Jonna Rotte ~ Jowar ki Roti ~ Sorghum Flatbread
Jonna rotte ~ jowar ki roti is prepared in many Indian states and is not regional only to Telangana. It is a common preparation in rural areas. The first time I saw these rottelu made at home was few years ago when amma found out she was diabetic. Jonnalu ~ jowar ~ sorghum is gluten free and rich in nutrients.
When growing up, only rottelu I knew about were wheat flour rotte(lu), which was a common breakfast item. These rottelu are prepared with atta or wheat flour, shaped into a triangle or circle, and prepared similar to North Indian parathas but rolled thinner than parathas. Other breakfast items frequently on the breakfast menu were atukulu, golichina annam ~ poni or poppu annam, attlu, poori and upma. Golichina annam is nothing but Indian style fried rice prepared with leftover rice. Golichina means fried.
Jonna rottelu were never prepared at home though I heard about it. I am told, though these were not made at home, it was a common preparation in villages and specially in peasant families. Amma started making it for herself in last few years but I never bothered to make or taste them. Last month I made these rottelu for the first time for this BM. In my first trial, rottelu where shapeless though the taste was fine. I made them again few days later and this time the rottelu were presentable. Difference between these rottelu and the wheat ones is that hot water is used to make the dough and the dough is always covered. The dough is soft and not as stiff as chapati or paratha dough. Jonna rottelu are rolled using hands but I used a rolling pin. I am told jonna rottelu come out really good with freshly ground jonnalu than with store bought jonna pindi (sorghum flour).
When making the list for this A-Z series Journey Through Telangana Cuisine, my first choice was J for jonna rotte and I did not even consider other dishes. When drafting the post last night, I tried to list vegetables and dishes starting with ‘J’ and I could not come up with any. Here are few fruits, spices and dishes I could think of starting with ‘J’.
Jajikaya – Nutmeg
Jilakara – Cumin
Jeedipappu – Cashew nuts
Jamakaya – Guava
Jonnalu senagala gudalu (sauteed sorghum + black chana), junnu (sweet made with colostrum milk of a cow)
Yields: 3 – 4 depending on the size
- ¾ cup Jonna Pindi ~ Jowar ka Atta ~ Sorghum Flour (more if required)
- ½ cup Water
- ¼ – ½ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- In a saucepan bring water to boil and turn off the stove. Add salt. When the water is still hot, gradually add ½ cup + 1 tbsp. of flour, mix until flour is evenly mixed and comes together . Cover the pan and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes until the dough is manageable with hand.
- Transfer the dough to a plate or to a clean countertop and knead to make a soft dough. If necessary, add some flour. Dough should be softer than chapati or roti dough but not very soft and sticky. Keep the dough covered at all times.
- Heat a griddle or tawa or a pan to roast rottelu.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal parts.
- Take one part of the dough, shape it into a ball, dust some flour and roll the dough ball into a circle. Edges will crack, even it with fingers. Do not apply to much pressure when rolling and gently roll the rotte, turning it around.
- Gently lift the rotte and transfer to the hot griddle.
- With a pastry brush or a kitchen towel, brush water on the top of the rotte. This is essential to keep the rotte from cracking
- Flip the rotte and cook on the other side until rotte is cooked on the other side.
- Transfer to a plate and keep it covered or wrap it in a cloth or a kitchen towel.
- Repeat the same with rest of the dough balls.
- Serve rotte with curry or with some ellipaya karam. I eat mine with some ellipaya karam and oil.
- Use hot water to make the dough.
- Dough should always be covered.
- The dough is soft and not as stiff as chapati or paratha dough.
So far in this A-Z Journey Through Telangana Cuisine,
A for Attu Tunukala Koora
B for Biyyapattlu
C for Chegodi
D for Dondakaya Barada
E for Ellipaya Karam
F for Fenugreek (Menthi) Aaku Pesaru Pappu Koora
G for Garela Pulusu
H for Hyacinth Beans (Anapakaya) Annam
I for Iguru, Goru Chikkudukaya Iguru