How do chapati and puri differ?
Indian flatbread: chapati, puri or naan
In India there was almost always one of the Indian flatbread variants: chapati, puri or naan. I would like to explain the differences to you and of course I will tell you my recipes first hand from India:
Chapati / roti
Chapati is the most commonly made bread in all of India. It is flaky and mild and goes wonderfully with all of the herbs and spices in the main course. The art of making rotis is getting the dough right and rolling perfectly round slices that can be toasted. Many young girls in India who are only seven or eight years old start out in the kitchen helping their mothers by making rotis. I saw how some girls made them and told them there in India that the rotis are all plastered together in just one evening!
Warning: do not use normal wheat flour!
450 g wholemeal flour or atta
2 teaspoons of sunflower oil
Ghee for brushing as desired
- Mix the flour with the oil in a bowl. Use your fingers to mix a smooth batter with warm water. The dough is best in a food processor for 5-15 minutes or knead by hand, the more you knead the dough, the softer the rotis will be.
- Divide the batter into portions the size of a lime. Brush with flour, shape into a ball in the palm of your hand and flatten slightly.
- If necessary, numb the work surface with flour and roll out the dough into flat discs with a diameter of 10 cm.
- Heat a pan without fat, put in the first bread and fry on both sides (1-2 minutes in total) until the flatbread gets the typical brown spots. Press down again and again with a spatula or a kitchen towel so that the bread bubbles.
- Remove the roti from the pan and smear ghee or oil on them. Keep them warm, e.g. wrapped in aluminum foil.
Puri - Puffed deep fried flatbread
Puri (eng. Poories) are deep-fried and therefore rich in taste (and calories!). They are served at weddings or banquets and are sometimes flavored or filled with spices and herbs. They are often served with fresh mago puree or with a yogurt-based pudding called shrikhand and this is quite common in India - in a traditional meal the sweetness is always part of a main meal.
300 g whole wheat flour and something to numb
Sunflower oil for frying
150 ml of lukewarm water
- Mix the flour, 1 tablespoon of oil and the warm water to form a stiff dough. Depending on the quality of the flour, you may need a little less or more water than the stated amount. Divide the batter into balls the size of a large cherry. Smear your palms with oil and smooth each ball.
- Heat the oil in a deep frypan. Roll each ball of dough into flat discs 2 cm in diameter on a floured work surface.
- Carefully place the slice in the hot oil and press down with the back of a slotted spoon until it is puffed and golden. Turn over and cook for another minute. It only puffs up when the oil is hot enough and the disc is submerged. Dig out with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper.
Naan - gluten free
The main difference to other flatbreads, such as chapati or puri, are the dough ingredients: Naan is made from leavened dough. Yogurt and yeast are typical ingredients that are used in the dough. Naan is quick and easy to make yourself and it tastes great!
400 g rice flour
1 pack of dry yeast
1 pinch of baking soda or ½ teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free)
1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar
200 g Greek yogurt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
10 g of ground psyllium husks
approx. 100 ml warm milk
4 cloves of garlic grated
some olive oil
- Mix psyllium husks with approx. 150 ml of warm water until lump-free and allow to soak for approx. 5-10 minutes.
- Mix together rice flour, salt, dry yeast, sugar and baking soda or baking powder, add yogurt, apple cider vinegar, warm milk, psyllium jelly and knead everything well. Cover and let rest for approx. 2 hours.
- Drizzle the dough a little with olive oil. Oil your hands and knead the dough again briefly. Shape the dough into 6 equal balls and shape them into an oval shape with your hands on a floured work surface.
- Peel and grate the garlic. Finely chop the coriander. Spread garlic and coriander on each naan.
- Now fry the flatbreads on a non-oiled pan until golden brown on one side, then place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
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