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Monday, October 10, 2016

Jowar Bhakri - Bhakri made from Sorghum Flour

Jowar or Sorghum is a gluten free grain and is delicious. While growing up my mom made bhakris (tortillas) using jowar flour and we used to eat it with pithla and phodni. It was absolutely delicious! My mom has great bhakri making skills and kneads the dough as she goes along while making the bhakris.  She makes an individual dough ball, pats out the bhakri without it breaking and then cooks it. It puffs up beautifully and is a delicious treat.

I have been trying to make the perfect bhakri for almost the past decade and have finally succeeded. One reason I was told that it was difficult to make the bhakri here was that the flour available here is not fresh and since it is already gluten free, it is difficult for it to stay together as it is patted out.  I tried making bhakris using the technique I had seen my mom use for the the longest time but the bhakris were never that great.

I finally created this technique which is an absolute foolproof way to make bhakris. Each one will always turn out perfectly round and puff up while cooking and be soft and delicious. There is no longer reason to blame the flour or lack of practice or lament about the wonderful bhakris we once ate. Follow this easy foolproof method and make bhakris a part of your daily repertoire.

2 cups water
2 cups sorghum or jowar flour
1/2 tsp salt

Bring the water to a rolling boil. Add salt to the water. Add the flour to the water and turn off the heat. Take the pan off the heat and stir the flour in and cover the pan with a lid for a couple of minutes. Once the mixture is a little cooler and easier to touch, knead it into a smooth dough. Cover it with a damp towel as you make the bhakris, so that the dough doesn't dry.

Line a tortilla press with cling wrap or a plastic ziploc bag cutouts so that each surface is lined with the plastic. Now take a fistfull of dough and roll it into a smooth ball.  Place it on the tortilla press so that it is on top of the plastic covering the lower surface of the press. Then making sure that the upper surface of the tortilla press is also covered with plastic wrap, press it down onto the dough ball, flattening it into a round circle.

Heat a pan/tava/cast iron flat pan. When hot, place the flattened bhakri/tortilla onto the pan and let it cook on one side. Once it is cooked, you will be able to flip it over. While cooking, it sticks to the pan and if you try to flip it, you will break it. So wait for it to separate from the pan and flip it over and cook the other side. Then flip it again pressing the tortilla gently till it starts puffing up. Cook it so that it has some brown spots on both sides of the tortilla. Serve it hot with a gravy, pithla, jhunka or some butter.

If the dough seems to be cracking or getting dry, add a few drops of water and knead again till smooth. Make sure to keep all uncooked dough covered with a damp towel. If you don't have a tortilla  press, you can use a flat cutting board and then use a heavy flat bottomed pan/cooker to flatten the dough ball into a tortilla. Make sure to place the dough ball between two plastic sheets so that the tortilla doesn't stick to either surface.


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