PEARL MILLET FLATBREAD LUNCH

One food that is very traditional to Sindhis is 'dho dho' or 'bajra/jowar roti' with cluster beans and glass of 'lassi' on the side. 'Bajra' or 'pearl millet' is widely grown across the Indian subcontinent and most Indian states have at least one millet recipe that is part of their traditional recipes. Sindhi people have 'dho dho'. :) In the colder months, we eat bajra roti or pearl millet flatbread and in the summer months we eat jowar roti or sorghum flatbread. But as fast foods and processed foods gain popularity in the Indian subcontinent, millet seems to be becoming something of the past. That's one of the reasons it finds a place on my site... a small attempt from my side to revive the 'wonderful nutritious millet' and also to bring back one of my favorite childhood foods. Pearl millet is packed with fibre, protein, and several minerals, and is great for those trying to lose weight, balance their cholesterol levels, or control diabetes. Like everything else, millet needs to be eaten in moderation. Excess consumption of millet is not good for those suffering from kidney disease or thyroid issues.

For this recipe, I decided to pair the flatbread with yellow mung dal, a beet salad that we call 'kachumbo', and a pickle. Here's the recipe. My mom usually makes the flatbreads thick but I like them thin. The recipe serves four people and will take about an hour to make.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Mung Dal:

  • 1 cup yellow mung (soaked for 1 hour)

  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp. grated ginger

  • 1 tbsp. ghee

  • 3/4 tsp. cumin seeds (jeera)

  • 1 tbsp. chopped coriander for garnishing

  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. sea salt (approx)

For the Beet Kachumbo:

  • 3 small beetroots

  • 1 medium-sized onion

  • 2 tbsp. chopped coriander

  • 1 cap apple cider vinegar (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar/coconut sugar

  • Juice of 1 lime

For the Flatbread:

  • 1.5 cups pearl millet flour

  • 1/2 cup water (approx.)

  • 1/4 cup grated carrot

  • 1/4 cup chopped onions

  • 1/2 tsp. chopped green chilli (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp. dried pomegranate seeds

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt (on the lesser side)

METHOD:

For the Mung Dal:

  1. Wash the dal and put it into a pot. Add enough water to cover the dal (about 2 cups).

  2. Add the grated ginger, 1/2 tsp. of oil, and bring to a boil.

  3. Cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes till the beans are cooked well. Then, add salt.

  4. Heat ghee in a pan. When it is hot, add cumin. When the cumin changes color, turn off the heat and pour the ghee and cumin on the cooked mung beans.

  5. Garnish with coriander.

For the Beet Kachumbo:

  1. Bring whole beets to a boil in 5 cups of water.

  2. Cover and cook on high heat for 45 minutes.

  3. Turn off the gas and let the beets cool down. I use an Indian pressure cooker instead of boiling the beets in a covered pot. It takes about 15-20 mins and about 7-8 whistles.

  4. After the beets cool down, peel them, halve them and cut them into several half moon pieces.

  5. Combine the beets with remaining ingredients. If you don't like the smell of apple cider vinegar, exclude it from the recipe.

For the Flatbread:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the flatbread, except water.

  2. Add the water slowly to form a dough. Once the ingredients stick together to form a thick dough-like consistency, stop adding water.

  3. Cut two squares of parchment paper. Apply a little oil in the center of both papers.

  4. Now take out a golf ball size of dough and make it into a ball.

  5. Flatten the ball of dough and place it in the center of one paper (side that has oil). Put the other paper on top (oil side facing down).

  6. Roll out the dough into a medium-sized circle.

  7. Heat a non-stick pan.

  8. Remove the paper on top from the rolled out dough. Pick up the remaining piece of paper with the dough. Transfer the dough to the hand not holding the paper and dough. Peel out the paper and put the dough on the pan.

  9. Cook on both sides with little oil on medium heat.

  10. Serve hot with a little bit of ghee or butter on top. The fat helps with the digestion of the millet in the body.

  11. Follow steps 3 to 10 to make more flatbreads.

  12. Enjoy with a side of Indian store-bought ginger or garlic pickle, yellow mung dal, and beet kachumbo.

NOTE - Vegans can use a butter substitute instead of butter for this dish. Ghee can also be replaced by sunflower oil. But if you are not vegan, I would recommend enjoying the flatbread with ghee. There's a reason it was eaten by our ancestors...