Makki ki roti

Makki ki roti

Cornmeal chapattis

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

Whereas certain regions of India like the Punjab and parts of Rajasthan have a particular culture for eating makki ki roti, other regions of India will prepare them from time to time. This bread is also synonymous with the harvest festival of Punjab. Indians have been making cornmeal rotis for centuries, however it is the advent of the Mexican corn tortilla which has made cornmeal bread so popular and it is often difficult to explain to people that Indians too have been making cornmeal breads for hundreds of years. They are easy to make but care must be taken when rolling out the dough balls. Since corn has no gluten, the dough dries out quickly and breaks up so they are best made one at a time. Don’t be put off, though, it does not take as long as you may imagine to make. They are best eaten warm with spinach or mustard greens known as sarson ka saag.


Quantity Ingredient
450g medium cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
200ml cold water
2 tablespoons melted ghee or butter


  1. Sift the flour and salt together using a medium-holed sieve, or simply mix them together.
  2. Divide into more or less equal portions on the work surface and take one small mound at a time.
  3. Mix and knead with the fingers to form a stiff dough by adding only very little water at a time.
  4. Grease the griddle well with ghee or butter over a low heat and place the dough ball in the middle.
  5. With the flat of your palm, flatten the dough ball by pressing down in the middle and outwards until you have a thin pancake-sized chapatti. Remember that the griddle is hot so keep your palm well opened and fingers away from the pan edge. Once flattened flip it over gently and then cook until you have the desired colour on both sides.
  6. Repeat with each mound of flour, adding a little more ghee or butter to the griddle before cooking each one. Keep them warm, wrapped in a clean cloth or napkin, whilst cooking the remainder. Serve warm.
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