Indian breads are a wide variety of flatbreads and crêpes which are an integral part of Indian cuisine. Their variation reflects the diversity of Indian culture and food habits.
Most flatbreads from northern India are made primarily from milled flour, usually atta or maida, and water. Some flatbreads, especially paratha, may be stuffed with vegetables and layered with either ghee or butter. In southern India and the West Coast, most flatbreads are basically crêpe made from black lentils and rice. Popular varieties include dosa, Appam, uttapam and rice rotis and ragi rotis. Most Indian breads make use of the yeast spores in the atmosphere for fermentation.
In northern India, a dough of the main ingredient is prepared and flattened by rolling. Most Indian breads, such as roti and chapati, are baked on tava, a griddle made from cast iron, steel or aluminium. Others such as puri and bhatura are deep-fried. In Southern India, a batter of rice and black lentils is prepared and ladled in small amounts onto a hot greased skillet, where it is spread out into a thin circle and fried with oil or ghee until golden brown. In Western India (including the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan) bread may be made from coarse grains such as bajra, sorghum or ragi, though wheat is the staple in these regions. These breads are known by various names rotlo (Gujarati), bhakri (Marathi), roti (Rajasthan) or rotti (North Karnataka). Indian breads of Central Asian origin, such as naan and tandoori roti, are baked in a tandoor. Naan is usually leavened with yeast.
Different varieties of Indian bread include: Chapati, Phulka, Puri, Roti, Bajra Rotla, Thepla, Paratha, Naan, Kulcha, Bhatoora, Baqar Khani, Appam, Dosa, Luchi, Puran Poli, Pathiri, Parotta and many more. Some of these, like Paratha and Roti have many varieties. Some varieties depend on the kind of grain used to prepare them, and others depend on the fillings they contain. The Appam is a fermented bread usually prepared with finely powdered rice flour. In Kerala in South India, there are Kallappam, Vattayappam and Palappam (Vellayappam). The kallappam is made on flat iron griddles. The vattayappam is a steamed bread, and palappam is made in small shallow bottomed pans, which are kept covered while the bread cooks. Palappam has a thin crisp lace like strip around it.