Millet flour has been used in India for thousands of years. India is one of the top millet producers in the world.
Here in the western world, Millet is slowly being used in some products one of which is the multi grain breads. It is mainly being used as bird and cattle feed.
Rotla are traditionally made from millet flour (bajri). They are more nutritious than wheat breads, but at the same time they are more difficult to make.
To make good tasty rotlas, the millet flour should be fresh. Here in the UK, we are quite lucky to have some good flour mills who sell freshly ground millet flour. Store the millet flour in the fridge or even the freezer if you are not going to use it regularly.
Ingredients for making 4 small rotlas:
2 cups millet flour (bajra)
half a teaspoon salt
warm water to make the dough.
1. Most Gujarati's will only mix enough dough for one rotla at a time. Since I was only making 4 small rotlas, I mixed the whole amount.
2. Add the salt and start pouring the warm water to the millet flour in very small amounts. Mix it well by kneading until it is smooth.
3. This next step is the difficult one as millet dough is not pliable enough to allow us to roll it as a chappati. Some people add some wheat flour to millet to enable them to roll out the rotlas. However, this spoils the taste of the rotlas. Some people try and flatten out the dough between two plastic sheets but the rotla dough is sticky and not so easy to handle. (I tried this method and whilst it was easy to get the round shape, the rotlas didn't rise.)
4. The correct method is as follows:
* First warm the griddle or tava on a medium heat.
* Take enough flour to form a ball slightly bigger than a golf ball. Wet your palms with cold water and start to press the dough between your palms and fingers to shape it into a round chappati which should be no thicker than quarter of an inch. Now you see why I was suggesting we make small rotlas!
5. Pop the rotla on to a warm tava or non stick frying and allow it to cook on one side.
6. Turn the rotla on to the second side when it is cooked on one side. You can tell when it's cooked on one side by checking that the rotla is not stuck to the tava or frying pan. It should become slightly puffy with brown patches.
7. Spread butter or ghee on the rotla and serve it with Aubergine Bharta (recipe at:
http://www.givemesomespice.com/2010/01/blog-post.html) and Khichedi (recipe at: http://www.givemesomespice.com/2010/04/rice-lentils-and-mixed-vegetabl.html) the traditional food of kathiawadi farmers.
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