In 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.
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
2 cups millet flour
2 cups water
salt to taste
For seasoned roti:
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.