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Northern Vs. Southern Indian Breads


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Northern Vs. Southern Indian Breads

jen kalb | Oct 6, 2003 05:05 PM

[the following posting came as a reply to the posting linked below -- The Chowhound Team]

Jim, two points:
(1) this really isnt a southern/northern thing its the difference between an essentially unleavened bread cooked on a griddle (paratha or roti) which is a northern/wheat country dish, and a fluffy, leavened bread like naan which is cooked in an oven. Some paratha are fluffy because they are rolled with layers of fat - some are more austere. I think of the naans as being more from the moghul cuisine which is northern too - coming out of persia, afghanistan etc.Probably the average home cook doesnt have a tandoor or oven to make these breads in and would rely on a village baker. My impression is that in the "south" one finds breadlike items (idlis etc) which are steamed, some which are fried dough and others which are cooked on a griddle. These can be made with ground and fermented dal, rice, semolina or other grains. With the exception of the steamed items these arent mostly fluffy.
2. Parathas tend to get heavy and greasy tasting if they arent scarfed up right away - the layered fat will congeal as they cool, so it pays to eat them quickly as they are served. Their texture may also feel doughy to those more accustomed to leavened bread, and they also dry out and stale repidly. So eat em right away, and reheat on a griddle if you bring them home.


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