Indian bread recipes - Whole grain breads

 It is bread with unleavened flour. There is a variety of Indian fry breads too. 'Roti' is the common name for Indian breads.

   Most rotis are whole grain breads. Whole grains such as whole wheat, rice, jowar(sorghum), bajra, ragi (nachani, finger millet), maize, pearl millet etc. are used generally.


These whole grains are ground to get coarse or fine flour depending on what kind of roti is to be made.

Some of these whole grain flours are available -ready to use- in the neighborhood grocery shops or super markets but many households also get their whole grains ground in the nearby flour mills.


    Whole wheat flour is more commonly used to make ChapatiParathaPooriPhulka. Thoughplain flour is used for certain dishes, the whole wheat flour is healthier and is used all over India.

Sometimes the whole grains or the whole grainflours are mixed to make breads which make them tastier and more nutritious. Soya bean is added to Whole wheat to improve its protein content when sending to the flour mill.

Some mixed grain breads are : Methi Paratha , Palak Paratha where rice flour, jowar flour, gram flour is mixed to make the texture and taste different. It adds to the nutrition too.


   Mixing plain flour is a personal choice. I prefer to use whole wheat flour as it has more fiber and contains more nutrients compared to plain flour.

Bhakri, a flat bread is made with jowar, ragi, bajra. It is made without using any fat and is easy to digest. It is very tasty too. It is a great help when you want to reduce weight.

Jowar flour is also used to make Thalipeet, a breakfast or snack flat bread, in Maharashtra and northern parts of Karnataka.

   Ragi(finger millet) is used more in the southern states and in Maharashtra, a western Indian state to make Bhakri(flat bread). 'Ragi flat bread' is called Nachanichi bhakri in Marathi. In Karnataka,Ragi rotti is made as a breakfast or snack. Ragi balls (Ragi Mudde) are made and served with soppina saru or mussup( a greens and lentil curry) for lunch and dinner in the rural areas.

A porridge made with flour made with sprouted ragi is used as baby food and is also good for elderly people as it is easy for digestion. Ragi halwa is also made with this sprouted ragi flour.

Some Indian bread recipes are common in all the regions in india, such as chapati, poori.

Rice, which is a staple food of the southern states, is ground to fine flour in the flour mills and this rice flour is used to make bhakari in the costal regions of western Indian and to make akki roti in Karnataka. Rice flour is used for making different kinds of dishes, snacks including breads.

The northern Indian states use whole wheat flour, maize flour to make rotis. 'makki ki roti (maize flour bread) with sarson ka sag (mustard leaves curry) is a favorite of many.


Phulka -

          Phulka or pulka is another commonly made, easy to make Indian flat bread roti. It is a favorite of those watching their fat intake as there is no oil added as in chapati. It is a no fat, low calorie version of chapati. It should be eaten hot.

You can mix the dough and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days. It takes only a couple of minutes to make a phulka.

The trick to get soft fluffy pulkas is to roll them evenly. Cook them on medium flame. If you are new to making these rotis, you may or may not get them perfect the first time. Keep making them and you will surely get them


  • whole wheat flour - 1 cup      Food Photos
  • Salt - 1/4 tea spoon
  • water - to make dough
  • Dry whole wheat flour for rolling
  •     Cooking Method

    1. Mix salt in the wholewheat flour. Add water little by little and form into a dough. The dough should not be very soft nor very tight. Just right to roll easily.
    2. Knead well and keep aside for half an hour.
    3. Divide the dough in lime sized balls.
    4. Heat a girdle. Keep the heat medium. It should not be smoking hot.
    5. Dip a dough ball in the dry flour. Sprinkle a little flour on the board. Place the ball on it and roll into a round of about 6" size with the rolling pin. Use a little more dry flour if needed.
    6. Brush off the extra dry flour if any when you finish the rolling.
    7. Place the flat round on the hot girdle. Wait for a few seconds till it gets a few brown spots. Turn it and Let it cook for about 10 seconds.
    8. Remove from the girdle and place it directly on the open flame. It will puff up like a ball. Remove from fire. Make other pulkas in the similar way.

    Keep the rotis covered till you are ready to serve.

    When the roti puffs up, it means you have made a perfect roti.

    You may add a little ghee, butter or oil on it if you wish perfect.



    Indian Fry Bread - Poori

      A Very popular Indian Fry Bread, Poori(also spelt) puri, is wickedly delicious. There is a variety of puri made.

    Indian fry bread recipe is made either with whole wheat flour or plain flour or a mixture of both. Plain flour puris are softer and whiter. But using whole wheat flour is healthier and I find it tastier.

          I always use whole wheat flour. A little semolina or gram flour can also be added if you like the puris a little crisp like I do.

    By adding a few other ingredients, you can vary the taste, color of the puri. Such as Masala-Poori, Palak-Poori , Bhatura.

    You can mix the dough and keepin the fridge for 2-3 days and make puris whenever you want. You can also take this indian fried bread with you when you go for a picnic as puris can keep for a day or two.           



  • whole wheat flour - 2 cups    
  • salt - 1/4 tsp
  • water to form dough
  •  oil for deep frying.
  • Preparation

  • Mix flour, salt, two tea spoons oil in a bowl.
  • Add water little by little and form a tight dough ball. Keep aside for about 15-20 minutes.
  •  Divide the dough in small lime sized balls.
  • Cooking Method

    1. Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Once it is heated well, reduce to medium hot .
    2. Roll each dough ball into a round of about 3".
    3. Put the round carefully in the hot oil. It will puff up like a ball. Let fry for 2-3 seconds.
    4. Turn on to the other side. Let cook for 5 seconds or till it is golden brown.
    5. Take out the puri from the oil and drain well.




    Palak Poori - Spinach Bread 

       Palak poori, also spelt as Palak Puri, is made with spinach and whole wheat flour.

    You know spinach is good for you and your family. But you really can't expect the kids to eat that boiled, tasteless spinach as you don't like it yourself. So you need Pop Eye to convince the kids to eat spinach. And that works only as long as they are young.


    Make Palak-Poori and You won't need Pop Eye. The kids as well as the grown-ups will love the colorful Palak puris. And you will love them (I mean the Pooris - kids... you love them anyway).

    You can make this dough and keep it in the fridge and make pooris as and when you need. You can also pack them for lunch to school or office or when you are going to a picnic. They taste good for a day. Pooris are best when they are hot. And the aroma is wonderful.



  • whole wheat flour - 2 cups.
  • Fresh Spinach leaves - 1 cup
  •  salt - 1/4 tsp
  •  water to form dough
  • oil for deep frying.
  • Cooking Method

    1. Cook spinach leaves in a little water. Let cool a little and then puree to a fine paste
    2. Mix flour, salt, two tsp oil, spinach puree well.
    3. Add water only if needed and form a tight dough ball.
    4. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Knead well.
    5. Divide the dough into lime sized balls.
    6. Roll each ball into a round of about 3 inches.
    7. Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Let the round in the hot oil carefully. It will puff up like a ball.
    8. Turn to the other side and let cook for a 4-5 seconds. Take care not to overcook.
    9. Remove from oil and drain well.

    Serve hot with curry or chutney or pickle or ketchup.

    Palak puri is good to eat just by itself too. It is a good item to take for lunch for picnics as well as lunch. At parties it adds color to your table.





       Bhatura is a popular Indian Fry bread. It is made with plain flour and is soft. It goes well with chick pea curry(also called chole or chana masala) and is served in restaurants as chana-Bhatura. It is available in the restaurants and is generally served at dinner time or as a snack.


            Ingredients to make 6

  • plain flour - 2 cups
  •  curd(plain yoghurt) - 1/2 cup
  • oil - 2 tbsp
  • salt - to taste
  •  milk - a little
  • a pinch of soda bicarb or 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • oil for deep frying.
  • Preparation

  • Mix together flour, salt, soda bicarb.
  • Add 2 tbsp oil and curd. mix well.
  • Add milk little by little as needed to form soft dough. Knead well. Put in a bowl. Cover with a wet cloth. Cover the bowl with a lid. Keep for 5-6 hours.
  • Knead the dough again. Make big lime size balls.
  • Cooking Method

    1. Heat oil and keep on medium heat once it is heated well.
    2. Roll the dough into a 5"-6" round. Let the round in the hot oil. Turn to the other side and cook for a few seconds. Take care not to let it turn brown.
    3. Roll and fry all rounds in the same way.

    Serve hot with Chole/Chana Masala

    Chana Masala Chole

      Chickpea curry is also known as channa masala or chole. It is a popular Indian Curry. You will find it in almost all restaurants.It is easy to make vegetarian curry.

            Chickpeas are good for you and they are also part of comfort foods.

    Chana Masala is generally served with Indian Breads such as :

    PooriChapatiBhatura etc. Many restaurants serve Chana - Bhatura as a snack or a dinner item. I like to make this chickpea curry with lots of gravy.

    We are using the white big sized drychickpeas, called Kabuli chana, for this curry. Do not use the brown or black chickpeas for this.

          Ingredients for chickpea curry:

  • Dry white Chickpeas - 1 cup
  • Red ripe tomatoes - 2 nos.
  • Green chillies - 2 nos.
  • Onion - 1 large
  • Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp or to taste
  • Oil or ghee(clarified butter) - 2 tablespoons
  • Cumin seed - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafetida - a big pinch.
  • Garam masala - 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste.
  • Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup chopped.
  • Preparation:

  • Use white large chickpeas. Wash the chickpeas. Add 3 cups of water. Soak for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  • Boil or pressure cook till chickpeas are soft. It will take about 20 minutes. Add a little salt while cooking.
  • Chop onions, coriander leaves finely. Chop/slit green chili.
  • Puree tomatoes.
  • Cooking Method:

    1. In a deep pan, heat oil/ghee.
    2. Add cumin seeds. When they stop spluttering, add onion. Fry till onions turn transparent.
    3. Add ginger and garlic paste. Fry for about 5 seconds.
    4. Add tomato puree. Cook for about 7-8 minuts or till oil starts separating (floating on top).
    5. Add garam masala, asafetida, red chili powder and cooked chickpeas along with the water. Cook for 5 minutes.
    6. Add salt. Cook for 5-8 minutes more.
    7. Add chopped coriander leaves.

    Channa Masala is ready. Garnish with more chopped coriander leaves, onion rings. Serve with any Indian Breads, Such as

    Bhatura , Poori , Paratha , Chapati etc.