North Karnataka Jolada Rotti Oota - Part 1 - How to make Jolada Rotti | Jowar Bhakri Recipe [Video]

Jolada Rotti Oota is a North Karnataka Thali that has jowar roti, spicy curries and condiments along with salads and sweets. Jolada rotti or Jowar Roti is an oil less, vegan, healthy, gluten free flatbread made from jowar millet or sorghum.

jowar roti with curries or jolada rotti oota

If you have never been to North Karnataka or never eaten the food, you are in the right place, because I'm taking you there!!

Karnataka is a state with various cultures, dialect and cuisines all mixed into one. While the coastal belt is huge on growing and eating rice, the drier northern regions eat more of flatbread or rottis made from wholewheat or millet like jowar. And today, I'm taking you through the cuisine of North Karnataka in the first post of a four part series.

A typical vegetarian meal or Jolada Rotti Oota in the region is centered around the Jolada Rotti or the Jowar Roti (flatbread). Jolada Rotti is accompanied by spicy curries, jhunka, spiced peanut and fried gram powder (chutney pudi), sliced onions, fresh fenugreek leaves (methi), buttermilk and fried pakodas.

Going clockwise from the Jolada Rotti, I have the following on my plate - Karachi Kai fry - a baby bitter gourd type of vegetable native to the region, lightly fried in oil with red chilli powder and garlic,  Kaalu Palya (Lobia) or Cowpeas curry, Soppina Palya or a curry made with leafy greens, Yennegai or baby eggplants cooked in a peanut sauce, Chutney Pudi or spicy powder made with peanuts and fried gram. Outside my plate I have pickle, water, a tempered radish salad or kochhidu moolangi salad and rava ladoo or semolina fudge ball.

jowar roti with curries or jolada rotti oota

The Jowar flatbread is made of only 3 ingredients - jowar flour, salt and water. It is cooked without oil or any type of fat, making it a very healthy type of bread. A well made jolada rotti is soft and just melts in your mouth. Jolada Rotti is vegan, gluten-free and plant based and easily fits into various diets.

The recipe of Jolada Rotti that I have here is slightly different from the traditional one, but it produces the same results - a soft, heavenly rotti. Traditionally, the flour is made by adding hot water to the flour and kneading it until you have a pliable dough. In my recipe, I add the flour to hot water, this tends to increase the elasticity of the dough making it easier for you to roll it out. Also, traditionally, a jolada rotti is patted out thin using your fingers or palm. It requires a lot of practice and expertise to be able to pat out a thin rotti. Here, I'm demonstrating the easier option of rolling out the rotti using a rolling pin.

Since jowar is a gluten free millet, making the rotti is a little trickier than making chapatis, naan or rotis that are typically made from gluten rich wheat flour and hence the deviations from the traditional recipes. Additionally, I am giving you a few tips so that you don't fail, however, only practice can make you perfect in the art of making jolada rotti.

  • Firstly, the flour - Buy the best quality jowar flour you can, preferably, organic and unadulterated. I usually buy jowar and get it powdered at a local mill and I found this works best for me over pre-packaged flours. If you have the option, try it out, you won't regret it.
  • As Jowar is gluten free, you cannot make the dough in advance and the rottis later. You have to roll out the rottis when the dough is warm for best results. So make the dough only when you plan to make the rottis. You can store the rottis for later though. So make all the rottis and keep aside. 
  • Roll the rottis on your kitchen counter or slab. I've tried to roll it out on a wooden board like I do for wheat rotis, but jowar seems to get stuck to the wood, so preferably roll it out on your granite kitchen slab or use marble slab.
  • Roast the rottis on an oil free tava or griddle. 

There is a crisper version of the rotti called "kataka rotti" that you will find for sale in a lot of North Karnataka shops. Kataka rotti is jowar rotti cooked on very low heat until it becomes dry and crisp like a papad. It is usually made for travel or if one wants to store the rotti for weeks.

Come back for my next post - Yennegai or Baby eggplant curry - a perfect accompaniment to the Jolada Rotti.

jowar roti with curries or jolada rotti oota

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Video Recipe


Joladda Rotti Recipe | How to make Jowar Bhakri

jowar roti with curries or jolada rotti ootaJoladda Rotti or Jowar Bhakri is an oil-free, vegan and gluten free Indian flatbread made from jowar millet or sorghum.

Recipe Type:  Bread
Cuisine:            South Indian
Prep Time:     15 minutes
Cook time:     30 minutes
Total time:     45 minutes
Yield:                16


3.25 cups Jowar Flour
3 cups Water
1 tsp Salt
Jowar flour to dust
Water to cook the rottis


1. Add the water to a kadhai or a deep pot and allow it to come to a boil.
2. Add salt to the water.
3. Reduce the heat, and add 3 cups of jowar flour to the water and mix well with a wooden spoon.
4. Once the flour is well mixed, cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and keep covered for 2 more minutes.
6. Remove the dough from heat and transfer to a clean plate. Spread it out a little and allow to cool slightly.
7. While the dough is still warm, knead it until smooth. If it is wet, add a little dry flour. If it is dry, then add a little water to help you knead.
8. Take out a lemon sized piece of dough and roll it into a ball and flatten it. Keep the rest of the dough covered with a kitchen towel.
9. Dust your kitchen counter with dry flour and dip the ball of dough in it.
10. Using a rolling pin, roll it into a thin rotti or flatbread. Make it as thin as you can.
11. Dust with dry flour while rolling to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the counter.
12. Heat a clean ungreased tava or griddle on medium heat and put the rotti counter side up on the tava.
13. Wipe the rotti with a wet cloth.
14. Flip the rotti when one side has brown spots. Cook until the rotti puffs up a little.
15. All rottis may not puff up completely, but do not worry, they are still cooked.
16. Serve the rottis hot/warm with curry.

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