How to make Jowar Roti



Millets have been a part of Indian diet for thousands of years and the health benefits are well-known. If you didn’t here are a few benefits for you.

    • Gluten-free and non-allergic
    • Higher in nutritional value than wheat, especially phosphorus and iron
    • Non-acidic or alkaline and easy to digest
    • Jowar is a rich source of Vitamin B-complex
    • High protein content from 9% to 13% ( For all the meat-eaters who wonder where do vegetarians get protein from)
    • Improved calcium retention as compared to rice
    • Easier to digest
    • Sorghum is rich in phytochemicals including tannins, phenolic acids and anthocyanins. Studies have shown that sorghum can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in humans. The phytochemical levels are so high in this millet that they have shown potential usefulness in reducing obesity as well.
    • So heart-healthy as well 🙂

Apart from jowar/sorghum/ಜೋಳ, the other popular millets found in India include pearl millet(bajra)/ಸಜ್ಜಿ and ragi/ರಾಗಿ. There is also foxtail millet/ನವಣಿ which isn’t that popular but healthy nonetheless.

Jowar roti/ಜೋಳದ ರೊಟ್ಟಿ/ಬಿಳಿ ಜೋಳದ ರೊಟ್ಟಿ  is a staple food in North-Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra. Jowar roti is unleavened flat bread made from jowar/sorghum. This doesn’t need any oil adding to the benefits above. It requires some skill( a little more than my skill level) to make soft and even rotis. So I happily clicked away while my Mom made them.


Jowar flour – 1 cup
Water – to knead
salt – to taste


  • In a small vessel take about 1/2 cup water and bring it to boil. Make sure the water is boiling and not just warm. Not sure if you can see the bubbles rising in the pic.
Boiling water

Boiling water

  • In a shallow wide pan, take the flour and mix salt. Keep it ready to mix water as shown below
Flour in the pan

Flour in the pan

  • Now add the hot water into the dough. Do not add all the water at once. Add only about half and keep adding as you knead. Also, use a spoon to mix the flour as you will be adding hot water. Hot water is required as there is no gluten in jowar. This is known as jigatu/ಜಿಗಟು in kannada.
Adding hot water to knead

Adding hot water to knead

  • Once you have mixed it you can start using your hands to knead and add more water at room temperature if you need to add more. The dough will look something like this.
Jowar roti dough

Jowar roti dough

  • This does not need to be kept aside for settling. In fact, the rotis need to be made right away else you might have difficulty rolling them out later. Now pinch a round big ball sized dough to prepare rotis.
dough balls ready to be flattened

dough balls ready to be flattened

  • To make the roti you should press/beat the circular dough with the palm of your hand on a flat surface such as the rolling board or your kitchen platform. Initially use the right hand to beat it in the form of a circle and use the left hand to maintain a circle. Once it becomes big you can use both hands to beat it to make it thinner. You could also a rolling pin but make sure you roll it out lightly. Traditionally it is made with hands.
Making the roti

Using the hands to make roti

Thin Roti ready to be put on tawa

Thin Roti ready to be put on tawa

  • Heat the tawa well and put the roti on the tawa. In the next few seconds, as the roti gets a little dry, use a clean muslin cloth and apply a thin layer of water on the upper surface.
Applying a thin coating of water

Applying a thin coating of water

  • Let it remain till water evaporates a little and flip it over and press slightly with a soft cloth to make sure it is done properly on all sides.
Jowar roti

Jowar roti

This can be served with any dry/gravy vegetables. The favorite traditional combinations though are Jhunka,stuffed eggplant/brinjal,hesaru kaalu/green moong pallya, shenga hindi and kosambari. Had to take this pic from the Internet as I forgot to take a pic before serving. Very soon I will replace this with one at home.

Jolada rotti with side dishes

Jolada rotti with side dishes

The thali shown above with rice is a complete meal. It is called as rotti meals or Joalda rotti thali here.

27 thoughts on “How to make Jowar Roti

  1. Hi Sapna, Thank you for the detailed write-up. Its very helpful. Recently my mom mentioned that i shouldnt eat Pearl Millet because it causes excess heat in the body. I have been trying (not-so-succesfully) to reduce the heat in my body. Do you have any idea about each of these millets’ heat increasing/reduction quotient? Thank you. 🙂

    • Hi Rakesh, I guess your Mom was referring to Bajra which is known to cause more heat. Probably Jowar too(I am not an expert in this area) may be thay’s why Jowar is eaten with Buttermilk during summer. Will find out more on this and get back to you

  2. Pingback: Bajra Roti | Sapna's Blog

  3. Le’t see if I can persuade my wife to try this out at home.

    There are a couple of “Jolada Roti” stores nearby where we sometimes go to shop for Jolada rotis and also grab some hot and spicy North Karnataka vegetable curries.

    I like this food for a change but I find it too “hot” for regular consumption. Besides after some health set backs, I have cut down on chillies drastically these past few years.

    At California, recently, when I was staying with my daughter, we made rotis from Multigrain Aatta. May be it had some jowar too.

    It was just okay in taste, but my daughter is health freak and insisted on this particular “aatta”. She said I would soon develop a taste for it. But a 65 year old tongue rarely develops new tastes!


    • Will wait to see if you could get your wife to try this out and how it tasted 🙂

      The food from the stores in usually spicy even for my taste but yeah good for a change once in a while.

      From my own experience, I can tell you the jowar rotis taste better than the ones prepared from the multi-grain atta. Although multi-grain is good in theory, I don’t like the taste. I find it takes the character out of all the ingredients, if I may say so 😛

      From what I know, developing taste isn’t a function of age. Case in point is all the “healthy” items lying on our shelves for ages now that neither me nor my roomie dared to prepare 🙂

  4. Being a warrior, I have to stay several places. All places are not provided these types of nostalgic things. So I really appreciate u to give these suggestions on jawar roties. Thx guy

  5. Jowar (gluten free flour) is difficult to roll since it does not contain gluten. Simply add 1 teaspoon of Psyllium Husk (isabgol) mixed with some water when kneading. It makes the dough pliable and elastic just like wheat. It rolls like wheat and you get extra fibre from psyllium husk.

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