Saturday, December 10, 2011

bajre ka maleeda ... a rustic dessert or meal made with pearl millet flour...

A thick roti made with pearl millet flour, crushed to bits while still hot, then drizzled with ghee and mixed with jaggery. That is all you have to do whenever you want a dessert heavier than your meal or a dessert meal all alone to savour in leisure. This used to be a regular dessert at the end of the day during winters when we were growing up. It was always made in large quantities and the leftovers were great for breakfast too..

I made two varieties of this bajre ka maleeda or bajre ka choorma as some people call it, for breakfast today. It is a great breakfast option as mornings are better time for heavy meals.

bajre ka maleeda

Which one you want?

This version with bits of bajra roti sprinkled with some brown shakkar (unrefined loose jaggery) would be great if you want to crush a piece if bajra roti into melting ghee and then smother with some shakkar before popping in your mouth. And then getting transported to heaven.

bajre ka maleeda

Or this one with the bajra roti smashed and doused with meting ghee and topped again with curls of caked jaggery. Mashing it all together and shaping the mixture into balls before popping them into your mouth. And then getting transported to heaven.

Heaven is guaranteed both ways. Your heaven might be more or less ghee ridden for that matter.

Jaggery unlimited . Do not worry about your arteries and waist line for once. Good food is for the soul and real, whole, desi food doesn't harm anyone. Could never harm my grandmother so it would definitely spare you.

Just go get some pearl millet flour or bajre ka atta and have a sweet meal any time of the day. Although i would like to have it for breakfast always, the reason being you just cannot stop eating it till you feel full to the brim. So serving this maleeda as a dessert is out of question at my place. It is always a meal , preferably a breakfast or weekend brunch.

Let's see how to make this maleeda. 

Making the bajra roti is the only step which needs some skill , although anyone can do it as you do not need to make a perfectly round roti or evenly thick roti for that matter. The only condition is that the roti must be cooked properly, being grilled slowly on the gas flame after roasting it both sides on the iron griddle..

bajre ki roti
Knead a dough using bajre ka atta (pearl millet flour) and some warm water. Kneading small portions of the flour, just enough for one roti is convenient as the dough remains warm for flattening it by patting it under both your palms. So pour some warm water in about half a cup of flour first, mix and knead, then make a ball and rub some more between your palms, smoothen and then pat between both your palms to flatten it. The roti can be anywhere between 1-1.5 cm thick.

Pat the roti on hot griddle , let it brown slightly both sides and then grill slowly on the gas flame till cooked. It will puff up as a sign of being cooked and will break easily .

bajre ki roti
Alternatively the roti can be baked in an oven, laid on a greased baking tray , for about 15 minutes at 180C. The roti gets a nice thick and hard crust in both the cases, the insides remain softer but crumble easily.

The roti should break easily into to halves when folded and that is a test of being cooked. Also, the inner parts should not be gooey if you check.

Repeat to make more rotis and keep them wrapped in a cotton napkin till mashed or broken to make maleeda.

Just break the roti into small bits of you want the first version of maleeda.

bajre ka maleeda

And drizzle some molten of softened ghee over the warm pieces of roti. Top it with powdered jaggery or shakkar(unrefined brown sugar in this case) and enjoy the maleeda crushing each piece for every bite you take.

bajre ka maleeda

Or crumble a warm roti using your fingers and gather it on the plate like this...

bajre ka maleeda

Then drizzle the ghee and jaggery curls. Use a knife to make curls like you do with chocolates, scraping it against the cake jaggery .....

bajre ka maleeda

And then mix it all up using your hands , feeling the warmth to make a smooth sticky gooey mixture...

bajre ka maleeda

Then shape laddoos (baals) with it . These are just so delicious when warm. Some people like it at room temperature also and they could make great snack during the day. It stays well for 2-3 days at room temperature in winters in my part of the world.

bajre ka maleeda


You don't have access to pearl millet flour?

Use corn meal or coarse whole wheat flour or powder either daliya (broken wheat), or burgul or even couscous or a mix of all these flours. You get different taste with all these flours but every time it is equally scrummy yummy. This maleeda is made with many millet flours, each having it's own taste and if we do not have access to millet flours we resort to coarse whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour mixed with semolina and some bran, with great results.

have you had maleeda before?
Try this simple dessert/snack/meal and toss that muffin you are munching..

And if you have witnessed all your childhood winters sinking your teeth is such delights, come on...make it again.

December 10 is being celebrated as Terra Madre day as I got to know after reading it at A Perfect Bite . For me every day is such as I enjoy my real , unprocessed and unspoiled food every single day.

Every day. Be it gooler, millets, local greens or local seeds like cannabis seeds flax seeds or black or white sesame. Using them for better sustainable health for myself and sustainable agriculture for the farmers and small scale marketers.

What do you think?


  1. I love making maleeda out of maize flour chapatti. Never did with bajra roti. I am bit confused. The millet flour we get here is in yellow colour. Indian store carry bajra flour it s bit darker ,the same which you have used and I got it, too.Then I have the same colour flour( from health food store) by the name of Sorghum. I see that you know a lot about food world so my question to you is.
    What do you call millet in Hindi?
    If it is bajra then what is sorghum?
    I have checked on internet even talked to the health food store manager but he was more confused than me.

  2. @ Balvinder,

    Millet is a broad term to include all coarse grains like bajra,jowar,sama,ragi etc.

    Sorghum is jowar and the light colored millet flour you get might be jowar ka atta.

    Bajra is called pearl millet and results into a dark(grey)colored flour.

    Ragi is finger millet and results in a lighter solored flour than bajra.

    I would do a detailed post on millets very soon.

  3. My fav maleeda.. looks super delicious.. Yummy :)
    Indian Cuisine

  4. very delicious ...I used to have this in my childhood days ,when my granny used to make i will surely try this recipe.thanks for sharing the recipe.

  5. As I said, millet flour is pale yellow colour and the chapatti turn out flat and stiff. Sorghum,is greyish colour and turns out good for making chapatti and in breads. Even I have to do more research. Anyway, many thanks for answering my question.

  6. Yes Balvinder....millets can be of different colors as there are many varieties of the same genus too...and almost all millets result in flat and stiff rotis.

  7. Its new to me....Looks delicious.

  8. its almost same as choori in punjab, dont make it into a roll and leave it :) desi ghee , shakar and bajra or wheat roti yummmy

    my nani made it for me all thetime with so much of butter and gheeee reminded me of those days ..


  9. Sangeeta, I just wanted to say that before I saw your blog, I'd no IDEA just how many North Indian dishes there are which I'd no idea about at all. Your recipes are so refreshingly different from the well-known run-of-the-mill, same-old-same-old recipes I've seen on so many food blogs. I will be trying a lot of your recipes next year (not cooking/eating much right now because of health reasons). Keep up the great work!

  10. Thank you Shyam, these are the recipes people really have forgotten. I am glad you liked them and please do let me know whenever you try them.

  11. childhood revisited...wonderful blog !

  12. Yeah, no more richer than muffins and cakes!! I like!