Discover Secrets of Indian home food


The Punjab is often referred to as the bread basket of India. This is because it produces around 20% of India’s wheat and over 10 % of India’s rice; which isn’t bad going considering it only covers 1.5% of India’s land area. This agricultural state has some of the most fertile land and Punjab loosely means ‘land of five rivers’. A bit of trivial knowledge to keep under your hat.

My preference was always bread over rice, and the smell that always takes me back to childhood is of freshly cooking chapatti/roti – which my mother would make pretty much every day (except on Fridays – she’d always make chips this day, Bisto gravy optional).

Roti is made on a tava – which isn’t dissimilar to a frying pan, so you don’t need to rush out to buy specialist equipment! Discover the how to of Indian bread making, by searching for whichever bread you’d like to have a go at, from the video archive. I’ve listed these below.

The main breads we eat at home are:

  • Chapatti/Roti– these are very healthy, fresh chapattis are the smell of my childhood and my preference to rice!
  • Parathathese are indulgent but balanced as you’d have this with dhals, vegetable sabzi, or saag – which are naturally low in fat so a counter balance to paratha. We’d have these as a weekend treat and the crispy texture is delightful.
  • Bhature/Puri– these are a celebration bread you would have occasionally (*see notes below).
  • Flatbreads– lighter and easy home alternative to a bhature or naan.

Deep frying health and safety tips

When frying the bhature you must take every safety precaution. I grew up as part of a samosa production line crew, so am experienced with deep frying. Not all people are, and it can be dangerous.

1. Please ensure the wok/deep fat fryer is at the back of the hob.

2. Please ensure children, pets, any other people are out of the way when you fry.

3. Once you’ve done the bread sizzle test and the oil is to temp turn the heat down to moderate before you fry your first bhature – if too hot the oil may spit when you place the dough in, and you can always increase the heat and adjust as appropriate.

4. Have kitchen towel or equivalent, ready to place the fried bread onto to soak up any excess oil.

5. When you have finished frying put the oil safely away out of the reach of children and pets especially.

6. You can always make the flatbread version which is much healthier & still feels more special than just roti. Don’t attempt to deep fry unless you are experienced and confident.