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

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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:
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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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46 Responses to “Gluten-free Millet flour Recipes: Bajra Roti or Millet flatbread Tortilla”

  1. Thank you for posting this! I have dabbled a little with gluten free wraps, but my family has vetoed them.

    Now, we do like the mild flavour of millet flour, and who knows, maybe we can make baked chips with these? we did so love pita chips…

  2. This sounds great! I have a huge bag of millet flour in my refrigerator, and now I know what to do with it :)

  3. Those look scrumptious! The millet flour I have had here is a grey color and doesn’t taste good. I am not a picky eater, but I haven’t been able to eat it and had to throw the flour out. Are there different types of millet flours?

  4. Chatty H- I think there are different types of millet flour… also, there may be variations in India such as finger millet etc. which may be a different type. I haven’t sorted all that out. However, the millet I get is from Bob’s Red Mill. I can add a link to the variety in this post. Millet flour CAN be bitter, especially when paired with baking soda. Somehow, though, these tortillas don’t taste bitter at all. I suspect the kind I have is more refined than the grey type… or perhaps a different variety? Hope this helps!

    Linda- Baked chips sound intriguing! Let me know if you try them.

    Katie- Hope they turn out for you! This is one of my new favorite recipes. It makes me wish every day was a millet day, haha.

    -Sea

  5. The flour I had was definitely from an Indian source. I did a bit of googling and found that there is such a thing as black millet flour, which is grey, so that is most likely what I had! Stick to the white! :)

  6. Thank you for posting this! Now I have two wonderful flatbreads from you to try – the amaranth recipe is calling my name.

    I am sorry for your challenge in finding a diet that agrees with your little baby, but I am selfishly pleased with the results. :)

  7. I too am nursing a child with multiple food allergies. She’s 15 months and really healthy other than her FAs. Baby Yum is adorable and I really appreciate you trying all these different things. I just made these and they’re great! I threw in shallot. My daughter loves them.

  8. Thanks very much for posting this recipe. I tried this one and it came out wonderful. The few that I overcooked became crispy like crackers. The crackers tasted great as well. I am planning to flavor with more seasonings/roasted red pepper/sundried tomatoes/etc and bake it like crackers and enjoy with salsa, guacamole or hummus.

  9. love the blog, and thanks for so many resources. I am going to try out these millet flat breads soon. Thanks.

  10. Hi
    Thanks for this recipe.I am going to try it over the weekend.Usually millet flours can be mixed with a little rice flour/corn flour e.tc. and can be mixed with yogurt/water and veggies to make thin crepes or pancakes or dosas as it is called in India..many a times this has been the way to rescue flours that didn’t make good rotis..

  11. [...] -> HERE Categories: Recipes Tags: easy, flat bread, gluten free, lentil, lunch, meal, recipe, savory [...]

  12. Hi,

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I tried it last week and it was great. I used a tortilla smasher and then proceeded to roll out the dough. It came out super thin and had nice air pockets when I cooked it. Thanks!

    Luuli

  13. What did I do wrong? I rolled it out in the plastic bag but when I tried to pull it out it was all sticky. No matter what I tried to do I couldn’t make it work.

  14. Hi Vanessa,
    This recipe has been pretty fool-proof for me, so I’m not entirely sure. But, it sounds like either you added too much water or (even more) like you didn’t have the dough on the stove long enough. The dough gets all rubbery from being heated and loses its stickiness… Are you in a very humid climate? I’m thinking maybe if there is excess moisture in the air you might have had issues. Also, unseasoned roti is easier to make than seasoned- so you might start with that. Good luck!

    -Sea

  15. Thanks!I am in a very humid climate (I live abroad), sounds like I should use less water. I let it simmer for the two minutes, so I wonder if I should let it simmer longer being that I am in a humid climate?

  16. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this recipe! I made these this morning and they were sooooo nutty and delicious!! So simple too, despite the labor intensiveness of cooking them one at a time. I smeared them with a little Organic Valley Pasture Butter and went straight to heaven. ;-)

  17. These were so good! Thank you! It can be hard to find single grain GF recipes that are half way decent for those of us who rotate grains. Thanks again!

  18. I made these a few weeks ago and enjoyed them as fish tacos with home made baja sauce. What a treat!

  19. Thanks so much for this recipe. I tried it with Bajri Flour (Millet Flour) I bought from a local store that sells India products. Used wax paper with the tortilla press. The tortillas were easy to handle. Used a large stainless steel pan, no oil, cooked about 4 minutes on each side. Thanks again.

  20. thanks for this recipe — can’t wait to try it. just thought i’d pitch in with another tip. you can use millet flour very well to thicken sauces just like you would white flour, which may open up a few culinary horizons!

  21. Can you reheat these the next day? I’d like to make these today, and demo them in the store I work in tomorrow.

  22. Hi Suzanne,
    You have two options in my experience… One, prepare the tortillas and pile them up with wax paper between each (raw, uncooked) tortilla. Carefully put in a quart (or gallon if you are nervous) ziploc bag and freeze. They will be easier to transport. Then cook them on site. They don’t puff up quite as much, but are still very good and will taste fresh.
    Alternatively, cook them and then zap them in a microwave for tasting. They are fine this way, especially in recipes (enchilada type stuff) but of course taste most awesome fresh off the griddle.
    Hope this helps!
    -Sea

  23. Thanks, I’ll give the 2nd option a try, since I have no way of cooking them in the store.

    By the way, here is my experience making them:
    they came out a bit gluey and not a cohesive ball, so I rolled them once, took them out of the ziploc, rolled them again into now a much smoother ball, and re-rolled them.

    I;m cooking them now, I’ll let you know how we like them.

  24. Suzanne,
    Sounds good. By the way, the dough doesn’t need to come out as a cohesive ball. What you want to avoid most is stickiness. You might cook the dough a little more if you find it sticky. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with the dough, and you don’t need to roll and re-roll. It might improve the texture, but I personally am lazy and if I had to roll and re-roll the recipe I probably would never make the recipe. *shrug* If you are used to baking with gluten you will find that gluten-free flours just tend to have different textures than you are used to.

    Enjoy!

    -Sea

  25. I just stumbled across your web site today looking for ways to cook with millet flour. My son has food protein allergies and I am on an elimination diet, as well. Millet is my only grain. I’m in the southwest and I miss my tortillas!! I can’t wait to try this. Thank you!

  26. Read this yesterday and “I had a dream..”

    This morning I used one tea cup of flour and tea cup of water.

    I made 6 cute size rotla and ate two of them and “I feel great..”

    Most all rotla puffed a little but the last one puffed like bullon.

    I am on gluten free diet for last few months and tried to make rotla and failed miserably (men) !!

    This recipe rocks!!

    I can’t thank you enough. If a girl put this recipe, mil kisses and hugs. For a guy mil hugs..

  27. Margaret Weant Says:

    Yeah! an easy recipe with a grain i can have—however mine taste somewhat bitter. what did i do wrong?

  28. Margaret,
    I suspect the problem was with the flour. Millet sometimes has a slight bitter note. I notice it in some recipes more than others. The freshness of your flour would also make a difference. If it is a little old it might be rancid… I have another recipe for sorghum roti that you could try if you decide you don’t like millet.
    Hope this helps!
    -Sea

  29. Margaret Weant Says:

    I used a different brand, they did not have Bob’s Redmill, I just purchased and opened the same day I made the bread.
    I haven’t tried sorghum-if it’s gluten free,no rice,corn, or yeast,I could use it… thank you so much!

  30. Very interesting recipe. Thanks for sharing!
    New to millet here, just purchased millet grain today (yellow grain from bulk bin of my health food store). I’m going to try this by soaking the millet overnight, then adding hot water w/millet and rest of the ingredients in the vitamix. Has anyone done this?

  31. My millet flour balls stuck to the plastic so I couldn’t get them into the pan whole. Then they stuck to the pan and crumbled when I tried to turn them. Any ideas why this happened and what I can do to remedy that?

  32. New to celiac but very familiar with all grains as I have eaten mostly wheat free for 15 years. I am now aware that wheat can be hidden into foods and I would not know it. Was surprised to have to purchase GF baking soda! Anyhow, I had a notion to look at my bag of millet and buckwheat and both have a warning that they may contain traces, of nuts, soy, wheat!!! Yikles! How much of a problem is this for celiac disease? How do I find an organic source of these grains that are 100% gluten free?
    Thanks

  33. Hi Dianne,
    I’ve never seen an issue with baking soda containing gluten- not that it can’t happen, but that it shouldn’t be necessary to buy anything other than regular old Arm And Hammer. Do read labels, of course. Baking powder reputedly has occasionally contained gluten, although the regular store brands I buy (Clabber Girl) do not. You really don’t need to buy special gluten-free company brands of those baking supplies, in my opinion- they will just cost you more for no good reason.

    Buckwheat is tricky, unfortunately. What most of us do is buy buckwheat groats (packaged in gluten-free facility) from Bob’s Red Mill and then grind them in a food processor or coffee grinder (the later if you don’t use it for coffee- otherwise your flour will taste like coffee). millet is far easier. Bob’s Red mill sells gluten-free facility processed millet flour. Easy peasy!

    Hope this helps!

    -Sea

    Lynn, I suspect you are not cooking the dough long enough – this results in it sticking to the plastic. And, the tortillas can crumble if the pressed tortillas get too dry. Your pan may also be the issue. A good, fairly new nonstick pan (or just one that hasn’t been damaged by high heat) works well or a very well seasoned cast iron pan. Good luck!

    -Sea

  34. Margaret- Sorghum is a gluten-free grain. I believe it is related botanically to broom corn, but it is not corn, so you should consider giving it a try. Because it is a plain whole grain, a pure source would not contain yeast, rice, corn or any other ingredient.

    -Sea

  35. [...] I modified this recipe! [...]

  36. i tried making bajra roti today and it was awful. it
    wouldn’t stick and kept falling apart. then i made bajra idiappam and it taste so BITTER awful!
    i used store bought flour. i can’t get seeds.
    email me help!

  37. Hi CM, I’m sorry that you had a bad experience. Did you follow the directions as listed here? If you do, the recipe should work. You probably didn’t cook the dough long enough, or may have needed more water. The recipe should not taste bitter unless the flour was rancid.

    Hope this helps.

    -Sea

  38. wow! Rotis were awesome! Its the first time i was able to make a GF roti without breaking. Sticking to the method definately ensures a perfect result. Thanks

  39. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It has been a challenge finding bread for my recently diagnosised 20yr old daughter with multi allergies (egg,wheat,yeast,dairy). Anything else you come up with would truely be appreciated. Published cookbooks rarely cover recipes that my daughter can eat. If it were not for the people on the internet willing to help people with special diet concerns….her saddness would be 10X what it has been. One more thing, when my daughter accidentaly eats one of her allergens, she loses a day or two of her life, and sinks into a reaction deep depression. If I had not witnessed it myself, I would not believe depression could be a side effect of ingesting an allergen. She is still learning about her body.

  40. I put in some finely diced garlic with chillies and cilantro and it was delicious! Great with almond butter…yum yum. thanks for the tips.

  41. oh wow! These are wonderful! I’m just taking my first bites now and I’m so grateful. My 13 month son has multiple allergies and millet is so far the only grain he can eat. He has it as a breakfast cereal, but it’s great to have another option. Thanks!

  42. I just followed this roti recipe to a t and it is an unhandleable goopy mess! How are so many people having such success with this?

  43. look up the recipe for rotla (from gujerat)
    they’re a delicious flatbread that we make with black millet flour -called ‘bajra’ in the Indian groceries. It is DELICIOUS eaten alone or with plain yogurt (very cooling). Oh so yummy.

    str8arrow

  44. I just wanted to say that I had been using Bob’s Red Mill millet and did find it quite bitter, like others have said. I found some other millet in a health food store and they taste infinitely better. They are a staple in our house.

  45. I only comment when a recipe affects my world. Thank you thank you thank you!! This was AWESOME and FOOL PROOF – first try and couldn’t stop eating the “test batch” so that was dinner :)

  46. oh! also, wanted to say that I have the same tortilla press as the photos above and used it – actually works better with these than the maseca – lol – however, I too used ziplock bags but found that cutting two circles out of a plastic bag (grocery bag etc.) worked better for peeling away – faster, easier, and just use the same ones over and over – again – thank you! these are without a doubt my new staple xo

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