In Pakistan, no meal is complete without an accompaniment of bread, or ‘Roti’ as it’s called. Some of Pakistan’s most famous breads are cooked in a clay oven called a ‘Tandoor’, which creates a variety of delicious aromatic breads.
The clay ovens are heated by charcoals and wood fires at the base, and can reach temperatures of up to 250°C. The rolled-out dough is stuck to the inside of the oven where it cooks quickly before being removed using long rod tongs.
With bread available at breakfast, lunch and teatime, Pakistanis have created many delicious and popular versions:
The most common bread you’ll find in Pakistan is this simple clay oven baked bread. The whole grain dough is rolled out in medium circles before being stuck to the inside of the clay oven. Tandoori Roti is torn into morsels and used to scoop up thick to thin curries, meat and vegetable stews.
Cooked in a similar fashion to a Tandoori Roti; what makes a Khameeri Roti different is the dough. Prepared with all-purpose flour and yeast instead of whole grain, the Khameeri Roti goes superbly with the thin gravies you’d find in a Paye or Nihari. This is the go-to bread of any Pakistani BBQ.
Made with either Tandoori Roti or Khameeri Roti dough, depending on how you like it, Paratha includes ghee or butter in and on top of the bread before it is baked in the oven. Goes well with omelette, fried egg, thick curries and kebabs, as well as many other dishes.
The most common Pakistani bread you’ll find in British supermarkets – the Naan is traditionally served at weddings and parties. Naan is made with all-purpose flour and yeast with the addition of a little milk, egg and butter or ghee. It is rolled out to a thicker shape before being stuck to the inside of the oven. They are much softer and fluffier than other breads.
A slightly sweet, fragranced bread is a thinner, chewier bread than a Naan. The Sheermal goes best with rich spicy curries and is made with all-purpose flour, milk, yeast, sugar, saffron, kewra and milk.
Royal Nawaab’s Halal Restaurant in London has a variety of delicious Pakistani breads to accompany any of our famous curries.