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Roti vs. Phulka: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 30, 2024
Roti is an Indian flatbread made from whole wheat flour, cooked on a flat pan; phulka is a type of roti, thinner and puffed up, cooked partially on a flame.

Key Differences

Roti, a staple in Indian cuisine, is a flatbread made from stoneground whole wheat flour, traditionally cooked on a tawa (flat pan). Phulka, a variant of roti, is also made from whole wheat flour but is distinctively thinner and puffs up when cooked directly on an open flame.
The cooking process for roti involves rolling out the dough and cooking it on a tawa until it achieves a light brown color with some dark spots. Phulka is first cooked on the tawa and then directly exposed to an open flame, causing it to puff up and become lighter.
Roti tends to have a chewier and denser texture, suitable for absorbing gravies and curries. Phulka, being thinner and puffed, is lighter and softer, often preferred for its delicate texture.
Roti is a generic term used across various regions in India, while phulka is more specific and often associated with certain regional cuisines where lighter bread is preferred.
Both roti and phulka hold significant cultural value in Indian cuisine, often symbolizing home-cooked, nourishing meals, but phulka is particularly noted for its skillful cooking technique involving an open flame.

Comparison Chart

Cooking Surface

Cooked entirely on a flat pan (tawa).
Initially cooked on tawa, then on flame.


Denser and chewier.
Lighter and softer when puffed.


Generally thicker than phulka.
Thinner and puffs up on cooking.

Regional Preference

Common across various Indian regions.
Associated with specific regional cuisines.

Cooking Skill

Straightforward cooking technique.
Requires skill to puff up on flame.

Roti and Phulka Definitions


Roti is traditionally cooked on a flat pan called tawa.
She cooked roti on the tawa until it turned golden brown.


Phulka is a thinner variant of roti.
He rolled the dough thinly to make perfect phulka.


Roti is a type of flatbread from the Indian subcontinent.
For dinner, we had vegetable curry with fresh roti.


Phulka is a light, puffed Indian bread made from whole wheat flour.
She loves phulka with its puffed, airy texture.


Roti is made from stoneground whole wheat flour.
He prefers homemade roti because it's healthier.


Phulka is partially cooked on an open flame.
Watching the phulka puff up on the flame is fascinating.


In many Indian households, roti is a staple food item.
Roti is a daily part of meals in many homes.


Phulka is known for its soft and light texture.
Phulka is her preferred bread for its delicate feel.


Roti is served with a variety of dishes like dal, curry, and vegetables.
We had roti with chicken curry last night.


In some regions of India, phulka is a speciality.
In her hometown, phulka is a common part of meals.


See chapati.


A kind of unleavened flatbread commonly consumed in South Asia and the Caribbean.
Nepalis eat sweet fried rice-flour doughnuts called sel roti.


Can roti be used with curries?

Yes, roti is commonly eaten with curries and gravies.

Are roti and phulka vegan?

Yes, traditionally both are vegan, made only with flour and water.

How is phulka different in cooking?

Phulka is first cooked on a tawa and then puffed on an open flame.

Is phulka healthier than roti?

Phulka is lighter and often considered healthier due to its thinness.

Can roti be stored for later use?

Roti is best eaten fresh but can be stored for a short period.

Is roti eaten daily in Indian cuisine?

Yes, roti is a staple in many Indian diets.

What's unique about phulka's texture?

Phulka is unique for its soft, airy, and puffed texture.

Does phulka have a different taste?

Phulka has a lighter taste and texture compared to roti.

What is roti made of?

Roti is made from whole wheat flour.

Do both roti and phulka use the same ingredients?

Yes, both primarily use whole wheat flour and water.

Can phulka be made without a flame?

Traditionally, it requires a flame to puff up, but alternatives exist.

Is roti suitable for weight loss diets?

Roti can be part of a balanced diet, including weight loss plans.

Are there any variations of phulka in Indian cuisine?

Yes, there are regional variations in thickness and cooking style.

Can roti be made without oil?

Yes, traditional roti doesn’t require oil.

Is making phulka more difficult than roti?

Yes, phulka requires skill to puff up properly on the flame.

Is phulka a common bread in all of India?

It's more common in some regions than others.

Does roti have any cultural significance?

Yes, it's an integral part of Indian culinary culture.

Does phulka require any special equipment?

A tawa and a direct flame source are essential for making phulka.

Can phulka be eaten with Western dishes?

Yes, it can be creatively paired with various cuisines.

Is making roti time-consuming?

It requires some practice but can be made relatively quickly.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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