Makki roti also called ‘Makki di roti’ in Punjabi is grilled unleavened flat bread made using the flour of corn (maize flour) and is a staple food of the North Indian community in Punjab. It is usually consumed in combination with ‘sarson da saag’ which is gravy prepared using mustard leaves. This is a very popular food combination and one which cannot be spoken of without mentioning the other. It is especially prepared during the winter months all through the state of Punjab and surrounding areas as a warming food. In fact, this is a much sought after comfort food during the winter festival of Lohri and even in Baisakhi.
Ingredients and Method of preparation
The chief ingredient in makki roti is Maize flour, some salt and clarified butter (ghee) are also used. Green chillies, finely chopped may be added if desired. Grated radish or onion is another option that may or may not be used. These are optional as it is basically a bland food consumed with the sarson da saag that forms a perfect complement to the makki roti. These ingredients are combined together and kneaded to form a stiff dough, portioned into balls and then flattened by using both hands as rolling out with a pin is difficult owing to the lack of gluten. Then the slightly thick makki roti is roasted on a hot griddle till done on both sides, before serving piping hot along with sarson da saag.
A serving size of one roti ~ 71 g provides
• A total of 173 calories with 53.1 calories coming from fat
• A total fat content of 5.9 g of which saturated fat content is 3.1 g
• Cholesterol is 12 mg
• Sodium content is 46 mg
• Total carbohydrate is 28.1 g of which dietary fibre is 2.7 g and sugars 0.2 g
• A protein content of 3 g is obtained.
• The estimated percentage of calories from carbohydrates is 63.3 %, from fat is 29.9 % and from protein is 6.8 %.
• Provides vitamin A mainly as beta carotene, B-vitamins, phosphorus and manganese.
• Instead of clarified butter, olive oil may be used to knead the maize flour to cut down saturated fat and include healthy unsaturated fat. This would have a positive impact on cholesterol levels.
• Use of some grated carrot may add vitamin value to the makki roti.
• Some soy flour may be incorporated to improve protein and fibre content, while providing heart health, weight reducing and anti-cancer benefits.
• Use of some finely chopped spinach or fenugreek leaves increases not only vitamin and mineral content but enhances fibre and satiety value and aids persons with chronic constipation.
• Being gluten free, this forms an ideal substitute to wheat bread for those who suffer from gluten or wheat intolerance. However the chief corn protein, zeil is of slightly lower biological protein quality compared to gluten.
The only disadvantage is that being slightly higher, 1/3 of a cup = 68, on the glycemic index scale (which measures insulin response to foods on a scale of 100 using glucose as the benchmark of 100), Diabetics must consume this dish infrequently and within limits.
While a tall glass of lassi is the traditional way of washing down the meal of sarson da saag and makki di roti, a glass of fresh lime juice would work better as the Vitamin C would aid absorption of Iron in the mustard leaves.