Besan Roti

Make soft besan roti that is gluten-free and filled with good-for-you spices. This easy roti uses only besan with no added whole wheat flour or any other type of flour.

Besan roti on a plate.

 Make soft besan Roti or besan ki roti with this detailed, step by step recipe!

These rotis have a distinctive nutty and earthy flavor attributed to the gram flour. A few spices are added to the dough to give a tasty, complementary flavor to the strong taste of besan.

Like Sorghum or Jowar Roti, it is a gluten-free Indian flatbread. It’s a good alternative to Bhakri or Chapati made with whole wheat flour.

It has a hint of heat from the red chili powder and aromatic notes from the cumin powder.

To make this besan roti recipe, combine the besan flour with the spices (red chili powder, salt, roasted cumin powder, turmeric, and black pepper), gradually add water to form a dough, and then divide the dough into portions. Each portion is rolled out and cooked on a hot griddle or pan.

Pile of besan rotis on a plate.

Why you will love this recipe

Simple ingredients | No fancy ingredients needed!  Wholesome, soft roti with clean ingredients.

Make soft gluten-free roti | Ready in under 30 minutes without a great deal of active time.

Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free | Suitable for all diet types

Ingredient Notes

Below are ingredient notes. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post. 

Besan flour in a gray plate.
Besan is made of ground Bengal gram or chana dal. Chana dal is skinned, split Bengal gram.

Besan Flour: Besan, or gram flour, is the primary ingredient in besan roti. It is a type of chickpea flour made from ground Bengal gram and is known for its nutty flavor and high protein content. 

Besan provides the base and structure for the roti. For this recipe there isn’t a besan flour substitute, but you can try Jowar Roti if you want to make gluten-free roti.

Ghee: Ghee is spread on each roti after it is cooked. It helps keep it moist. You can skip it if you want.

Water: Water is added to the besan flour to create a dough. The amount of water needed may vary, and it’s typically added gradually to achieve the right consistency for kneading.

Spices on a plate.

Red Chili Powder: Red chili powder adds a spicy kick to the roti, giving it some heat and flavor. The amount used can be adjusted according to your spice tolerance.

Salt: Salt is an essential seasoning that enhances the overall taste of the roti. It balances the flavors and helps bring out the other spices.

Roasted Cumin Powder: Roasted cumin powder contributes a warm, earthy flavor to the roti. It’s made by dry-roasting cumin seeds and then grinding them into a powder. This spice adds depth to the dish.

Turmeric powder: Turmeric not only imparts a lovely golden color to the roti but also adds a mild, earthy flavor. It is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine.

Black Pepper: Black pepper adds a touch of spiciness and a subtle heat to the besan roti. It complements the red chili powder and cumin for a well-rounded flavor.

Preparation  

 Just measure out all the spices, water, and the besan flour in preparation.

Making Besan Roti

Make a pliable dough for ​chickpea flour roti

Place a pot on the stove and add water. Turn the gas on to medium-high heat. Add spices to the water.

Spices in a pot of water.
Add spices to water in a pot on medium-high heat.
Spices in rolling boil water in a pot.
Let water reach a rolling boil.

Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the besan flour.

Turn down the gas to low. Mix until it combines and forms a rough dough.  It doesn’t need to combine entirely and may have a few dry spots. That is OK.

Besan flour added to spiced water in a pot.
Add besan flour.
Besan roti dough in a pot.
Mix to combine water and besan flour.

Turn off the gas, remove the pot from the stove, and cover it.   Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and reach room temperature.

After 5 minutes, remove the dough out onto a surface for kneading.  Keep a small bowl of water to the side.

Use the water to wet your hands and sprinkle a little water onto the dough.  Knead for five minutes.  Add a sprinkle of water or two more, if needed. You are looking for a pliable, yet firm dough.

Hand kneading chickpea flour dough.
Knead for five minutes.
Sprinkle water on dough.
Sprinkle a little water on dough as you knead.

A dough will form that is slightly sticky but comes together.  

Divide the dough into five equal portions. 

Besan roti dough.
You will get a pliable, but firm dough. It may feel slightly sticky.
Five besan flour dough balls.
Divide into five approximately equal portions.

Make the roti

Preheat the Griddle: Place the griddle or tava on medium-high heat and allow it to get hot. You can check if it’s hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water on its surface. If the water sizzles and evaporates immediately, the tava is ready.

Tips – Rolling Out the Roti:

Each time you roll out a roti you will take a dough ball and knead it once more before rolling it into a ball again and flattening it.

Take one dough ball and flatten it slightly with your fingers.

Dip it into dry flour to prevent sticking and place it on a rolling board or a clean surface.

Sprinkle a little besan flour (you can also use a little wheat flour if you are okay using a non-gluten-free flour) on the work surface.

Kneading dough.
Each time before rolling out the dough ball knead it once more. Then flatten into a disc.
Besan dough ball with besan flour sprinkled on top.
Dip each side into besan flour and sprinkle a little on top of flattened disc.

Use a rolling pin (belan) to gently roll out the dough ball into a thin, round circle. Start from the center and work your way out, applying even pressure. 

Lift and rotate the roti as needed to maintain a round shape. Dust with dry flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Roll out to a circle. Not super thin but thinner than a paratha or bhakri.

Two hands rolling out a roti with a wooden rolling pin.
Lift and rotate the disc gently while rolling it out.
Rolled out chickpea flour roti.
Roll out thin like normal roti.

Cooking the Roti:

Each roti will be cooked on each side twice.

Place the roti on a heated tawa on medium heat. Cook for 30-45 seconds or until you begin to see ​air bubbles form.

Then, flip the roti using tongs and let it cook for another 30-45 seconds.

Besan ki roti cooking on a tawa.
Cook for about 30-45 seconds until you see air bubbles forming.
Besan roti cooking on hot tawa.
Then, flip the roti using tongs and let it cook for another 30-45 seconds.

Now, flip again and lightly press with the back of a flat spatula. And flip and do the same to the other side.

Now, place the roti on a paper towel-lined plate and lightly coat the roti with ghee.

Spatula pressing down on a roti being cooked.
Flip again and lightly press with the back of a flat spatula to encourage puffing up.

Puffing the Roti:

To encourage the roti to puff up, you can gently press the edges with a clean kitchen towel or a soft cloth, moving in a circular motion. This helps distribute the heat and create steam inside the roti, causing it to inflate.

Ghee greased roti on a paper towel lined plate.
Place roti on a paper towel lined plate and spread a little ghee over it.

Storing

These taste best fresh. 

Place in an Airtight Container: If you have several besan rotis, you can place them in an airtight container instead of wrapping them individually. Layer the rotis with parchment paper or foil between them to prevent sticking.

  1. Avoid Moisture: Moisture is the enemy of stored rotis, as it can make them soggy. Ensure that the wrap or container is airtight and moisture-free. 
  1. Reheat Before Serving: When you’re ready to enjoy the stored besan rotis, reheat them using a dry skillet, tava, or microwave until they become warm and pliable. 

This will restore their softness and make them ready to serve.

Two besan roti with saag aloo to the side.

Serving Suggestions

 Serve with a side dish of your choice.  I think it tastes great with Gujarati mango pickle known as chundo.  Pictured above, you can see I also love it with Saag Aloo! They are both easy recipes.

Have you tried this besan ki roti recipe? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a comment and rate it with stars. It would mean a lot to me to hear how it turned out. If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creation. Thank you for your support!

Besan roti on a plate.

Soft Besan Roti

Shilpa Joshi
Make soft besan roti that is gluten-free and filled with good-for-you spices. This easy roti uses only besan with no added whole wheat flour or any other type of flour.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5 roti
Calories 95 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 tawa or griddle
  • 1 tongs
  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • 1 work surface for rolling roti

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup water plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup besan flour 105g
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder roasted jeera powder
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • 3 tsp ghee For spreading on cooked roti

Instructions
 

Making the dough

  • Place a pot on the stove and add water. Turn the gas on to medium-high heat. Add spices to the water.
  • Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the besan flour.Turn down the gas to low. Mix until it combines and forms a rough dough.  It doesn’t need to combine entirely and may have a few dry spots. That is OK.
  • Turn off the gas, remove the pot from the stove, and cover it.   Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and reach room temperature.
  • After 5 minutes, remove the dough out onto a surface for kneading.  Keep a small bowl of water to the side.
    Use the water to wet your hands and sprinkle a little water onto the dough.  Knead for five minutes.  Add a sprinkle of water or two more, if needed. You are looking for a pliable, yet firm dough.
  • Divide the dough into five equal portions.

Rolling out roti

  • Place the griddle or tava on medium-high heat and allow it to get hot.
  • Each time you roll out a roti you will take a dough ball and knead it once more before rolling it into a ball again and flattening it.
    Dip it into dry flour to prevent sticking and place it on a rolling board or a clean surface. Sprinkle a little besan flour (you can also use a little wheat flour if you are okay using a non-gluten-free flour) on the work surface.
  • Use a rolling pin (belan) to gently roll out the dough ball into a thin, round circle. Start from the center and work your way out, applying even pressure. 
    Lift and rotate the roti as needed to maintain a round shape. Dust with dry flour as needed to prevent sticking. Roll out to a circle.

Cooking the Roti

  • Each roti will be cooked on each side twice.
    Place the roti on a heated tawa on medium heat. Cook for 30-45 seconds or until you begin to see ​air bubbles form.
  • Then, flip the roti using tongs and let it cook for another 30-45 seconds.
    Now, flip again and lightly press with the back of a flat spatula. And flip and do the same to the other side.
  • Now, place the roti on a paper towel-lined plate and lightly coat the roti with ghee. Repeat with remaining dough balls and serve warm!

Notes

Puffing the Roti:
To encourage the roti to puff up, you can gently press the edges with a clean kitchen towel or a soft cloth, moving in a circular motion. This helps distribute the heat and create steam inside the roti, causing it to inflate.
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 95kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 5gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.4gSodium: 484mgPotassium: 213mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 41IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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