Enjoying Indian Breads
While most regions in Asia eat rice as staple diet, wheat is the staple in North India. The traditional bread in India is a roti or a chapatti. This unleavened bread is made of wholewheat flour and resembles a tortilla. It is an integral part of most North Indian meals.
Aside from roti, there are many more Indian breads—some fired, some broiled, some steamed and some placed directly on fire. Naan and paratha are the two most common Indian breads after roti. The naan is a flat, oblong bread cooked in an oven called a tandoor. It is made up of white flour and is has the texture of pita bread. Parantha is flat bread made from whole wheat flour. It can either be pan-cooked or deep fried. Parathas usually have paneer (cottage cheese), boiled potatoes, cauliflower or radish stuffings. The shape of a paratha varies—it can be round, square, or even triangular. Stuffed parathas are eaten with pickles or dipped in yogurt.
Parathas were the traditional breakfast food for most people in North India but one can now find a wide variety of western breads—wholewheat sliced for toasting, buns, multigrain, etc—on the Indian breakfast menu.
Bakeries in Delhi
Most localities have a local bakery that caters to the population of that area and you should be able to buy a regular loaf of bread from there (priced reasonably at Rs 14-40). For special breads and innovative cakes and croissants, here are a few specialty bakeries you can try:
- Wenger’s (Connaught Place, Phone: 23324594) is Delhi’s most famous bakery and has been in operation for over 80 years. Its shelves are lined with cakes and savouries of all kind—sandwiches, patties and more. They also have a fine selection of dark chocolate.
- Angels in My Kitchen (Defence Colony, Phone: 41556474 and Nehru Nagar, Phone: 30988169) offers luscious chocolate truffle cakes, warm butter and chocolate croissants, Danish pastries, and multigrain and garlic loaves.
- Defence Bakery (Defence Colony, Phone 24333178, http://www.defencebakery.com/) makes high quality and wholesome baked goods including fresh breads, chocolates, cakes, cookies, croissants, buns, rolls, pies, Danishes and more.
- Sidewalk (Bhikaji Cama Place, 26791122, 26791026, 26791234) is a European-style bakery that offers a wide selection of freshly baked cakes, exotic pastries, tarts, pralines and truffles, and an assortment of savouries and warm breads.
- Breads and More (Greater Kailash I Market, Phone 2924630) is famous for quiches and baguettes.
- Ye Olde Bakery (The Claridges, Phone 23010211) is the place for vegetable and chicken patties, bitter chocolate pastries, and mud pies.
- Bon Bon (New Friends Colony, Phone 26317523) offers amazing marzipan toffees in addition to baked goodies.
- Bisque (Gurgaon, 4107428) is famous for doughnuts.
- Le Marche (Vasant Vihar, Phone 26145425) offers confectionery, ice-cream, dessert, and bakery items.
- La Baguette (Connaught Place, Phone 23341234, 41501234), nothing else needs to be said!