After Ragi cookies, here is the recipe for Ragi roti! These delicious rotis are a healthy and gluten-free alternative to wheat rotis, which is an essential part of Indian cooking.
Roti is the staple bread in most Indian households, especially in North India. It is also called a chapati. Roti is an unleavened flatbread made with 3 key ingredients — flour, water, and a little salt. The flour used is most commonly whole wheat and when someone says just roti, by default, it means a wheat roti.
With increasing awareness about the health benefits of millets and also a rise in gluten-sensitivity, millet flours like Ragi, Bajra, Jowar etc are increasingly being used to make rotis.
Bajra rotla, Jowar roti, makki roti, Ragi roti — all of these are actually old traditional recipes that are lost in the modern kitchen because of the greater availability and ease of making wheat rotis.
How to make soft Ragi roti (& other millet rotis)?
The difficulty in making rotis with millet flours is the absence of gluten which makes it difficult to roll them. Also mostly they cook to become very hard.
Here are a few tips to help knead a soft dough. A soft dough in turn will make rolling millet flour easier and make softer rotis:
- Knead the dough with as warm water as you can handle. You can also use hot boiling water and mix using a spoon and then get back to it when the dough has cooled enough to handle with your hands.
- Second, add a little oil in the water. Not too much, just about 1 tsp to 1 cup of flour is enough.
- In Bajra and Jowar rotis, I’ve also tried adding some mashed boiled potato while kneading the dough. This is optional.
- Rolling the roti between two plastic sheets helps in rolling it thin and also makes it easier to lift the uncooked roti from the surface to the pan for cooking.
With Ragi flour, it has been such a delight to roll and cook ever since I found this recipe on the web. The dough comes together beautifully. I couldn’t believe it when I was able to roll the dough without needing any plastic sheets. It wouldn’t stick to the rolling pin or the surface. And it lifts off the surface easily and I can even hold the uncooked roti for a long time without it breaking.
What does Ragi look like?
Ragi also known as Nachni in India is called Finger Millet. It is a very deep red colored millet and its flour has a red tinge to it. Which is why it is also sometimes called Red Millet. The roti, as a result, is also dark. While some may not find that aesthetically pleasing, I actually like its rustic, earthy color and taste. And it has amazing health benefits too!
Some of the health benefits of Ragi are:
- Ragi millet is naturally gluten-free, low in fat, and highly alkaline grain. It is easy to digest.
- Ragi has a low glycemic index and is high in dietary fiber. It improves digestion, helps in controlling diabetes, and aids in weight loss.
- It is a rich source of iron, calcium, Vitamin D, and amino acid. It helps in battling anemia and also anxiety and insomnia.
Check out more health benefits of millets here.
Ragi Roti | Finger Millet Flour Flatbread
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 1 cup ragi flour (Finger millet flour) + about ¼th cup more for dusting
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp oil any regular cooking oil
- salt just a pinch or two
- Add water, 1 tsp oil, and salt in a small pot (It is good if you have a non-stick pot for this). Put on heat and bring to a boil.
- Remove the pot from heat and add the ragi flour to the water. Mix well with a spatula or a wooden spoon. All the flour will come together nicely. A non-stick pot makes it easier to mix, as the flour doesn’t stick to the sides of the pot and the dough comes together nicely. If you don’t have a non-stick pot then also it is fine. You might just have a little dough sticking to the sides which is okay.
- Keep aside for 10 mins or so to cool down so that you can knead it with you hands.
- Take 1 tsp oil in your palms and knead the dough again with your hands. Divide into 7-8 balls.
- Keep a flat pan/tava on medium heat.
- Take some dry ragi flour in a plate for dusting. Take one dough ball, cover in dry flour and then roll into a thin chapatti with a rolling pin. Dust some more in between, if required.(What I found amazing here was that there was no need for a plastic sheet! The dough works just like any wheat dough.)
- When the pan/tava is hot, transfer the rolled roti to the hot pan. When the underside is cooked, the roti will easily give way and then flip and cook the other side too. Takes about 1-2 minutes each side.
- Remove from the pan and if you like smear with ghee or coconut oil. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Serve hot with your favorite curry and/or sabzi.
- Nutritional Information is the approximate information for 1 of 7 servings.
- Millet rotis are best eaten fresh so I never plan to cook extra but in case there are leftovers, they can be reheated and eaten for the next meal within a day.
- I’m linking to the original video recipe of another blogger who runs – Masala Kitchen. This recipe works and I didn’t want to change anything in the recipe so if you want to see it in action, go directly to her space! The video is in Hindi but very self-explanatory.
Click here for more millet recipes from stir-fry to pancakes to cookies!
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