Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Sorghum Roti (Jonna Rotte, Jowar Roti)

 Jonna rotte with curry (Sorghum roti with curry)

Very popular in villages and small towns as an accompaniment to meat and vegetable gravy curries, sorghum roti is one of the traditional recipes of India. As the name suggests, the rotis are prepared from sorghum flour. Instead of rolling pin, hands are used to shape the sorghum dough into a round, flat, thin circle. Because sorghum flour is gluten-free flour, it’s very tough to spread the dough without breaking the shape, and one really needs hands-on experience and many failed attempts to get the skill.

I am very sad to say that it is becoming one of those ‘dying’ kind of recipes. My mother and grandmother generations perfected the sorghum roti preparation. But coming to my generation, the ‘educated’, the ’sophisticated’ ones, who can talk about baguettes and brie’s for hours and goes to great lengths to prepare and showoff knowledge of foreign cuisines, have no interest and can’t give the time of the day to learn or master the technique of this classic Indian recipe. It is not that we don’t like the taste. We love it! Imagine the warm paratha taste, multiply by 10 times, that’s how a good, well made sorghum roti tastes. In artisan hands, it puffs like puri - all on its own. No leavening agents and oil or ghee are added. Just fresh sorghum flour, warm water and touch of fire - pure grain power in its glory.

Making a prefect sorghum roti is a skill that I wanted to master with all my heart. For me, it is not just a recipe, but an Indian tradition that I wished to be a part of. The process is difficult to explain in written words and pretty much useless. Again this is one of those recipes, where one must be in the kitchen next to the cook, to know what they are talking about. One really needs a visual experience to understand the recipe. Well that’s how I feel anyway, so I’m going to keep the recipe directions simple for a change, and instead show the process in images.

Spreading the dough into thin round shape using hands

Prepare dough by gradually adding and mixing hot water. After a rest period of 10 to 15 minutes, the dough is kneaded and divided into lemon sized balls. Then, using palm of the right hand, on a flat board, the dough is spread into flat, thin round.

Cooking the roti

The doughspread is carefully lifted and placed on a hot iron tava (griddle). We use a separate tava just for making these rotis. On medium-high heat, roti is roasted slowly. Water is applied with a cotton cloth on the surface of roti, before turning it to the other side.

Roti is turned to otherside

After two to three minutes of cooking, roti is turned to the other side and cooked until done.

Sorghum roti (Jonna Rotte, Jowar roti) with curry
Jonna Rotte (Sorghum Roti) with curry ~ our meal today.

Recipe origin and source: Rayalaseema(Andhra, India) and Amma.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Bajri/Jowar Flour, Millet, Jowar (Jonnalu) (Tuesday April 4, 2006 at 10:49 pm- permalink)
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