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indian breads

alisha coelho pereira


A

country of more than 1 billion people, with over a dozen languages, 800 recognized dialects, and several religions, India is as diverse as it gets. The geography of India is extremely varied, with mountains, beautiful rivers, vast deserts, and extensive plains. This allows for a wide array of crops, flowers, wildlife, and climates — all of which are reflected in the diverse food culture of the country. The cuisine has also been influenced greatly by the multitude of invaders throughout the country's history; the Mughals, Turks, Europeans, and Portuguese all left their mark. By adding their own cooking styles and ingredients, they provided a rich diversity, resulting in a unique cuisine. Indian breads are made from wheat, rice, corn or lentils. The cooking method also varies from region to region. Across India, some people make dough and cook the bread on the griddle, some make pancake-like bread with a fermented batter, some bake the bread in the oven and some fry it in oil. These breads are named differently, shaped differently and even stored differently. Even the dishes they’re paired with vary. But no matter what region we’re talking about, if there’s Indian food being served, it will be served with some kind of bread.


CONTENTS

Paratha

2

(A flat bread conceived in Punjab)

Roomali roti

4

(A thin flat bread from the Mughal Era)

Pathiri

6

(A pancake made of rice flour)

Naan

8

(A leavened, oven baked flat bread)

Kulcha

(A leavened flatbread conceived in Punjab)

10


Paratha

2

he paratha was conceived in ancient North India especially in the region of Punjab. Regardless of its origins, it soon became popular all over India. Even the South Indian states have their own versions of the ubiquitous paratha, the most popular being “Kerala paratha,�also called Kerala porotta. The paratha has a social connotation too. The significantly higher expenditure and effort in preparing the paratha when compared with the daily roti means that the paratha is usually prepared as a special item, or for important guests. Paratha is an amalgamation of the words parat and atta which literally means layers of cooked dough. It is one of the most popular unleavened flat-breads in Indian cuisine and is made by pan frying whole-wheat dough on a tava. The paratha dough usually contains ghee or cooking oil which is also layered on the freshly prepared paratha. Parathas are usually stuffed with vegetables such as boiled potatoes, leaf vegetables, radishes or cauliflowerand/or paneer (South Asian cheese). The paratha can be round, heptagonal, square or triangular. In the former, the stuffing is mixed with the kneaded flour and the peda (ball of kneaded flour) is flattened into a circle, the stuffing is kept in the middle and the flatbread is closed around the stuffing like an envelope. The latter two also vary from the first in that, while the former is like a thick (in terms of width) version of the roti with filling inside, the latter two have discernible soft layers if one "opens" the crispier shell layers. A paratha (especially a stuffed one) can be eaten simply with a blob of butter spread on top, with chutney, with pickles and yogurt, or with meat or vegetable curries. Some roll the paratha into a tube and eat it with tea, often dipping the paratha into the tea.

WHERE TO EAT


Paranthe wali Gali

The first impression of the gali is that of a bustling narrow by-lane, crowds walking, bikes, cyclists’ driving past,.But as one strolls deeper into the street there begins an irresistible tingling sensation in the nostrils. And one looks around sniffing the air for more of it and then you know sizzling hot paranthas are being fried there. Each day the dexterous hands of the chefs toss out the most amazing concoctions of a parantha. Chandni Chowks Paranthewali Gali is a bylane in the market devoted to only parantha sellers. The shops present today in the gali were the only ones to be rebuilt, post the riots of 1984. Head to this foodstall-lined (some with seating) lane off Chandni Chowk for delectable parathas all served with a splodge of tangy pickles.

A walk around the gali The first parantha shop in the gali is Pandit Devi Dayal’s. Babu Ram, the seventy-year old owner of the shop sits at the entrance, overseeing the making of the paranthas. A direct descendant of the original owners, Babu Ram boasts of almost 20 varieties of paranthas at his shop.The paranthas are fried in pure ghee in cast iron pans and are served to the patrons steaming hot accompanied by a mind boggling variety of chutneys, vegetable pickles and raitas.

Kanhaiya Lal Durga Prasad’s Parantha Shop is the oldest of all the parantha shops in Chandni Chowk and was established in 1875. It boasts’ of over 25 varieties of Paranthas. The photographs on the wall show Nehru and his sister dining in the shop as well as pictures of Indira Gandhi. Mounds of colorful carrot and radish pickles decorate the shop front. The paranthas are rolled out on a large marble slab and are filled with the chosen stuffing. They are then fried in ghee in an anghiti, (a coal stove). The cook then flicks the fried parantha into a plate kept three feet away with nonchalance.

WHATS’ AVAILABLE ALOO PARATHA GOBHI PARATHA METHI PARATHA MOOLI PARATHA DAL PARATHA MATAR PARATHA PAPAD PARATHA PANEER PARATHA PRAT PARATHA MIX PARATHA CHINI PARATHA GAZAR PARATHA PAPAD

30/30/30/30/30/30/30/30/30/30/35/35/15/-

ROLL PARATHA NIMBU PARATHA PODINA PARATHA MIRCH PARATHA KABADI PARATHA MEVA PARATHA KAJU PARATHA KELA PARATHA TAMATER PARATHA BADAM PARATHA BHINDI PARATHA DAHI

40/40/40/40/45/45/45/45/45/45/45/10/-

Timings: 11am - 11pm


roomali roti

4

oomali Roti is a thin bread from the northern part of India and a traditional element in Mughlai cuisine.The bread is extremely thin and supple, and it is usually served folded like a handkerchief. The word roomal itself means handkerchief in Urdu and Hindi, while the name roomali roti means handkerchief bread. During the Mughal period, the roti was used like a cloth to wipe off the excess oil off the hands after the completion of an oil-rich food laden with meat and fat. The roomali roti also occupied a unique place in the emblem of the royalty of Oudh under the control of Mughals. According to legend, a conventional Roomali Roti is fine enough to go through a finger ring. This roti is prepared from unleavened dough of different kinds of wheat flours. Whole wheat flour and processed flour are first sieved together and then kneaded with milk and salt. Baking soda may or may not be added depending on the softness that is required as per the Roomali Roti recipe. A few Roomali Roti recipe variations will also include oil, clarified butter or ghee and herbs as flavoring. Chefs usually leave the dough to rest for a few minutes. A typical Roomali Roti has to be very thin and delicate. Trained chefs spin the dough out in the air just like pizza dough chefs to create the typical thin roomali. Usually the roti is dry fried on an inverted wok and then folded into shape. Rumali Roti is usually served with thick gravies. Most chefs fold the thin roti in to a square or rectangle that can be unfolded to be eaten or eaten as-is. Roomali roti is best when served with nice meat curries or with juicy kababs. Also goes best with dishes like paneer butter masala or butter chicken or any korma.

WHERE TO EAT


KARiM’S Hotel

Before the Mutiny of 1857,cooking the Royal Food for the Mughal Rulers, was the hereditary profession of the Karim family. Wherever the Mughal’s went they took the Karim’s ancestors along with them. The end of this prestigious employment came when the last Mughal King Bhadur Shah Zafer was dethroned. In 1913, Haji Karimuddin established the Karim Hotel in Glai Kababian, Jama Masjid, Dehli saying, “I want to earn fame and money by serving the royal food to the common man”. By the late 1980s, the international press, like National Geographic, the BBC and Time magazine, had got wind of the huge reputation of a small eatery by Delhi’s Jama Masjid. Today the fourth generation is running the show with Karim HotelsPvt.Ltd. at Jama Masjid, in a restaurant called Dastar Khwan-E-Karim at Nizamuddin West New Dehli. It is an unmissable landmark nonetheless filled to capacity with the faithful. This drab roadside dhaba(eatery) serves up the most authentic Mughlai fare in the city which is what you might expect considering who runs the place. A wide variety of exotic mughlai dishes of chicken, lamb, mutton or rice can be accompanied with your Roomali Roti or naan. Although Karim’s has opened several outlets all over Delhi in recent times, none of them compares to the Old Delhi original in terms of either fare or price.

Branches of karim’s hotel across Dehli Karim Hotels Pvt.Ltd. JAMA MASJID, GALI KABABIAN OLD DELHI – 110006, INDIA PHONE: +91-11-23269880, 23264981

Dastarkhwan-e-Karim Pvt. Ltd. 168/2, HZT.NIZAMUDDIN WEST, NEW DELHI – 110016, INDIA PHONE: +91-1141827871/72/73/74

“whether it is chicken tikka or roomali rotis served with kababs, which are bound to melt in your mouth... you are transported back into time of the Mughal period.”

WHATS’ AVAILABLE (MAIN COURSE) SHAN-E-TANDOOR SHAHI DASTAR KHWAN BHARATIA PATTAL KABABS PULAO&RICE NAAN&ROTI Timings: 7pm - 12am Average Meal for Two: Rs. 600/-

NiZAM’S KATHi KABAB The name Nizam’s is almost synonymous with kathi rolls in India. They were

WHATS’ AVAILABLE

one of the first ones to popularize this food that has its historic origins in cuisine from the princely states of North Eastern India. The meats used in these rolls are traditionally cooked in a charcoal pit using wooden skewers which are called ‘Kathis’, hence the name kathi kababs or kathi rolls. A kathi roll consists of a roti, which is shallow fried with a layer of egg. There are many choices of fillings for a kathi roll from non-veg to veg. It is then sprinkled with tangy sliced onions and rolled into a burrito-style roll. The healthier versions of kathi rolls, are made with a roomali roti, which is not fried and has no egg. Nizam’s Kathi Kabab serves North Indian cuisine, the speciality of the house being Kathi Kababs.

JUS’ EGG ROLL SINGLE MUTTON SINGLE EGG ROLL SINGLE CHICKENSINGLE EGG ROLL KALI MIRCH CHICKEN TIKKA EGG ROLL MUTTON KEEMA EGG ROLL MUTTON SEEKH KABAB EGG ROLL EGG ROLL WITH POTATO MASALA POTATO MASALA ROLL PANEER ROLL PANEER TIKKA ROLL PANNER EGG ROLL SUPER DUPER ROLL TRIPLE COMBO MUSHROOM ROLL SOYA TIKKA MASALA ROLL Timings: 11am - 11pm Average Meal for Two: Rs. 300/-

Branches of Nizam’s Kathi Kabab across Dehli Nizam's Kathi Kabab ( Connaught Place) H-5/6, Plaza Building, Connaught Place, Delhi, 110001 Landmark: Near Centre Park Metro Station

Nizam's Kathi Kabab ( Kirti Nagar) Shop No.222, 2nd Floor, Kirti Nagar, Delhi, 1100 Landmark: Near Kirti Nagar Metro Station

Nizam's Kathi Kabab ( DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon) A - 107, Super Mart - I, DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon, 122001

Nizam's Kathi Kabab ( Sector 18, Noida) C-18, Sector 18, Noida, 201301 Landmark:


pathiri

P

6

athiri is a pancake made of rice flour. It is also known as ari pathil or pathil in some parts of the Malabar region. The word pathiri traces its origin to the Arabic word fateerah, meaning “pastry�. It is believed that the pathiri itself originated with the Arabs in Malabar. It is part of the local cuisine among the Mappilas of North Malabar and Malabar in Kerala State of Southern India and is a very popular dish among the Muslims in Kerala. Crushed rice is made into a white dough and baked on pans called oadu. After preparation it is sometimes soaked in coconut milk to keep it soft and to improve the flavor. It is usually prepared for dinner and served with meat or fish. In some regions, pathiri is regularly served during iftar in the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The outer skin in which you stuff the masala is made of wheat flour and in some places they use all purpose flour for the skin.A more thinner chapathi skin will do. It is made by stuffing a masala made of cooked chicken or meat, which is shredded to very small pieces using bare hands and then add onion, green chillies, garlic turmeric and a little chilly powder and heated till onions are brown in very little ghee over a medium flame, then stuffed in the already prepared skin and fried in oil. It is the size of the samosas which are common in Northern India. Unlike samosas though, the skins are not roasted. It is a main item on the Iftar menu in the Malabar area, along with other items such as unnakkayi and Chatti Pathiri/Chatti pathil.

WHERE TO EAT


Zain’s hotel Greater love hath no woman than she set up a restaurant to cook the food her husband loves! This is the story of Zainabi Noor and her dashing, handsome husband Noor Mohammed. The Moplah couple in Calicut are known for their popular eatery Zain’s Hotel on Convent Cross Road. It is a small cottage that is actually somebody’s home. The enterprising Zainabi converted the place into one of Calicut’s most famous restaurants for Moplah food. There is a good reason why the lane outside this restaurant fills quickly with cars, bikes and people. And it isn’t just the biryani that draws such a crowd. The dishes that Zainabi noor’s kitchen turns out every day are among the best examples of mappila cooking you can get anywhere. The wonderful meen pathiri, the rice-based bread steamed in plantain leaves is accompanied by a fried fish and savoury stuffing and the wonderfully fragrant prawn which is half cooked in masala. To finish with; unnakai, made from mashed bananas, mixed with eggs, sugar, nuts and raisins before being deep fried and the famous chattipathiri, a savoury dessert made of refined flour pathiris layered with a mixture of beaten eggs, cardamom and sugar, with cashew, raisins and poppy seeds added.It’s been over three decades since Zainabi started this restaurant. Customers can check out the day’s specials in a glass cabinet in the restaurant – a good thing since the menu is entirely in malyalam.

how to get there Zain’s Hotel Convent Cross Road, Behind Tagore centennary hall Near the beach, Kozhikode, India Tel: (0495) 2366331.

Timings: 12pm - 11pm Average Meal for Two:

Ayisha Manzil Become a Malabar Cuisine expert before you leave the famous homestay, Ayisha Manzil. Here the guests may eat and try to prepare the real authentic tastes of Muslim Malabar Food. Mrs.Faiza Moosa, the hostess conducts cooking classes to add up the entertainment to the guests. As a part of the baggage, there is always the booklet of recipes given to the guests by this master cook. The legendary recipes at this place which are sure to leave your taste buds longing for more, are, pathiri, neypathil, petipathiri, muttamala, alisas, unnakai, erachipathil and of course, the yummy taste of fresh seafood recipes. The mussels, fishes and prawns are marinated and fried to give a whole new taste to the seafood. Ayisha Manzil is a beautiful bunglaw converted to a homestay that still preserves the untouched antique charm of an authentic ancestral house. It is almost 150 years old and sits on the coastal lane of Malabar in Thalassery. The home faces the calm shimmering Arabian Sea. When you feel hungry, just drop down at the dining table. The Mother and the housewife of Ayisha Manzil is always pleased to serve you with the mind blowing Malabar Delicacies belonging to the Indian Cuisine. You are sure to enjoy them being served affectionately with the passion of hosting.

how to get there Calicut and Cochin airports are the best way to access Tellicherry. If you arrive in Cochin, it would be better for you to take the train to Tellichery. If you arrive in Calicut, you can get a cab to reach Tellichery (2 hours).

tariff

Rs 15500 / 2 persons with all meals including taxes Extra bed: Rs 5500 / person including all meals and taxes Cooking class: Rs 3000 / 2 persons.


naan

WHERE TO EAT

T 8

he first recorded history of naan can be found in the notes of the Indo-persian poet Amir Kushrau in 1300 AD. Naan was originally cooked at the Imperial Court in Delhi as naan-e-tunuk(light bread) and naan-etanuri(cooked in a tandoor oven). The earliest appearance of "naan" in English literature dates back to 1780, viz. in a travelogue of William Tooke. The word has a widespread distribution, having been borrowed in a range of languages spoken in central Asia, and in the aftermath of Muslim conquests, also in South Asia. In these countries and regions, the generic designation "naan" refers to a kind of flatbread, baked according to locally adapted recipes. During the mughal era in India from around 1526, Naan accompanied by keema or kebab was a popular breakfast food of the royals. The ingredients for making Naan usually consists of dry yeast, all-purpose flour, warm water, sugar, salt, ghee and yoghurt. The ingredients are used to make a smooth and stretchy elastic dough which is used to make naans. Milk may be used to give greater volume and thickness to the naan. Raisins and spices can be added to the bread to add to the flavour. The methods of cooking naan have evolved over time. Naan is traditionally cooked in a tandoor,or clay oven. Typically, it’s served hot and brushed with ghee(clarified butter) or butter. Naans were cooked around the 14th century and chapatti followed in the 16th century. There are also many varieties of naan. It is being used as the base flat bread for many different toppings such as mixed vegetable(sabzi) or grilled meats. Chefs are always creating new varieties of this original flat bread of the Mughal era, and people are also having a go at making it in their homes. The naan has made its mark in history as being a staple form of flat bread fully enjoyed by millions around the globe. It is one of the most popular flat breads in particular, accompanying food from the Northern area of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Uzbekistan, Takizkistan and surrounding areas.

The man behind a culinary empire: Kundan Lal Gujral


Moti mahal Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first education minister, is said to have once told the Shah of Iran, “Visiting Delhi and not going to Moti Mahal is like going to Agra and not visiting the Taj Mahal.” In the 1920s, in Peshawar in undivided India, a boy aged 12 started working as a kitchen helper in an eatery called Moti Sweets. When the eatery’s owner died a few years later, the boy took over the chain and renamed the place “Moti Mahal.” The young boy was Kundan Lal Gujral. Since then, Peshawar was introduced to the culinary art of Tandoori chicken by Legendary Kundan Lal. This was a grand success. However, 1947 brought the tragedy of partition, forcing among others Kundan to flee to India. Roaming the streets, he chanced upon an abandoned Thara in Daryaganj, and then considered a newer part of old Delhi. Some inner voice told him this was the spot. Thus was born the now internationally acclaimed Moti Mahal restaurant. Leaders like Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Former President Zakir Hussain among various world leaders like Bhutto, Former American President Nixon, Kennedy, Shah of Iran etc have visited Moti Mahal to sample Kundan’s innovations – its Tandoori delicacies on various occasions.Later in 1970`s Kundan Lal son Mr Nand Lal Gujral expanded Motimahal in south Delhi to establish Motimahal Delux Chain of Restaurants. Moti Mahal (Palace of Pearl), has grown from a small restaurant in Old Delhi to a modern eating chain with more than 150 company-owned restaurants and franchises in India and abroad. It’s the tourism industry both Nationally and internationally that has recognized Kundan`s contribution awarding him many a times namely Trans Himalayan selection Award -Gold Medal for introducing to the world Tandoori cuisine What is also interesting to note is the price for the dishes: in the early postIndependence days, the restaurant used to sell a portion of tandoori chicken priced at one rupee and butter chicken at 1.25 rupees. Today, these are priced around 500 rupees ($10) and 650 rupees, respectively. Mr. Gujral serves over 100,000 butter chickens in a year. The restaurants have a cozy, hospitable feel and are characterized by simple and elegant decor. Staying true to Moti Mahal’s wonderful six-decade-long culinary legacy, only the freshest ingredients and homemade spices are used to treat the guests to the most appetizing and scrumptious meals. Topping the ‘Must try’ list here are Dal Makhani, Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken and Barra Kebab among others with any one of the different types of naan or other Indian breads available on the menu.

how to get there To locate a Moti Mahal branch nearest you, contact; MOTIMAHAL DELUX MANAGEMENT SERVICES PVT.LTD PHONE : +919311010879, 9810029767 EMAIL : motimahaldlx@gmail.com info@motimahal.in motimahal1920.com motimahaldeluxtandooritrail.com motimahaldeluxkebabtrail.com motimahalreadytoeat.com dnybreadbar.com motimahal.co MOTI MAHAL®, MOTI MAHAL DELUX® TANDOORI TRAIL®, DNY BREAD BAR® KEBAB TRAIL™ , LOUNGE BY NITE™ ARE TRADEMARKS OF MOTI MAHAL DELUX MANAGEMENT SERVICES PVT.LTD

Timings: 11am - 11pm Average Meal for Two: Rs. 1000/- (without alcohol)

A view of the tandoor at the earliest Moti Mahal restaurant in 1948 where a cook is seen putting bread inside the tandoor to cook it


kulcha

K 10

ulcha is a typical Punjabi recipe, although originating in Central Asia. Amritsar is known for its Amritsari kulchas. Flour dough is rolled into a flat, round shape and baked in an earthen clay oven until golden brown. When baked, it is usually rubbed with butter, and then eaten with spicy chole (chickpea curry).Both Naan and Kulcha are considered delicacies and today reserved for occasions such as weddings and ceremonies though one can have them anytime she so wishes in many restaurants around the country. The first Nizam of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty of ancient Hyderabad, chose the Kulcha as the official symbol(image of the flag on top right). The round figure towards the centre of the flag denotes the kulcha and the yellow colour denotes the color of the cloth in which these breads were presented or served.Legend has it that the first Nizam-ul-mulk, the first of the Asaf Jahs made a visit to the the Sufi mystic Hazrat Nizamuddin Aurangabadi. The mystic invited him for a meal and offered him kulchas tied in a yellow cloth and insisted him to eat as many kulchas as possible. The Nizam ate 7 kulchas and the sufi saint blessed him, saying that 7 generations of his family would rule the deccan. Hence, a greatful Asaf Jah, made kulcha as his dynasty’s official emblem and even got the same embossed on his flag. The seventh Nizam, Nawab Sir Osman Ali Khan joined the Indian union after the Hyderabad police action by the Indian army. The eighth descendant, Mukarram Jah would only inherit the title but nothing else. Kulcha still lives on, strong and proud. From its humble origins in the street corners of India, it is even available in supermarkets in UK and US like ASDA and Sainsburys.

WHERE TO EAT


All india Famous Having started their journey in kulcha making back in 1965 with a small shop in Katra Dulho, All India Famous Amritsari Kulcha stall is one of the most talked about Kulcha makers in Amritsar. Make a trip here if you'd like to gorge on Amritsar's favourite breakfast. The soft kulchas stuffed with potatoes, onions and spices are crispy on the outside and dripping with butter. "The reason why you will not find this kulcha anywhere else in Punjab is because Amritsar's water is light and sweet," says owner Sucha Singh. "If the water is heavy, the kulchas will not stick properly to the tandoor.". It is a simple, unpretentious establishment, a functional shack with open seating on plastic chairs. Earlier called All India Fames, the stall opens early morning and is the city’s favourite breakfast joint. It has been around for over 60 years, and is run currently by two brothers, Dalbir and Samarjit Singh. Interestingly enough, the place boasts of a menu with nothing but kulchas. They make a special seven-layered kulcha stuffed with potatoes, cauliflower and cottage cheese; serve it piping hot, crisp, thin and flaky with a generous dollop of homemade butter already melting, a bowl of hot, spicy and delicious chholey and green chillies and onions. A meal can’t get heartier than that, and you have the option of washing it down with a hot cup of sweet, strong tea or a tall glass of thick, frothy lassi. Fortunately, the otherwise kulchadominated menu allows for these digressions.

how to get there #7, 904, Hailey road, Amritsar - Punjab

Timings: 9am - 4pm Average Meal for Two: Rs. 100/-

Kulcha Land Opened before 1947 in Lahore, the store moved to Amritsar post-independence and has been serving the famous delicacy for over 75 years. Currently run by the fifth generation of the founding family, you aren’t offered the menu. Instead, you’re offered, hot, fresh-off-the-griddle kulchas. This should be one of the places to eat on visit to Amristar. There is not much space to sit here and it is generally crowded, especially at weekends. One may have to wait for sometime to get a place to sit. The best thing to do if you are with your own vehicle/cab, order the food and have it the car itself. The order to be bought to you and you could settle the bill there itself.The place is not far from the airport so one could drop by along the way to airport.

WHATS’ AVAILABLE PLAIN KULCHA REGULAR STUFFED KULCHA PANEER KULCHA CHOLE Timings: 9am - 4pm Average Meal for Two: Rs. 100/-

how to get there Kulcha Land, Distt. Shopping Center, Opp. M.K. Hotel, Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar. Pin-143001. Tel: 0183-5050552 Mob. +919815078652, +91-9814320652


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Mr. Jay Menon for guiding me through this course. I would also like to thank Neha Jayadevan, Shivani Prakash, Oshin Vipra Sagar and Saloni ‘Chattu’ Chatwal for all the help during research for this book.


Learn about the traditions and stories that accompany 5 of the exotic Indian flatbreads that have served as the staple food of the locals for centuries. This book also provides information on the places that make that particular Indian bread the best, from among all the hundreds of restaurants and road-side stalls in the little corners and bylanes of the country.


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