Roti-Indian "breads"

Pearl Millet Flat 'Bread' / Bajra Alu Paratha


I am sitting here and enjoying the fruits of my own labour.Yummy. It is a bajri atta alu paratha.That's a mouthful and so it this...Its nutty and tastier than many other wheat alu parathas I've eaten before. It's, like the ad goes, "different".
Semi arid areas and sandy soil form the oyster in which Bajra, otherwise known as bullrush or pearl millet , is grown. Rajasthan has the highest area under bajra cultivation and this crop dominates some areas of Gujerat and Maharashtra as well. Naturally it is used in these parts for roti s a healthy alternative to white or wheat flour.

For those who are interested here is a useful chart of all the nutrients in pearl millet.

I buy bajra, ready ground, in Deccan Gymkhana from Vaid and Sons, who always has a fresh stock of all the millets.


  • 250 gm maida ( white flour)

  • 150 gms bajri ki atta/ pearl millet flour

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 300ml water

  • 8 tsp. butter


  • 2 medium potatoes /about 200 gms, boiled and peeled

  • 2 green chilies, slit ,deseeded and minced.

  • 2 tbsp. of ginger chopped fine

  • 2 tbsp. fresh coriander, chopped

  • 1 tsp. anar dana/ dried pomegranate seeds.

  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder

Mix water in flour"

Mix the flours and salt together. Make a well in the centre and fill with water. Slowly incorporate the water into the flour.Knead for 5-8 minutes till the dough forms a smooth ball.

Rest ball of dough

It has a slightly greying tinge unlike wheat flour.Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest while you get the filling together.

Mix filling ingredients

Mash the potatoes, add green chillies,ginger, coriander, pomegranate seeds and chilli powder. Mix well. Divide into 8 portions.

Divide the dough into 8 portions as well. Flour a surface and taking one ball of dough , with floured hands press it out into a circle about 3 inches in diameter. Take one portion of flling and place in the center. Gather the edges of the dough together and press firmly till no joints show. Press down on floured surface again and roll out into a circle of 7 inches diameter.If you want to make a perfect circle place extra pressure on the rolling pin with one hand and the roti will turn automatically.This takes a bit of practice.

Heat a griddle/tawa and when hot slap the paratha down on it.Keep heat on medium and cook till the surface of the paratha develops spots and changes colour.Turn over and let it cook on the other side. Now drizzle butter around the circumferance of the paratha and let it cook for another few minutes. Turn over and do the same on the other side.The layer of dough rises off the filling as it cook. Press the edges of the paratha with a spatula to make it cook.
Repeat with the other 7 portions of dough and filling.

Hot Hot Parathas

Serve hot with yogurt and pickle.
Take a bite out of my paratha. Its GOOOD.

Bhakri / Jowar Roti- Indian flat "bread"


Jowar Roti

A few posts ago I wrote about Jowar Bread thinking everone knew how to make a chapathi out of jowar (sorghum). But after receiving several emails I promised to write about making bhakri, that filling and tasty roti, made from jowar or bajri flour, which is the staple diet of most Maharashtrians, especially in the rural areas.

Two rotis are generally enough for 1-2 people.


1 cup jowar /sorghum flour
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup water

Put the flour in a wide plate or mixing bowl and add salt to it. Mix well.
Jowar dough

Now add the water bit by bit till the flour can be gathered up into a ball of dough.

The amount of water  required to do this may vary, so add the water a bit at a time. On a floured surface knead gently for a minute or so.There is no need to knead more ( ahah notice alliteration !) as with wheat dough.

Divide into two large portions.

Form round with fingers

Form into a thick circle   working with your finger tips with the patty between the palms of your (floured) hands. (If the flour is not fresh the dough starts cracking at the edges, so freshly ground jowar flour is absolutely necessary).

Jowar roti formed.

Turn out onto floured surface and continue to form a circle pressing it out with the finger tips. Make each roti about 8" in diameter.

Place on tava/ griddle.

Heat a tava or griddle and put the roti on it. After a few minutes the roti starts becoming opaque.

Sprinkle water on roti

Sprinkle some water on the surface by hand.

Turn and cook

After two minutes turn the roti around and cook on the other side for some more time.

Turn and cook more

Turn over twice more till the roti develops brown spots all over and becomes a lighter colour in between. Look at the pictures on top for reference as to when it is done.

Eat hot with butter and lasun chatni/ garlic chutney.
Makes 2 rotis.