritsar, a city in Punjab, Amritsari Kulcha is served, which is one of the most delicious foods you’ll ever taste. Apart from the famous Golden Temple, Amritsar is known for its kulchas. Mostly eaten with chickpea curry (chole), it can also be eaten with cottage cheese. Known as Stuffed Kulcha, two breads are stuffed with spicy cottage cheese, onions and capsicums and topped with butter. In fact you can stuff it with anything you want, it’ll taste delicious anyway.

In one serving

291 Calories

1.8 g Total Fat

0 mg Cholesterol

58.9 g Total Carbohydrates



Litti made from wheat and powdered gram. Small balls of this dough are filled with clarified butter (ghee) and spices. The little baked balls served with yogurt, baingan bharta (mashed eggplant), murgh korma (chicken curry), pickles and papad, a thin layer of a mixture of different pulses and hordes of spices. Litti is often confused with baati, thogh it is completely different in every aspect. It is traditional to Bihar and Jharkhand, and can be had for lunch or dinner.

In one serving,

403 Calories

23 g Total Fat

63 g Carbs


Luchi is kachori minus the stuffing. The dough is prepared with wheat flour, water and ghee. The dough is made into alls and flattened with a rolling pin. This is then deep fried in ghee and served with curries or gravies and pickles. It is mostly eaten for lunch and dinner. Luchi can also be made with wheat, instead of wheat flour, and is served with cholar dal.

In one Luchi,

10 g Total Fat

0 mg Cholesterol

0 mg Carbs



Naan is an oven baked flat bread popular not only in India, but all of West asia because of the migration of the Roma people from India. The initial appearance of this leavened bread in English is in a travelogue of Willian Tooke in 1810. It is typically served hot with ghee or butter on top. Naan is made with white flour, salt, yogurt and yeast. The elastic dough is kept undisturbed for a few hours. This risen dough is made into small balls which are rolled and cooked. There are numerous varieties of naan-

In Pakistan, naans are graced with fragrances like rose and vetiver.

In Burma, Naan Bya is served with boiled peas or mutton soup called hseiksoup.

Amritsari Naan Or Amritsari Kulcha is stuffed with potatoes, onions and spices.

Keema Naan is stuffed with lamb or goat meat

Peshawari Naan and Kashmiri Naan are filled with a mixture of an assortment of nuts and raisins.

Roghani Naan is served with sesame seeds.

Naan also serves as a wrap for vegetables and cheeses.

Naan is also served with various dals (spiced pulses) and curries.

Naan Pizza is served with traditional pizza toppings on a naan crust.

In one Naan,

336 Calories

12.5 g Fat

8.9 Protein



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    Post Comment

    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I like tosai which looks similar to idli in the pic.

    • Hansika Sachdeva profile imageAUTHOR

      Hansika Sachdeva 

      3 years ago from India

      Most welcome!

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      3 years ago from India

      Wow! This is a great hub

      I have made many of them at home except may be khakra and cheela

      Thanks for sharing


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