What is the difference between a Naan, Roti, Chapathi and Paratha?
Naan is a soft, leavened flatbread made of white flour that’s traditionally cooked in a tandoor, or clay oven; it’s generally offered either plain, buttered, or stuffed—with, say, garlic, aloo (potato), or minced mutton (which is then called keema, or qeema, naan). It's the most pillowy and bready of the common flatbreads.
Roti and chapati are both unleavened wheat-flour breads rolled out much thinner than naan and cooked on a tawa, or flat griddle. Roti and chapati are so similar as to be interchangeable in name (technically, chapati is a type of roti), and so popular that the average Indian will have some at every meal.
Paratha is another important Indian bread to know, so essential we have a separate page dedicated to it in this guide. However, paratha is different from naan, roti, and chapati in that it is less an accompaniment to dishes as it is its own standalone dish. It's pan-fried and more decadent—typically a round unleavened flatbread made from wheat flour, stuffed with veggies and/or paneer, and served with a whole host of accoutrements. (Read more about paratha here.)
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