Republic Day 2023: 7 Indian Millet Rotis To Celebrate Localism
Image Credit: Bajara roti, Stockimagefactory

By taking the lead, India has successfully given millets their justified importance. 2023 has been announced as the International Year of Millets. In worldwide millet production, India secures the number one rank. Meanwhile, the country has a long history associated with these grain crops in its indigenous cuisine. Vocal for Local -an initiative by the honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the onset of the Covid Pandemic in 2020, has further added importance to the native produce of India. No wonder millets are basking in glory. As India sets to celebrate its 74th Republic Day on 26 January, let's honour the time-tested Indian millet-based flatbreads and crepes. It's time to revive their glory and bring them to our plate. 

India and its millets history

Foxtail millet (priyangava), Barnyard millet (aanava), and black finger millet (shyaamaka) are among the millets listed in some of the earliest Yajurveda scriptures from India, demonstrating that this grain crop use was widespread. Its usage goes back to the Indian Bronze Age (4,500BC). In India, millets were the main grain produced up until five decades ago. They were an essential component of regional culinary traditions and a staple diet. Ironically, m illets, like many other things, had come to be despised by contemporary urban consumers as "coarse grains. They forgot that these were something that their forebears in the village may have subsisted on. Instead, a more "refined" diet was substituted for these. For good for one and all, millets are currently seeing a strong resurgence.

Bajre Ki Roti

Bajre Ki Roti is a millet-based flatbread that may be eaten with vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries. It is prepared from pearl millet flour. Every Rajasthani household primarily cooks bajre ki roti for their daily meals. It is a must, particularly during the winter. The towns of Barmer and Jaisalmer consume it nearly daily. Gujarat and other North Indian states also employ the wholesome Bajra or pearl millet.

Jowar Roti

Jowar, also known as cholam in Maharashtra and Karnataka, is a fundamental ingredient used to produce rotis or Indian flatbreads. Because it is gluten-free and full of whole grains, jowar, also known as sorghum millet, has become renowned worldwide as the "new quinoa." However, making soft millet rotis by hand-patting requires skill.


Methi Dhebra from Gujarat, Image Source:

Using pearl millet flour, dhebra is an Indian bread from the Gujarati cuisine. It is known as methi dhebra when fenugreek leaf is used as a flavouring. A dough is kneaded by combining millet flour with enough water and salt to make dhebra. A belan or rolling pin is then used to flatten the dough balls on a chakla or rolling board so that they are spherical. Afterwards, vegetable oil is used for frying the dhebra on a tava until tiny brown spots develop on both sides.

Jolada Roti

Indian sorghum bicolor or Great Millet is used to make the unleavened bread known as jolada rotti. The name means "sorghum bread" in the literal sense. Compared to conventional wheat roti, it has a rougher feel. Compared to a khakhra or cracker in terms of hardness, its texture can be either soft or hard. Most North Karnataka districts enjoy jolada rotti as a staple food, which they pair with pulse curries like jhunka, yengai, shenga chutney, or other varied chutneys.

Ragi Adai

Ragi adai of Karnataka, Image Source:

Karnataka's traditional breakfast dish, ragi rotti or adai, is most well-liked in the rural sections of the state's southern region. Ragi or finger millet flour is used to make this nourishing dish. In the language of origin, Kannada, it is known as ragi-pancake. Usually, the batter contains chopped coriander, cumin seeds, sliced onions and carrots for flavour. It is prepared like a dosa and resembles a thin pancake.


A popular ingredient in the cuisine of the Indian state of Maharashtra is pearl millet, which is used to make the unleavened circular flatbread known as bhakri. Compared to traditional wheat chapati, ragi, jowar, or bajra-based bhakri is more coarse. Bhakri's texture ranges from gentle to firm. In particular, it is prevalent in the states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Malwa, Goa, and northern Karnataka in western and central India.

Kodre Di Roti

Kodre di roti, Image Source: Nirbhao Healthy Foods@YouTube

This flatbread hails from the land of Punjab. Using Kodo millet or kodra as called locally in this state, this Indian flatbread was the main dish on the platter. But eventually, it lost its relevance and is on the verge of extinction. Kodre di roti is the main ingredient to make kodre di churi, an exotic dessert made during Lohri. 

Republic Day gives us a chance to introspect and go vocal for local. 2023 being the International Year of Millets, let us revive Indian millet-based flatbreads and crepes, once which were part of native diet.