Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bajra Roti: Pearl Millet flatbreads

Millets are often used in India to make flatbreads. Among them, Pearl Millet or Bajri is very common. Rotis or flatbread made from this flour is especially important in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. These flat breads are gluten free and an excellent nutritious option for people having gluten intolerance. A very healthy grain grown mostly in India, this is a good option of flat bread to be served with Indian main courses. 

The most common combination in Gujarat is Bajri Rotis with Baingan Bharta or a curry made from potatoes and Eggplants. Also, urad dal seasoned with garlic chutney or kadhi of any sort is often served in Rajasthan with these flatbreads. While this recipe is for a simple flat bread made from bajri and some whole wheat flour just for binding, making Masala Bhakri i.e. bajri flour combined with lots of garlic, fenugreek leaves and spices is very common. Not to forget the Bajri Dhebra, deep fried fritters made from bajri flour is really yummy too. 

The day the bajri rotis are made, they are enjoyed over lunch or dinner. However, the left over can be converted to a really yummy snack. Two common variations of the snack is either bajri roti mixed with yogurt and served cold or a snack made by adding green garlic to crushed rotis and serving it warm. Both the variations are super tasty!

Besides being healthy, they flatbreads are as easy to make as any other flat bread and they taste divine when had with a dollop of butter or with jaggery. While some people change the amount of wheat flour to provide binding in the rotis, 1/4 cup works best for me with 2 cups flour. If the dough is falling apart, add some more wheat flour. 

Bajri flour 2 cups
Whole Wheat Flour 1/4 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Water 1 1/2 cup
Ghee or butter


In a mixing bowl add the flours, salt and little water. Keep adding water little at a time till you get a dough that is soft and does not fall apart. Make equal sized balls of the dough. Dust the rolling surface and rolling pin with regular flour (can be substituted with millet flour) and roll out the balls to a flat bread of about 1/4 inch thickness.

Transfer the roti to the tava, let it cook on one side.  Apply little water on the top surface and turn it over. Once cooked on both side, transfer it to direct flame and cook it on both sides, slowly rotating it on each side. Take it off the flame and apply little ghee or butter as desired.

Serve them hot with this Baingan Bharta or Kadhi. Fried chillies, raw onions, yogurt and jaggery are also commonly served with them. 

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