Raagi Rotti | Finger Millet Flat Bread – Bangalore Style

Millet and Onions flat bread with Green Chilli Pepper chutney
[Raah gee (as in geese) Rohttea ] Kannada

Though Millet in the form of Raagi Mudde [mooh dey] (millet dumpling) is more popular being a staple peasant food in many parts of Karnataka, this dish exemplifies how something as ordinary as Millet metamorphoses into mouth-watering nostalgia.
The first thought that comes to my mind when I crave for my mom’s food is that of Raagi rotti. It is close to my heart and one of my mom’s specialties.  They do not make it any softer than hers even in restaurants, given the insane amounts of oil they use. I am not kidding here!
Rotti is a dish you have to get your hands dirty for and won’t regret any bit of it. Call it her experience or a seasoned hand, my mom always patted the rotti directly on the hot tawa (griddle) with her hand. I couldn’t do it that way, ever.
Having been an electrical student myself, I do believe in following the path of least resistance. Well, at least once in a while.
So, I experimented with aluminium foils. Aluminium foils get way too hot and ended up with the Rotti sticking to the foil itself instead of the Tava.
Tried alternating between a pair of hot and cold Tawas, found it too tedious and lost my patience.
Tried with thick plastic sheets from wheat flour bags and got tired of the endless waits to stock up on them. Yes, I have done this many times and I would make Rottis only when a new bag of whole wheat flour would be bought. I would cut it up into four equal parts and store it for those many future uses. Sometimes, you have to find out of the b(ox)ag ways to satisfy your cravings!
After all those unpleasant attempts (plastic sheets did yield very well though), wax paper has been a wonderful discovery in my Rotti making. It obviously does not stick, does not even pick up heat, lets go of the Rotti on the Tawa easily and is economical too, each sheet makes 5-6 rottis before disposal.
Oops! Did I spill the beans? Now that I have given you my little secret to easy Rotti making, shake your tail feathers a bit and squish those hands. They are about to get dirty!

{Raagi Rotti & Carrot shavings with Green Chilli Peppers chutney on the side}

Things you’ll need:

  • 2 1/2 cups Raagi (Millet) flour
  • 1/2 cup grated Coconut
  • 1/2 cup shredded Carrot
  • 1/2 large Onion finely chopped (more if you like it that way)
  • 2 stems Curry leaves minced
  • 1-2 tsp Jeera / Cumin seeds
  • Salt
  • Warm water
  • Oil for pan roasting
  • Wax paper (or butter sheet, yes the same ones used in baking)
  • Wide lid with handle (I prefer a see through glass lid with some depth)
  • Tawa/Griddle (I Prefer Cast iron)
How it’s done:
Millet does not contain gluten like wheat and hence lacks the elasticity or suppleness of the wheat flour dough. For this reason, coconut and shredded carrot lend in the required moisture and softness.
In a large mixing bowl, sprinkling a little warm water at a time, mix all the ingredients for a smooth dough and keep aside. Warm water helps to keep it moist and soft as well.
Wash your hands clean and have a bowl of clear water handy before starting.
Make a ball of dough, a little smaller than your fist and with your four fingers and the middle of the palm, pat it flat on the wax sheet starting from left to the right clockwise to make a circular rotti. Dip your fingers in that bowl of water as needed, to pat with ease. Do not make it too watery alright. Finish with a small hole in the center to help it cook evenly.
Place a tawa/ griddle on medium-high heat. When the tawa is hot (move your hand over the tawa to check), carefully holding the two opposite ends of the wax sheet, turn it face down on the tawa. Now, pressing down light with your left hand, strip out the sheet with your right hand. It’s easier done than it sounds. Trust me.
Drizzle oil in the center and all around the rotti and cover it with the wide lid.
Flip it over after 2-3 mins and cover again. Flip it over again in about 3-4 mins and keep aside. To check if done, look for light brownish black spots. When you hear a sizzling noise (as the water vapors fall on the tawa), you have left it too long. Repeat for the remaining dough.
Serve hot with any chutney of your choice and enjoy! If you fancy some Ghee on it, go ahead, indulge..

{Left to Right : Raagi flour mixed with all ingredients;  Mixed into a dough; Patted on the wax sheet}

{On the griddle; Covered with a see through lid}

{Green Chilli Peppers Chutney}
Tips and Warnings:
  • Do not cook Rotti on both sides for too long, lest you’ll end up with damaged teeth trying hard to tear it. The secret to a soft Rotti lies in cooking only one side well. The other side gets cooked in the steam under the covered lid.
  • Do not try to make this Rotti sans oil, it might give you a stomach ache.
  • When it becomes cold, it gets a bit chewy; So, always serve hot.

8 thoughts on “Raagi Rotti | Finger Millet Flat Bread – Bangalore Style

  1. Aashwina says:

    Hi Radhika ,

    Thanks for sharing the wax paper secret… I have also been grappling with this issue… I pat on plastic/polythene and take it off the sheet whole and put on the tava/griddle.

    I add a bit of rice flour and green chillis too to my ragi rotti… the rice flour also ensures that the ragi roti is soft and less black! I add cilantro too.. for the taste

    Aashwina

    • Radhika says:

      Isn’t the wax paper tip cute? It works.

      This rotti is my mom’s recipe and I grew up simply loving it. We make rice rotti too with curry leaves and onions (optionally) and that’s a different recipe.

  2. mayur says:

    Wow, this is fantastic. It’s been ages since I had my ma’s raagi rotti. I’ve always been terrified of attempting to make it. With your blog, I can’t wait to try it. Off to the Indian store to get raagi and a cast iron skillet.
    ps I’m sure you already know, but hot raagi gangi (porridge) makes for a sumptuous breakfast item instead of coffee
    pps I was pointed to your blog by eatomaniac; great recipes in here, thanks!

    • Radhika says:

      Mayur,
      So glad you’re motivated to try your hand at Raagi Rotti. It is not all that difficult at all. If I could do it, so can you.
      Be sure to season your cast iron tawa/skillet before using for the first time. Wash with warm water, dry and apply oil liberally, heat once and then use.
      And don’t forget to come back and let me know how it turns out..
      Raagi ganji (porridge) is no doubt a nutritious alternative as well as a good infant food.

  3. Ramya says:

    First time visitor, came here looking for nutritious chapathi and found that and more :). Your blog is very resourceful! Loved your post on Gestational diabetes as well.

  4. Deepa says:

    Oh my God! What a FANTASTIC BLOG you have!!! AMAZING RECIPES, fantastic tips, brilliant photography… please link yourself around.. your recipes deserved to be found, SEEN for their beauty and used!! God Bless you for your generositya and here’s to tons of visits and awards!

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