3 varieties of Indian unleavened bread

My first memory of cooking - i.e. real cooking - is of helping my mom with the chapatis. 


To make these, whole-wheat dough is kneaded with water to a stiffish but pliable consistency. A touch of oil added in the final knead imparts a smoothness to the dough. Small chunks are pulled off it and rolled between the palms to make small balls. These balls are rolled on a board, usually wooden, with a rolling pin. The result aimed for, is a flat, thin 'bread' of a perfectly circular shape.  

A simple roll out will give you what is known as a phulka. This can be first lightly toasted on a metal griddle and later roasted on direct flame.  

In the chapati version, the dough ball is rolled out slightly, then some oil or ghee and a little flour applied to it. This is folded twice to give a triangular shape which is again rolled out into a large flat round. This is only roasted on the griddle.  


The puri (or Pooree for pronounciation) is the richer cousin of the quotidienne chapati. By richer, I mean it drinks in a lot more of fat. The dough is kneaded in a similar fashion as for chapati or roti.  Smaller balls are made than for chapatti. These are then rolled out into small rounds and deep fried in oil or ghee.

The sight and fragrance of a stack of golden, perfectly puffed Puries is truly appetizing.  Eat  them with Indian desserts like Shrikhand or Basundi and you attain Foodie Nirvana!

The puffing of the puri or the roti depends on how well the dough is kneaded, the proportion of water used in it, the amount of oil applied in the rolling process.


Phew! Hats off to the Indian housewife who is successful in consistently delivering   freshly-baked phulkas, chapattis, rotis, seven days a week.



Each piece is to be roasted individually on the griddle / flame.


Sprinkle flour on the board to avoid the dough sticking to the board or the rolling pin.


All the above are made from dough that is freshly kneaded. No fermenting agents like yeast   are used.



© Alaka

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