Bajra roti is a thin pancake made of millet flour that is mixed with water. Bajra is a predominantly Rajasthani crop and bajra rotis are popular in the state. Although these are mostly made in North India, there are several local bajra roti recipe versions that are followed in South India too.
History of the Bajra Roti
Bajra roti is traditionally made from the thinly ground flour of millet. This cereal was considered to be cheap and affordable and thick nutritious rotis could be made very easily from the dough. Traditionally, thick bajra rotis were prepared and slowly roasted over "kanda" (cow dung cakes) on an open fire. That gave the dish a typical smoked flavor which was highly unusual. In North India, bajre ki roti is commonly eaten in several states. Sajje is the local south Indian or Karnataka term for millet and sajje rotis are also cooked in Northern Karnataka. The exact method of preparation will vary slightly all over India.
Bajra Roti Recipe Overview
In North India, ghee or clarified butter is mixed with the flour and water to create the dough. This dough is then patted out to create the rotis or flat panckes. Bajra roti is made of unleavened dough and it is also gluten free. As a result, the typical stretchy appearance of wheat flour dough is not seen. The actual process of patting out or rolling out the dough into flat pancakes will vary considerably. In South India, the preparation varies slightly. A few chefs heat water, salt and oil together and then pour the millet flour into the water. This is allowed to cook for some time till a slightly semi solid ball of dough forms. Once the dough has cooled, smaller balls are created to roll into pancakes.
Serving and Eating the Bajre ki Roti
North Indians love to eat bajra roti with fresh home made butter. It is a staple in Rajasthan and is served at every meal. Bajra rotis also form an essential accompaniment to sarsoon ka saag or cooked mustard greens. In South India, the roti is served occasionally with chutney powder, garlic chutney, and yoghurt.
Bajra is an extremely nutritious cereal and bajra rotis are very healthy. A single bajra roti cooked with no ghee has 108 calories.