The unending quest for easy Indian recipes just shows that the world is awakening to the goodness of Indian food. As this year of 2011 wraps up, we are more determined to work harder in promoting Indian recipes across the world.
Easy Indian recipes are best followed from well written books. Indian cooking is wonderful and versatile and adapts fast to present day tastes. It can be kababs like Shikampuri Kabab, or something as flavourful as Narangi Pulav or a dessert like Gulab- e-Gulkand. These are made in a traditional manner but still live up to the standards of the modern palate that is looking for easy Indian recipes.
This is in continuation of what you can find as breads when you are looking for Indian vegetarian recipes.
Many Indian vegetarian dishes as well as non vegetarian curries call for accompaniments like breads and these come in a large variety! Curry dishes are best enjoyed with Indian breads that come in various shapes, textures and taste. The best way to research is to order a breadbasket in an Indian restaurant. The variety served is an eye opener and then once you have sampled everything, reorder one that is your favourite of the evening. A quick run of Indian vegetarian recipes that make an ideal breadbasket follows….
Phulka: puffed whole wheat bread.
The commonest and is eaten daily with meat and vegetable curries and dals. Called the chapatti sometimes but in actual terms a chapatti is generally flat and not puffed, it comes from the Hindi word ‘chapat’ which means flat. Phulka means one that is puffed as it is derived from the Hindi word ‘phulna’. One familiar but confusing usage of the term roti baffles a few. Roti is any unleavened bread like phulka, chapatti or roomali roti.
Parantha: layered fried bread
‘Parat’ means layer, and therefore parantha is a layered fried bread the layering of which is done by folding the dough while rolling it out. Depending upon the stuffing for the filling inside, many kinds of parathans are possible. Plain paranthas are usually enjoyed with various curries. The same dough as that used for the phulka may be used to prepare paranthas. To make stuffed paranthas, the stuffing is added before folding and layering the flour. The stuffing used may be boiled peas, potatoes, cauliflower, onion or radish. For non-vegetarians, a popular stuffing use is minced meat.
A bread which is seen more often than rotis in many Indian restaurants. Though of Persian and Afghan origins, naan is an incomparable combination of European bread and the Indian chapatti! One might think then that the recipe will be painstaking but that is not the case. In fact, the recipe works in favour of its universal appeal. White flour mixed with yeast and other ingredients gives dough that can be rolled out and put to cook in a tandoor. The final flourish is the sprinkling of nigella seeds! One test for a good cook is that if the dough for the naan is right, they should puff up.
Simultaneously, Chef Harpal is making more episodes for Turban Tadka in our office studios and to add to the activity the interior decoration of the new office spaces is going ahead at full speed. I can finally see the end of the renovation plans!
More buzz as my team of chefs will be competing in the Christmas Cake Competition… look out for this space for their exciting presentations!
For you some special baked goodies….
Indian vegetarian recipes are incomplete without talk of the staple food: the bread. Indian breads are the most nutritious around the world. Unleavened wheat dough, rolled out into thin diskettes, cooked on a flat cast iron griddle called tava and puffed to perfection form the ever popular phulka – that is the “puffed” one. Also called chapatiand roti in certain regions of the country, this bread is used not only as an accompaniment but also as a utensil. Imagine a typical Indian meal without roti? Or its other versions: paranthas or puris? Northern regions of the country boast of abundant harvests of golden wheat as also wonderful variations of wheat dough and refined flour. In fact now that the world is awakening to the nutritious and fibre rich ‘brown’ bread we can proudly say that Indians have the best ‘brown’ bread that is the roti!