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Flatbreads of Western India

Dec 06, 2018 | 7 Mins

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We discover something unique with every home chef we converse with or every regional cuisine of India that we come across. Flatbreads or breads are something that are a part of each and every meal in all parts of India. While we have already touched upon the ones that hail from the northern parts of India (check out the blog, here), check out the flatbreads that the Western part of India thoroughly enjoys.

The heart of Maharashtra’s sweetness, Puran Poli is a flatbread made with split yellow gram (chana dal), plain flour, jaggery, cardamom/nutmeg powder, ghee and water. It is a wafer-thin flatbread that simply melts in your mouth, leaving behind a subtle sweetness. It is known as Holige in Kannada, Vedmi in Gujarati and Bobbatlu in Telugu.

Home chef Kanchan's Puran Poli. Check out details regarding her CKP meal experience in Hiranandani Estate, Thane here

It is a typical Gujarati flatbread that is a part of a daily meal in any Gujarati home during summers. The ingredients and dough are the same for the quintessential Phulkas and Gujarati Be-Padi Rotlis, it’s the technique of rolling them and preparing them that makes the two so different. When you have friends and family over, this turns out to be a great way to keep up with the pace of providing hot rotis at the table without anyone having to wait since two can be made at the same time!

You will find bhakri being prepared in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Central India. A bhakri can be hard or soft in texture, depending on personal preference. It is a farmer’s food who used to carry it at the crack of dawn to the fields and enjoy it for lunch. Since it is made with jowar, ragi and other nutritious grains, it keeps hunger at bay and boosts your body with energy for a long time. It goes well with chutney, thecha, baingan ka bharta (made with roasted eggplants) or with pithla or zunka (made in the Deccan region). In North Karnataka, it goes by the name Jolada Rotti and is the staple diet of the region. To make the bhakri, the dough needs to be stiff and can be flattened between your palms.

This pillowy and round, golden-brown East Indian bread is simply divine. They are prepared with a slightly fermented and sweet batter and served at weddings and special occasions. It is an art to get the fugias perfectly round and beat it just enough to make the batter airy. They pair very well with curries (flavoured with the East Indian bottle masala of course) and should be had hot. You can know more about the East Indian community and check out home chef Regina’s recipe for making Fugias at home, here.

Home chef Regina's Fugias. Check out East Indian meal experiences here

Dhebra is a local name in Gujarat for what is otherwise commonly known as thepla. It is a soft flatbread originating from Gujarat and made with multigrain flour. While travelling to places that requires long hours in a train/bus/airplane, this turns out to be one of the most convenient food items to carry. For a longer shelf life, the dough should be prepared using milk instead of water (this also keeps the flatbread soft for an extended period of time).

Poi (Poee) is a popular local bread of Goa with a high nutritional value. It is made with whole wheat flour and bran. The art of bread-making was introduced in Goa by the Portuguese and the first bread to be made in the area used toddy as natural yeast. Poi is also called as Pao or Poli but all three are slightly different from each other. Once in the oven, this butterfly-shaped bread barely takes 2-3 minutes to fluff. Have it hot and use the bread to scoop some Chicken Cafreal or Pork Vindaloo for your next Goan meal. Yum!

Baati is a hard bread of Rajasthan that is much loved within the state as well as in parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Bafla is a variation of Baati but the former is much softer. When in Rajasthan, if you don’t have Dal-Baati-Churma for a meal, you really haven’t had Rajasthani food. At grass root level,  Baati is enjoyed with ghee or even curd. Panchmel Dal and Churma was introduced by the royal chefs during the Gupta period. Baati is basically baked so it is considerably healthy and since it requires minimal to no water, it has a longer shelf-life.

Home chef Seema's Baati. Check out details regarding her Rajasthani meal expereince in Sethi Colony, Jaipur here

When we speak of vade, it’s not the quintessential Bombay street food of batata vada. In fact, vade is more like the Puri or Luchi (for Bengalis) in terms of being puffed and hollow from the inside. Vade is native to the Konkan region and is made with a batter of rice, lentils and a variety of spices. It is generally paired with a mildly-spicy chicken curry called Kombdi. This combination often gets served on occasions such as Gatari, Dev Diwali and Shimga.

Home chef Priya's Kombdi Vade. Check out details regarding her CKP meal experience in Majiwada, Thane here

Thalipeeth hails from Maharashtra and is enjoyed in most parts of Western India. It is like a savoury pancake made with ‘Bhajanee’ flour comprising of roasted grains, legumes and spices. There are many variations to it - made with Sabudana (tapioca pearls) or different vegetables - but it is always paired with tomato chutney. Since thalipeeth tends to be heavy, it is served for breakfast.

Within the Parsi community, Dar ni Pori for tea is as common as the Sunday lunch of Dhansak and Brown Rice. It’s basically a flaky pastry stuffed with dry fruits and sweet lentils. In olden times, Dar ni Pori was made at every festive occasion, weddings and birthdays. It was even considered as a great gift! Getting the consistency of this pastry right requires a few rounds of making Dar ni Pori but believe us, it’s worth the effort :)

How many of these have you tried?


Authenticook is an opportunity for travellers and locals alike, to experience a place one meal at a time through social dining experiences!

  • puran poli

  • fugias

  • thalipeeth

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