Video recipe: Avarekalu Ragi Rotti - Flatbread made with finger millet flour, vegetables, greens and hyacinth bean

This classic rotti dates back to centuries in South India. Ragi, is a major staple of rural Karnataka. It is a millet that is rich in protein, minerals and fiber. Combine that with coconut, red chilies, ginger and avarekalu (hyacinth bean), and you have this mouth watering, crunchy roti/bread. Pair it with butter, chutney, pickle, or and omelet, and voila, a wholesome breakfast! Try it.

Serves 4 - makes about 8-10 rottis
  • 2 cups Ragi flour (Finger millet flour)
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 1 cup avarekalu (hyacinth beans) fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallions and greens (dill, cilantro)--Optional
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup finely chopped dill
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 inch ginger grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup grated fresh/dry coconut
  • 2 tsp coarse red pepper flakes with seeds
  1. Bring 2 cups of water and avarekalu beans to a rolling boil with a little salt. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
  2. Pulse coconut and chilies in a mixer, pulse it to a coarse powder, set aside. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the flours, the coarse coconut and chili powder, prepped vegetables and salt.  
  4. Add hot water and knead gently, till it forms a soft dough consistency. 
  5. Take a large lemon sized dough, place it on a greased paper or silicon sheet. Pat evenly to flatten it out with your hands. (You may also put a top layer of plastic sheet on it and roll it out gently with a rolling pin, if you find it easier). Once the dough is thinner than a cookie and about 6 inches wide, it is ready to be cooked.
  6. If you have access to banana leaves, they are the best! Wash, dry and grease the banana leaf, Flatten dough ball over this. 
  7. Use a flat nonstick pan or regular flatbread fry pan.
  8. Heat the pan on medium to a smoking consistency, wipe it with half a shallot dipped in oil, this gives a nonstick coating, the old fashioned way.
  9. Turn the flattened rotti, face down on the pan and pat down gently. Carefully peel out the paper holding one edge. Let it cook on medium heat. You may add a little oil to the edges. Lift the edges a bit to see the color, if its golden brown, flip it to the other side, carefully and gently.
  10. Let it cook the same way on the other side too. Once cooked, smear a tiny dollop of butter over it and serve warm. Enjoy!