Indulge In The World Of Tasteist Indian Breads And Starters

Bread plays a crucial role in Indian cuisine, similar to many other culinary traditions worldwide. Though ingredients and appearances may be alike, the variety of breads across the Indian subcontinent is remarkable, each defined by unique preparation methods, textures, or flour types. These range from soft, pillowy flatbreads and delicate crêpes to richly stuffed doughs and crunchy puffs.

Bread forms an essential part of the dining experience in India, serving not only as a starter with an array of chutneys, dips, and sauces but also as a staple accompaniment to meals. It’s perfect for sopping up the flavorful curries and gravies that are staples of Indian cuisine.

Indian Breads 


Naan is arguably the most famous Indian bread, known for its soft, fluffy texture. It can be either baked or fried and is a common side dish in Indian eateries globally. Traditionally baked in a tandoor (a cylindrical clay or metal oven), naan is typically offered plain or enhanced with butter, garlic, and/or chilies.


Made from whole wheat flour, water, and salt, chapati is an unleavened flatbread cooked on a tava (flat skillet). The name “chapati” comes from the Hindi term chapati, meaning slap or flat, referring to the traditional dough-preparation method involving slapping the dough between wet palms. Outside India, chapati is also known as roti and serves as a fundamental element in cuisines across Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.


A denser, unleavened bread made from whole wheat; paratha stands out for its heft and substance compared to naan or chapati. Its preparation involves coating the dough in ghee (clarified butter) or oil and folding it multiple times in a process akin to making puff pastry. Parathas may come plain or be filled with a variety of ingredients like spiced vegetables, potatoes, lentils, or paneer (a soft Indian cheese), usually pan-fried until golden and served as a hearty breakfast or snack.


Crispy and thin, papadam is a unique bread made primarily from black gram bean flour, cooked until crisp by frying or baking. Resembling chips or tortillas, papadams are customarily served as a snack or with a meal, accompanied by chutneys, raita (a creamy dip), or toppings like lime pickle and chopped onions or chilies.

Indian Starters

Indian starters, serving as the opening act of a meal, beautifully encapsulate the essence of Indian culinary tradition by weaving together snacks and street foods into an introductory experience. These appetizers set the stage with their brilliant palette of spices, introducing diners to the depth and complexity of flavors that Indian cuisine is celebrated for. The variety in textures, from crispy to soft, and the layers of taste, from spicy to tangy, invite a sensory exploration that primes the palate for the courses to follow.

Moreover, the starters reflect the diverse cultural tapestry of India, drawing influences from the various regions across the subcontinent. Each dish tells a story of migration, trade, and local tradition, bringing together ingredients and cooking techniques that have been passed down through generations. This diversity not only highlights India’s rich culinary heritage but also showcases the adaptability and innovation within its gastronomy.

By beginning a meal with Indian starters, diners embark on a gastronomic journey that goes beyond mere eating. It’s an immersive experience that offers a glimpse into India’s vast culinary landscape, marked by its regional nuances and the shared history that binds them together. Whether it’s through the crunch of a pakora, the softness of a freshly steamed momo, or the tangy zest of a chaat, these appetizers are a celebration of Indian cuisine’s ability to blend the old with the new, the simple with the complex, and the local with the global.


Known variably as bhaji among other names, pakoras are savory vegetable fritters that are deep-fried and commonly enjoyed as snacks, street foods, or starters. Accompanied typically by tamarind sauce, chutney, or raita, these crunchy delights are a favored choice at Indian weddings.

Gobi Manchurian

A celebrated Indo-Chinese dish, it features prominently on the menus of Indian restaurants both domestically and internationally. “Gobi” translates to cauliflower in Hindi, and “Manchurian” denotes the adaptation of Chinese cooking techniques to suit Indian tastes, resulting in a signature sweet and sour sauce. This beloved vegetarian starter consists of deep-fried cauliflower smothered in a spicy, tangy sauce, epitomizing this fusion cuisine.

Chicken 65

Shrouded in various legends concerning its origin, Chicken 65 is credited to A.M. Buhari, who named it after the year it was invented, 1965. This spicy, deep-fried chicken dish first graced the menu of the Buhari Hotel in Tamil Nadu. Over time, the menu expanded to include iterations like Chicken 78, Chicken 82, and Chicken 90, with some variations still featured at the renowned hotel.


Originating from Eastern India and regions like China, Tibet, and Nepal, momos are steamed dumplings filled with either minced meat or a combination of tofu and vegetables. Served with spicy chutney or a clear noodle soup known as thukpa, these dumplings offer a satisfying, hearty appetizer.


A staple in South Indian cuisine, sambar is a lentil-based vegetable stew frequently prepared with pigeon peas and flavored with tamarind broth. It’s typically enjoyed alongside rice, dosa (a fermented crepe), or idli (a steamed rice cake), providing a savory start or complement to any meal.

Medu Vada

Medu vada, a savory fried snack fashioned from spiced black lentils into a doughnut shape, boasts a soft interior encased by a crispy exterior. Predominantly consumed for breakfast or as a starter in South India, it’s found nationwide. Medu vada is customarily served with sambar and coconut chutney, offering a delightful taste of South Indian culinary tradition.Passionate about Indian food? Salt & Pepper, located in the heart of High Point, is your perfect destination. Our menu is a celebration of India’s rich culinary heritage, offering dishes that cater to every preference. Whether you prefer your meals spicy or mildly flavored, our chefs are dedicated to bringing you the best of Indian cuisine. Experience the authentic tastes of India at Salt & Pepper today.

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