Indulge your sweet tooth with these rich sweet breads

Here are some must-try traditional sweet breads from across the country.

25 Feb 2021

From chapatis, rotis and parathas to kulchas and naans – stuffed or plain, leavened or unleavened, Indian flatbreads are an inseparable part of our cuisine. They have a rich and varied culinary history, and taste.  The variety of flatbreads across regions is a culinary expedition in itself.

Amidst the countless flatbreads that complements the dishes that accompany them, there are some that claim the spotlight for their own. They are the showstoppers, India’s classic sweet flatbreads that can be a meal by themselves.


Part of Lucknowi and Awadhi cuisine, sheermal is a traditional saffron-flavoured flatbread that made its way to India from Persia. Literally meaning ‘milk-rubbed’, the sheermal is a leavened bread baked slowly in a tandoor. Made with four basic ingredients — flour, milk, saffron and sugar— the sheermal can be leavened with a natural starter culture, or as is more common these days, with yeast. Serve it with kakori kebabs or nihari, or just enjoy this mildly sweet flatbread on its own, with a cup of tea or coffee.

Meethi koki

Made with just a handful of ingredients meethi koki is a deliciously sweet treat from Sindhi cuisine.  A variation of the koki, a breakfast staple, the dough is kneaded with sugar syrup flavoured with cardamom and cooked on an open griddle with ghee. It is also called lola or loli and is a travel staple since it stays fresh for a long time.

Gur ki roti

Also known as meethi roti, gud ki roti is a very popular flatbread in Punjabi homes. Whole wheat flour soaked in a milk-gur mixture and cooked on a tawa with ghee is a comforting combination. This delicious flatbread is a staple during the winter months since jaggery provides warmth to the body. A variation includes lightly roasted sesame seeds to add nutrition, or fennel seeds which act as a mild spice. In Maharashtra, gur ki roti is a roti stuffed with a jaggery-sesame seed mixture.

Puran poli

This sweet flatbread is a must-have on special occasions in Maharashtrian households. Variations of this flatbread appear across various other regions — it is called vedhmi (Gujarat), holige (Karnataka) oligalu (Tamil Nadu) or bobbattlu (Andhra Pradesh). Stuffed with a mixture of cooked Bengal gram (chana dal), jaggery and coconut, delicately flavoured with cardamom, the delicacy is roasted on a griddle and served with dollops of ghee.

Are there any other sweet breads that you have tried and want to talk about? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Regional cuisine Maharashtrian cuisine Indian Sweet Breads Sindhi cuisine Mughal cuisine
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