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Apr 30, 2007 01:00 PM

Nan vs. Roti

What's the difference??
Is it like white bread vs. rye??
Is it one is meant for eating with this and the other for eating with that......

Also, good recipes for both please


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  1. Naan is thicker, cooked in a clay oven, rises a bit so it's fluffier... similar to pita bread

    Rotis are thinner and don't have yeast so they don't rise, cooked on a flat surface like a griddle...similar to a tortilla

    1. lilinjun is right on the leaving aspect. Naan - leavened with yeast/baking powder/yogurt or a combination. Roti - unleavened. And yes, roti is usually made with whole wheat flour and naan from all purpose flour. Generally naan is not made in homes in India - either made in communal clay ovens in the villages or clay ovens at restaurants or truck stop eateries. Roti, is the staple make-at-home-everyday bread. Cooked on a griddle and often, at the end directly on the flame where it puffs up.
      I'll see if I can find a recipe online that I like for roti and post a link here. As for naan, if something works for you, let me know. :)

      1. If you like naan, and like garlic, make garlic naan. It's not to be missed. Delicious !

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cheese Boy

          You can flavor rotis,too, lol. I mix cumin seeds, turmeric, and chopped cilantro into the dough before rolling. Tasty!

        2. Naan is dough stretched out and slapped on the inside wall of a ceramic jar oven.

          Roti is rolled into a huge circle, well greased, I mean, absolutely slathered, then you pick it in the center and it will form sort of a sloppy rope hanging down that you drape into a flat coil which you pat together a little and cook on a griddle. When it's done on both sides, you slap the top a couple of times and the rolling/twisting plus grease has made layers that flake apart. Yummy, but filling, and you can make them sweet or savory.

          And yes, I have made both. Roti take some time to get the hang of, but even the imperfect ones are yummy.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Louise

            That sounds more like a paratha, IMHO. But it could also be a Malaysian/Indonesian/Singaporean roti. The one I was talking about is the Indian roti or phulka.

            1. re: sweetTooth

              The above roti description is as learned in a Thai cooking class. I assume that there are regional variations across south & southeast Asia. For example, we did not use ghee, but coconut grease, and quite a bit at that!

              We made them sweet-with condensed milk, and savory-with a very saucy red curry of beef. Both were absolutely delicious and, bonus, the roti was fun to make, but so heavy and filling that afterward it was about all any of us could do to stagger out to our cars.

            2. re: Louise

              Yes, I know what Louise is describing as paratha, and there are different ways to shape after the ghee is brushed on--some roll and then coil it, some fold it in quarters before rolling, others do a sort of croissant like envelope shape. I like the coil, as it yields pretty consistent results.

              Roti reminds me of chapati, griddle cooked, whole grain flat breads that puff up.

              1. re: amyzan

                Yup, roti, chapati and phulka are one and the same.