Thanks to all you lovely people who enquired on my health, I am feeling much better now. Time and again, I realize how therapeutic cooking and blogging is for me – especially having such nice people around me. Another interesting thing to happen over the last two days is winning the rare recipe contest at Lina’s blog! I hardly thought mine stood a chance amidst such wonderful recipes – especially since I couldn’t find much history on the Lymmonyk recipe. It was a great pleasure taking part in the challenge and I am looking forward to learning more.
Ok now, back to the recipe – Jowar Roti. A flat bread made using Sorghum/Jowar is quite famous in Northern Karnataka and Maharastra. My team mate who hails from Belgaum has many stories to share about Jowar Roti. For the starters, it’s no easy roti to prepare. Although the steps are quite simple – it takes years of practice to get it right. Jowar has no gluten content at all and hence is very good for health. Another interesting fact about these Jowar Rotis/Jolada Rotti is that no oil is used in making the roti. Absolutely nil. In fact, the rotis are cooked with water. I can’t think of a healthier recipe than this. For months, I had been crazy about preparing Jowar roti at home despite never having tried it before. As luck would have it, I had the first taste of the Jowar Roti in Kamat Lokruchi – quite famous for their thin, puffy Jowar Rotis. The very next week, my team mate got Jowar Rotis for lunch and offered me some. It was like the world (ok just two people) trying to convey me some message. I took the cue and prepared these Rotis at home. I would not call them perfect but for the first attempt, they came out decently and I was quite happy with the results. I would modify a few things next time around and do check out the notes section for my findings.
To make Jowar Roti | Jolada Rotti
What I used –
- Jowar/Sorghum Flour, 2 cups + ½ cup (for dusting)
- Boiling Water, 1 cup (more or less)
- Salt, as required
How I made –
1. In a bowl, add jowar/sorghum flour and required salt. Mix together and make a well in the center. Have a cup of water boiling and gently pour the water into the flour. Using a ladle, mix well until the dough is lumpy. When you can handle the heat, knead the dough to form a small ball. No resting time required.
2. Cover your kitchen counter with newspaper (it can get a bit messy for first timers) and spread a polythene cover/zip-lock cover. Dust it with a thick layer of jowar flour. Take a ball (of desired size) and pat it flat on the dusted jowar flour. You can go as thin as possible. Make sure there are no cracks and the roti is as even as possible. Meanwhile, heat a flat iron on medium flame. Carefully remove the patted jowar roti from the polythene cover and put it on the hot pan with the dusted side facing you (I did a mistake here by putting it the other way round). If possible, dust off any extra flour from the top of the roti.
3. Let the roti cook for a minute and as you see small bubbles, gently flip it to the other side. By now, have a small bowl filled with water and have a muslin cloth dipped in the water. On flipping to the other side, gently touch the roti with water all over it so that it doesn’t go dry. As the other side seems cooked, flip it again and do the water touching again. Flip it once again and now put it directly on the flame. It begins to puff up, turn to the other side and let it puff again. Remove on to the plate. Repeat the same with rest of the dough.
- Jowar/Sorghum has an acquired taste, make a small batch to test first.
- The quality of the roti depends on the quality of the flour. Fresh flour yields soft rotis. I pretty much had to depend on packaged jowar flour as it’s not easy finding a mill that can get me fresh flour.
- There is no resting time required after making the dough.
- As Jowar flour has no gluten content, it is quite hard to roll it using a rolling pin. One has to use hands to pat it flat and thin.
- Using boiling hot water helps in binding the flour (and makes up for its lack of gluten and elasticity).
- I used a plastic sheet to make the roti as I thought it would be easy to remove it from the sheet to the pan, but later realized that the kitchen floor and counter top was floury from flour flying in all directions. Get ready to deal with a messy kitchen and engage in this recipe only when you have enough time.
- On looking at videos making jowar roti *which I did after I was done with mine*, I realized people were patting them flat either directly on the counter top or on a rolling board – but used a lot of jowar flour for dusting. I am going to try it the next time.
- Always place the roti on the flat pan with the floured side facing you so that extra flour can be dusted off. I did the opposite and some rotis had extra dough on top.
- Make sure there are no cracks when rolling the roti – that helps in puffing up on directly putting it on flame.
- The roti can get quite dry on cooking so water is applied constantly to maintain the moisture. Use a clean muslin cloth dipped in water for every flip.
- The rotis can be quite good even when cooled down but serve it hot for better taste.
- Any spicy gravy works well with the rotis, I served it with something made from greens – stay tuned for the recipe!