South Indian Cookbook

Indian Bread Recipes

Breads are a key element to any Indian Meal. Indian Bread Recipes vary in cooking style, cooking methods and there is small variation in the ingredients used. I will focus on the homemade breads although I will mention the types of breads you can find in stores or in restaurants. The types of breads that are most commonly found in South India are chapattis, parathas and poori. These three recipes start with the same basic ingredients:

2 cups flour
If you are using whole wheat flour, add some all purpose flour to it to improve the overall consistency.

About 1 cup warm water
This is never consistent because the moisture content of the flour is inconsistent. So always start by putting in about half the water and build up from there until the mixture of the dough is right. For these breads, it is good to have the dough firm but pliable.

1-2 Tablespoons oil or ghee (optional)


The Chapatti and Poori recipes are very similar, the main difference is in the cooking. The Chapatti is cooked on a flat or slightly rounded griddle called a Tawa or Tava, and the end result is a flatbread that is ideal for dipping into sauces and scooping food. The Poori is cooked in oil in a Kadai, which has a bounded bottom and as the bread is fried it puffs up. The Paratha is much more flaky than the other two and it uses a measure of oil to give it almost a pastry texture. Parathas are also commonly stuffed with vegetable and/or spice combinations.

In a restaurant or store you may find some other breads which require specialized cooking equipment such as the Tandoor. Naan bread is commonly found in restaurants and often come with special seasonings such as garlic or methi leaves. Kulcha and paratha are also made in tandoors.

Here are some Indian Bread recipes that you can make at home:

Chapatti Recipe

Poori or Indian Fry Bread Recipe