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Your Guide to North Indian Bread

Your Guide to North Indian Bread

Kulcha bread, one type of North Indian bread (photo by Creative Commons user Jasonlam)

Sid Khullar | Chef's Blade

Ulte Tave Ki Roti

Literally translated, this means ‘Rotis cooked on an upturned griddle’. Made the same way as normal Rotis, these are about double the normal thickness and placed on a hot griddle after wetting both sides of the uncooked Roti with water. This makes it stick to the griddle that in turn produces the desires effect when the griddle is upturned and the roti exposed to a naked flame. These Rotis are normally eaten with non-vegetarian dishes, but that’s mostly a matter of individual preference.

Missi Roti

A Missi Roti is actually a normal roti, made with the normal dough as described earlier, to which various other types of flour and spices have been added. There isn’t any fixed recipe for this – it’s each one to his own here. One simple example would be to mix equal proportions of whole meal wheat and gram flour with some red chilli powder, salt, kasuri methi and perhaps a little cuminseed, add some water and make a soft dough. You could also knead in a little oil if you like. When done, cook on a hot griddle like a normal Roti.

The Tandoor

The Tandoor is an upright cylinder with an outer sheath of metal and an inside made of a very thick layer of baked clay. Rotis made inside it are plastered to the inner walls. When roasting meats or cooking kebabs, the food is threaded on long metal skewers or Seekhs hence the name of the very popular kebab – Seekh Kebab.

Tandoori Roti

Similar to Ulte Tave Ki Roti when rolled out, these are cooked in the Tandoor. After rolling, the roti is placed on the inside walls of the Tandoor and left to bake. Tandoori Rotis are usually a little more than double the thickness of normal Rotis.

The Kashmiris have a variant called Lavasa, which too is quite bland as it doesn’t have any seasoning. The dough uses refined flour as opposed to the wholemeal flour used for the Tandoori Roti. While it can be eaten with anything, it is typically eaten with highly spiced Kashmiri style mutton stews.

Tandoori Paratha

Tandoori Parathas are made much the same way as Lachha Parathas. The only difference is that they are cooked inside the Tandoor, rather than a hot griddle.

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