A Guide to Indian Breads at Chakra
Posted on 1st September 2016
As The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens, Britain is once again inspired to take up our aprons and get baking. This flurry of enthusiasm has got us thinking about Indian baking. There are so many kinds of Indian breads – phulka, puri, puran poli, parotta, paratha, pathiri (and that’s just the p’s!) – and we serve some of our favourites here at Chakra.
Image: Connie Consumes
Found in West, Central and South Asian cuisine, naan is traditionally made with white flour, salt, yeast and yoghurt and baked in a tandoor oven. It can be stuffed with a filling or used to scoop up other foods, and this has made it hugely popular in curry-loving Britain. There are many different varieties of naan; in Pakistan, they are normally flavoured with the fragrant scent of rose; in Burma, they are buttered and served with breakfast… At Chakra, we’ve created our own varieties: garlic, peshwari, and the famous blue cheese naan. This Asian-British fusion dish is a favourite among food critics and guests, and a must-have when you’re next visiting Kensington.
The roti, also known as chapatti, is made from stoneground wholemeal flour. Integral to South Asian cuisine, different kinds of roti are eaten across the globe, from South Africa to the Southern Caribbean and even the Americas. At Chakra we take it back to its traditional Indian roots, cooking our rotis in the tandoor oven and serving them plain or with butter.
To make a paratha, whole wheat dough is coated with ghee or oil and folded repeatedly, baked on a tava and finished off with light frying. It is one of the most popular breads in north India, where wheat is a traditional staple. More substantial than other types of flatbread, paratha with butter is part of a traditional South Asian breakfast. There are dozens of varieties of paratha, all unique to each region, but at Chakra we serve it plain, with butter, or with mint. We love how the cool mint contrasts with the spices in our dishes.
Visit Chakra on Holland Street to sample our exquisite blue cheese naan, or any other Indian breads that take your fancy. Call us on 020 7229 2115 or make a reservation online to book your table.