Makki di roti: This is a traditional form of roti in the Northern region of India, namely Punjab. Much like chapati, this is a flat unleavened bread that is made from corn meal and cooked on a tawa.
Corn flour is very different from whole wheat flour that is glutinous; it has a much lighter and finer texture and is relatively more difficult to work with.
Makki di roti literally translates to “bread of maize or corn” and is yellowish in colour. This is classically paired with “Sarson ka saag” which is a perpetration made with mustard green leaves. In villages, people also use buttermilk as a side dish. It is generally cooked during the winter season.
Rumali roti: This is also known as Manda, lamboo roti and dosti roti in the Caribbean. Rumali in Punjabi means handkerchief because the roti is usually served by folding it exactly in the same fashion as a handkerchief, thus the name. Lamboo on the other hand means long. It is an integral part of Tandoori cooking.
This is made with a combination of whole wheat flour and refined flour which Is known as Maida. This style of bread adopts a unique style of cooking where the bread is cooked on the convex side of a Karahi, unlike tawa. It is rolled into a very thin and elongated piece which is sometimes thrown up into the air to make them more pliable.
It has a sweet offshoot known as Puran pohli which is characteristically made out of jaggery and lentils.
Paratha: Another famous, yet distinctive form of roti. Paratha is prevalent throughout India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is an amalgamation of the terms atta and parat which basically means layers of cooked dough.
This is a lot like the Western puff pastry and has its own variation in the Southern part of India where it goes by the name “Parotta” and is exclusive to certain regions like Kerala.
Paratha has been mentioned in ancient historic books by Punjabi Sultans like Nijjar where he writes that paratha is synonymous to the blue-blooded royal heritage of Punjab. The Punjabi method was to stuff ingredients into it, like in the case of Aloo paratha and Mooli paratha which is infused with potato and raddish concoction respectively.
They are a lot thicker than the simplistic form of roti and layered with ghee or oil and folded repeatedly. In the case of stuffed parathas, veggies are incorporated between the layers, making for a very delicious and wholesome meal. Rajasthani mung bean paratha adapts both techniques where they are layered with lentils.
Since parathas are already saturated with spices and vegetables, it is served with a much milder dish like yogurt which is sometimes matched with pickle, leading to an explosion of flavors in the mouth.