Gluten-free Jowar Roti or Sorghum Flatbread Tortilla Recipe

March 8th, 2010 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Indian, Indian Flatbread, JM friendly, Karina Friendly, Nut Free, Rice Free, Sorghum, Soy Free, TED Elimination Diet, Vegan, tapioca starch free 29 Comments »


The first time I heard of Jowar Roti was when I was on a trip to India and staying in Bangalore. I read in a blog that the “Jolad rotti oota” in Kamat Minerva (at Minerva circle) in Bagalore was absolutely amazing. The Jowar Roti there might even be gluten-free- but I didn’t have time to go and investigate. Once I returned to the States i didn’t think much about it, but I’d filed away the thought of single flour, gluten-free roti. Once I had to go on a rotation diet for baby Yum, I remembered those breads and set to work perfecting them at home. First, I came up with a yummy millet flatbread recipe. The sorghum one was considerably harder. When it has worked, the results have been spectacular, but it has been hit or miss, with quite a few impromptu “pizzas” made with the failed dough. However, recently I finally stumbled upon a winning technique that seems to work every time. It requires a roux whisk- but you should have one of those anyway! It is by far my favorite whisk, perfect for making gluten-free vegan gravy. If you don’t have one, I have a backup technique, but it doesn’t work half as well and you may end up eating pizza. Surprise.

While I love the mild flavor of the millet roti, the sorghum roti is amazingly flexible and can be easily wrapped around fillings without cracking. They taste the best hot off the griddle. For a dry, crackly bread, just leave them on the griddle until dark spots appear. For a soft, pliable tortilla, make them a little thicker and/or only keep them on the griddle until a few light brown spots appear. I love this roti with vegetable fajita filling or an Indian curry. It has more whole grain personality than millet, which I personally like, and is definitely more versatile. Best of all, it naturally does not need eggs, dairy, baking powder, xanthan gum or any other ingredient that may be problematic for the gluten-free, allergic baker. Let’s hear it for naturally simple gluten-free baked products! Let me know what you think when you try it. It has become a favorite menu staple at our house. *Also, if you have any great gluten-free vegetarian curry recipes that would go well with this roti, share in the comments and I’ll add links to the post!

Jowar Roti Sorghum Flatbread Tortilla Recipe
Ingredients
2 cups sorghum flour (for pretty, cream colored roti like those pictured, use Authentic Foods Sorghum flour. For a more rustic greyish roti use Bob’s Red Mill)
2 cups water

salt to taste

Directions
Put your flour container near the stove and measure out one cup of sorghum flour to have ready next to the burner. You will either need a heavy roux whisk OR a food processor and lots of patience. You will also need a sturdy wooden spoon and strong arm muscles for this recipe (or the ability to fake it, like me).

Bring your water barely to a boil in a saucepan. Add your 1 cup of flour gradually but steadily, using the roux whisk to whisk the stream of flour into the water continuously. Reduce heat to low. Moving quickly, measure out the second cup of flour and grab your wooden spoon. Stir in your second cup of flour into the dough in the pan. This is the part that requires arm muscles. Ouch. Let’s just say this was a workout for me. A skin of dough should have formed on the bottom of the pan, leaving you with a ball of dough that becomes increasingly rubbery the longer you have it on the stove. I keep it on the stove, mixing and moving the ball of dough around, for around two minutes, or until the dough attains a really nice rubbery texture. (Trust me, it is a good thing.) Remove dough to a heat resistant bowl and leave for five-ten minutes or until cool enough to handle. Form into small balls and place in a bowl.

Take a quart size freezer safe ziploc bag and cut out the sides.

For wimpy, no rolling method, put the bag into a tortilla press. Place a ball of dough in the press between layers of plastic. Press.

For rolling method, simply roll out dough inside your ziploc bag, with rolling pin on the top outside of the bag.

Either way, peel your tortilla from plastic and place on a plate. These tortillas handle well, so no worries.

Heat cast iron skillet to medium and toast your flatbread until its texture changes, and if you like, until it gets light brown spots. Turn it and toast the other side. Sometimes they will puff up with internal air pockets, which I think signifies a lovely, tasty flatbread. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Try to refrain from immediately slathering your flatbread with soy-free, dairy-free margarine immediately off the skillet. Or not. Its up to you. :) I usually gobble a few before dinner gets anywhere near the table.

*IF you don’t have a roux whisk and still want to make this recipe, you can try whisking your first cup of flour with a regular whisk or large serving fork. If it seizes up and gives you unpleasant flour pockets, try those arm muscles and stir the heck out of it- follow the above directions as best you can but after heating for a few minutes on low, throw the dough into your food processor and blend that dough into smooth submission. I had mediocre success with this method. Read *Warning* in the notes, along with suggested usage of failed dough.

Notes
A blogger who tried my millet roti recipe commented that she preferred the flavor/ texture of flatbread rolled out by hand. Personally I think if you work the dough enough AND press it in the tortilla press multiple times to get a really nice thin flatbread, it shouldn’t matter. If the tortilla puffs up nicely and creates a pretty air pocket, that is good enough for me. But then, I’m just too darned lazy to roll out my flatbread. And I hate my rolling pin, which weighs more than Baby Yum and is harder to handle.

*WARNING: IF you don’t have a roux whisk… get one! You can however try making this without one if you have a food processor. The recipe CAN fail using the food processor method, though. If you wind up with sticky dough, you can always make a yeast-free pizza flatbread by throwing the darned stuff onto a sheet of parchment paper, drizzling with oil or a little water and pressing out into a pizza shape. Bake in the oven until crunchy. It will taste “gluten-free” but is edible and at least the flour won’t go to waste.

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Gluten-free Millet flour Recipes: Bajra Roti or Millet flatbread Tortilla

January 11th, 2010 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Bread, Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Flatbread, Indian, JM friendly, Karina Friendly, Nut Free, TED Elimination Diet, Vegan, tortillas 46 Comments »

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rotiinpanIn my current gluten-free rotation diet for Baby Yum, I’m rotating millet, quinoa, and amaranth. I came up with one tasty way to enjoy millet that uses millet grits like corn grits in polenta, and I’ll be sharing the recipe with you soon. However, I can’t say I enjoy whole millet seeds very much, and I didn’t have much use for the flour either until I recently had a very interesting idea. I thought that if millet grits could be used like corn grits, perhaps millet flour could be used like corn flour in tortillas or flatbread. So I went searching online to see what others had done with millet flour. Imagine my delight when I found that in India millet flour is used in delicious, smoky Bajra Roti flatbread. Of course those who must follow a gluten-free diet should be VERY careful with freshly made stuff as recipes often incorporate gluten to make it easier to handle. However, I was inspired by one intrepid Bangalorean runner, Balu’s recipe for Bajra Roti, to think that you didn’t need any other flour to make Millet flatbread, but that the method was the important thing. His chef came up with a clever way of heating the dough to make it pliable, and to my delight it really worked to create a malleable tortilla that was easier to handle than even its corn counterpart. You can also freeze uncooked flatbread by layering it with wax paper and storing in a quart ziploc freezer bag. So delightfully easy! The beauty of the recipe is that it can be made plain and substituted for corn tortillas- perfect for corn intolerant, gluten intolerant mexican food aficionados, or it can be jazzed up and given an Indian twist with spices and herbs. You can also baste the flatbread with oil for a rich, savory treat. Buttered with Earth Balance Soy-free margarine and a generous sprinkling of salt, it is simply divine. For a real treat, you could whip up a batch of Cilantro Chutney, although traditionally bajra roti is paired with a robust Garlic Chutney, Lahsun Ki Chutney. Chutney aside, this simple and satisfying bread is a recipe I would make even if I wasn’t on an elimination diet… and that’s really saying something.

How to make Gluten-free Bajra Roti, in pictures:
rotimosaicsm

Can’t get enough Millet?
Try Culinary Goddess Karina’s Gluten-free Millet Buckwheat Wraps (I intend to!)
Or make Millet the star of your meal with Mark Bittman’s Millet Pumpkin Bake Recipe

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I have a hot bajra roti on the skillet calling my name… Don’t you wish you had one too?

Bajra Roti Millet Flatbread Recipe
Ingredients
2 cups millet flour
2 cups water

salt to taste

For seasoned roti:
1 shallot- minced
1 to 1/4 green chili- minced (amount depends on spiciness of chili and your preference)
3 tbsp. cilantro, diced

Directions
Bring your water to boil in a saucepan and add your flour, butdo not mix it into the water. Lower heat to low and let simmer for two minutes. Then turn off heat and mix flour into hot water evenly. Remove dough to a heat resistant bowl and leave for ten minutes or until cool enough to handle. For seasoned roti you can sprinkle dough with shallot, chili, and cilantro. Form into small balls and place in a bowl. Cover

Take a quart size freezer safe ziploc bag and cut out the sides.

For wimpy, no rolling method, put the bag into a tortilla press. Place a ball of dough in the press between layers of plastic. Press.

For rolling method, simply roll out dough inside your ziploc bag, with rolling pin on the top outside of the bag.

Either way, peel your tortilla from plastic and place on a plate. These tortillas handle well, so no worries.

Heat cast iron skillet to medium and toast your flatbread until its texture changes, and if you like, until it gets light brown spots. Turn it and toast the other side. Sometimes they will puff up with internal air pockets, which I think signifies a lovely, tasty flatbread. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Try to refrain from immediately slathering your flatbread with soy-free, dairy-free margarine immediately off the skillet. Or not. It’s up to you. :) I usually gobble a few before dinner gets anywhere near the table.

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