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
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

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.

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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Soy-free and Rice-Free Challenge: Gluten-free Quinoa Vegetarian Sushi Recipe with no-soy sauce

February 6th, 2010 yum Posted in Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Egg Free, JM friendly, Japanese, Karina Friendly, Rice Free, Soy Free, Vegan, soy-free challenges 25 Comments »

quinoasush3iI can’t lie to you. Dealing with a gluten-free and top 8 allergen free diet plus some can be really tough. Gluten-free doesn’t even make me blink, but you start talking soy-free, egg-free, and even rice-free (my latest effort for Baby Yum), and some key dishes start getting to be a real challenge. Take sushi. There is nothing I love more than an avocado sushi roll, dipped in gluten-free soy sauce. But now both the sushi rice and the soy sauce are (temporarily) off the menu, what is a Japanese-food-loving girl to do? Get serious about thinking outside the box! I’ve been playing with the idea of a quinoa based sushi “rice” for a while now, but the soy sauce had me stumped. Usually I would sprinkle the sushi with sesame seeds and salt for a good soy sauce substitute for my soy-free friends… but right now I’m avoiding sesame seeds! Luckily I was in my local Cupertino Whole Foods the other day and found a miracle staring me right in the face- a bottle of gluten-free and soy-free soy sauce! This miracle potion is called Coconut Secret Raw Amino Acids and is compatible with a gluten-free as well as a raw foods diet. The price tag, unfortunately, is steep. In fact, I think I bought it in a delirious haze of joy and didn’t notice the price until later, at which point I gulped and felt (some) buyers remorse. quinoachirashiBut this stuff is so awesome and works perfectly in Japanese and Chinese recipes as a straight substitute for soy sauce that I didn’t feel bad for long. And it was the perfect partner to my quinoa sushi rolls! The week I made this, my father was visiting, and it passed the glutenoid test with flying colors. It’s not quite vegetarian sushi without rice, but this quinoa sushi satisfied my sushi craving nicely, and is a fun and new way to use a very healthful “grain.” I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

*If you don’t have nori you can make a chirashi “zushi” by sprinkling the filling over a nice bowl of the seasoned quinoa. Quick and easy, especially for leftover quinoa!

Gluten free Rice Free Quinoa Vegetarian Sushi Recipe
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water

sushi vinegar:
1/4 cup of neutral vinegar (i used a filtered apple vinegar)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt

2 green onions, quartered horizontally
2 carrots, peeled,sliced into long pieces and blanched
1/2 avocado, sliced

Unseasoned nori sheets

*A large recipe- you will have enough leftover quinoa for several servings of quinoa “chirashi” with vegetables sprinkled on top, unless you are cooking for a large group very hungry for “sushi” rolls.

Toast quinoa in a skillet on medium low, stirring to prevent burning. When quinoa is nicely toasted, move to a fine wire strainer and rinse. Pour into pan with water and bring to boil. Cover and lower heat and leave for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat vinegar, sugar and salt in a small pan on low and let the sugar and salt dissolve into the liquid.

Put your quinoa in a large, glass bowl and drizzle your sushi vinegar mixture over the quinoa. Fold it in for even distribution. Once quinoa has cooled, you can begin to make your sushi.

To prepare your sushi, get your nori sheet and place on a bamboo rolling mat. Cover the entire sheet with quinoa “sushi-rice” except for a horizontal strip at the bottom. Choose a line about 1 or two inches above the bare strip of nori and create a strip on top of the quinoa of filling ingredients. Make sure a small strip or two of green onions,blanched, thin carrot and a slice of avocado will be in every bite. Gently roll your nori together to form a cylinder and moisten the bare nori strip with water. Seal together and let rest while you make your desired number of sushi rolls.

When ready to serve, gently slice cylinders into bite size rolls. You may want to cut a wider roll at the ends where the quinoa mixture is the loosest.

Serve on a plate. If allergies don’t prohibit it, you can sprinkle the rolls with sesame seeds, but it is not necessary.

Enjoy with your favorite wheat-free soy sauce or one of the new soy-free sauces on the market like Coconut Secret’s Raw Coconut Aminos. (Yummy!)

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