Kurakkan Roti (Millet Roti, with Coconut and Jaggery)

Ready to up your roti game? Try making it with millet flour (you can buy whole grain millet and quickly grind it to flour yourself in a blender), mixed with coconut and jaggery; the sweetness pairs beautifully with a spicy curry or earthy dal. Finger millet is traditional, but other common varieties of millet will also work well for this; I use proso millet, which is easily found at my local grocery.

For a gluten-free version, you can make this entirely with millet flour (as was typical in ancient Sri Lanka), but it will be more brittle; white wheat flour adds softness.

1 c. millet flour
1/2 c. white flour
1/2 t. fine salt
1 c. grated coconut
1/2 c. jaggery (or brown sugar)
hot water (as required, around 1/2 – 3/4 c.)

1 c. vegetable oil (enough to submerge rotis)

1. Combine first five ingredients in a bowl.

2. Add hot water slowly, mixing to make smooth dough.

3. Turn onto a board, oil your hands, and knead about 10 minutes (the dough will likely be a little sticky). Divide into sixteen portions and form little balls with the dough.

4. Pour oil into a flat tray; submerge balls in oil. (It’s a lot of oil, but if you make roti regularly, you can save it and re-use it time after time.)

5. Heat a frying pan (either nonstick, or plan to drizzle a little oil in the pan as needed to prevent sticking). Take a ball of dough, flatten into a circle, and roll out (or use the heel of your hand to flatten) until fairly thin — as thin as you can get it without tearing. This requires a gentle touch, as millet dough is more prone to tearing than wheat dough.

6. Cook each roti separately on high, turning over after about thirty seconds to cook the other side. They will brown slightly. Remove to a plate, covering them each time with a clean dishtowel, to keep warm. Serve either warm or at room temperature.

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