Makki Ki Roti

Makki Ki Roti

Winters bring to mind piping hot food and thick blankets. The warmth of a homemade winter meal cannot be replaced by any takeout. If you’re anything like us, you are craving some traditional seasonal winter food, stuff that we all grew up eating. One iconic winter delicacy that comes to mind is piping hot makki ki roti with sarson ka saag, with a big fat chunk of desi makkhan (white butter) on the side!

What is Makki Ki Roti?

Makki ki roti, or makai ki roti, as its popularly called, is an ages-old Punjabi flatbread. It is famously consumed in all parts of Northern India, like Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, etc. The name makai originates from the word markaka in Sanskrit, which loosely translates to maize or makai

So essentially, makki ki roti is pretty self-explanatory as a dish: an Indian flatbread made of maize or corn. 

Now, the cultural origin of making makki ki roti originates in the agricultural heartlands of Punjab, the land of the 5 rivers. The festival of Lohri is celebrated to mark the end of the winter solstice, and ‘makki ka atta’ (maize flour) is used to make these gluten-free, tasty, slightly sweet Indian flatbreads as a part of the celebratory feast. It is often accompanied by sarson ka saag (mustard leaves vegetable). This seasonal combo has been representative of winter meals for years in our subcontinent. The slightly astringent and pungent saag with the soft and slightly sweet roti create a culinary delight with every bite.

Bajra roti, ragi roti, and jowar roti are other wholesome and nutritious flatbreads originating from various regions in India. These rotis, like makki ki roti, are gluten-free and offer a healthier alternative to those seeking diverse and nutritious grain options. While each of these regional flatbreads boasts its own distinctive taste and nutritional profile, they share common ground in being gluten-free rotis and offering a broader spectrum of essential nutrients.

Makki Ki Roti Recipe 

Makki ki Roti with Sarson da Saag

Traditionally, makki di roti is made on a chulha/tawa or a tandoor. Now, given the fact that most people don’t own tandoors, you can still have authentic makki di roti by preparing it the classic way on a cast iron skillet or tawa. The recipe is fairly simple, with very basic ingredients to make the dough. In this recipe, we shall explore the traditional way to make makki di roti, mentioning all the different methods to roll out the dough before roasting the flatbread and, of course, the Rotimatic way of making makki ki roti.

How to Make Makki Ki Roti Traditionally

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

Yield: 8 rotis


  • 2 cups cornmeal (makki ka atta)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water, or as required
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp salt, or as required
  • 5-6 tbsp ghee (for roasting)
  • ½ tsp ajwain (optional; to aid digestion)

Preparation Process:

  1. Mix the cornmeal, salt, and ajwain. Add a bit of oil to make the rotis smoother. Then, like a regular roti, slowly start adding water and mixing until you have a smooth dough. Use lukewarm water to make the dough more manageable.

  2. Knead until you have a smooth, homogenous dough. Cracks and lines are to be expected as this dough does not contain gluten.

  3. Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes, then divide it into small 2-inch balls. Knead each ball separately before rolling it out. Now, in the classic recipe for making makki ki roti, you can use 4 different methods for rolling out your cornmeal roti dough, depending on your convenience.
  • Method 1: Using a Rolling Pin

Sprinkle some maize flour onto your working surface, and coat the dough ball in it as well. Gently take your rolling pin and start rolling. Make sure you don’t apply too much pressure, or cracks will form.

  • Method 2: Making Makki Ki Roti With Hand-shaping Method

Flour your work surface and place the dough ball on it. Wet your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to them, and gently start patting and flattening the dough with your fingers. Get to a desirable medium-thickness so that the roti does not become too chewy. If any cracks or tears form, seal them together with your fingers.

  • Method 3: Using a Parchment Paper

Take a piece of parchment paper and wet it slightly. Place the flattened dough ball on the wet paper and then, with damp fingers, start pressing and shaping the roti like in the previous method. Once shaped, you can directly place the roti on the tawa/pan, parchment side facing upwards, and gently peel the parchment off as the roti cooks.

  • Method 4: Using a Zip-sealed Bag

Put your dough ball inside a zip-sealed plastic bag that you have cut open on two sides, and place the bag on a surface that you can move, like a baking tray or cutting board. Start pressing the dough ball with your fingers or flatten it with your rolling pin until you get to the desired thickness. Remove and roast.

  1. Heat the tawa/pan, and take some ghee, and roast your rotis in the pan. Roast until medium-done or till small black spots appear like a regular roti. Flip the roti around and roast on medium-high till done.

How to Make Makki Ki Roti with the Rotimatic

The Rotimatic provides options to make several Indian breads in the most convenient way possible. It saves your energy and labor and is the perfect kitchen companion to help you with your dinner prep after a busy day. The beauty of the Rotimatic is in its automation, from start to finish of the entire roti-making process. It comes with three different containers for flour, water, and oil and the ability to customize the level of roasting and thinness of the roti with a nifty little smart screen. It’s a machine that saves your precious time and gives you the warmth of homemade cooking with every bite. 

As makki di roti is a gluten-free recipe, while using your Rotimatic, it is recommended to mix some part of regular wheat flour with the cornmeal to make the dough easier to deal with. 

Here is one method to make makki di roti in the Rotimatic posted on a popular Facebook blog, My Life and Spice, by a valued Rotimatic customer.


  • 2.5 cups makki ka atta (cornmeal)
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 ¼ cup water 
  • 2 tbsp oil

Preparation Process:

  1. Mix the two flours with salt and make sure there are no lumps. 
  2. Add the flour mixture to the flour compartment, along with adding the water and oil to their respective compartments.
  3. Make rotis using the hassle-free automated technology of Rotimatic at your ease. Set the Rotimatic setting for bajra flour. Set the thickness settings at 5, roast settings at 4, and oil settings at 2. One tip would be to re-shape the dough ball once the machine has portioned it out, as due to the low-gluten nature of the dough, the dough is more difficult for the machine to shape.
  4. Start the machine and wait for your piping hot makki ki rotis to be made!
  5. Apply ghee on the fresh rotis and serve warm!

Experience the effortless art of roti-making with our automatic roti maker – redefine convenience in your kitchen!

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Common Challenges in Preparing Makki Ki Roti

  • Texture and Consistency: Getting the right texture and consistency of the dough can be a challenge as makki ka atta is gluten-free, which makes the dough difficult to handle. 
  • Rolling and Shaping: Due to the lack of gluten, the dough is more delicate, and rolling it out can be challenging as the dough can break or stick to the work surface or rolling pin.
  • Cooking Temperature: The right temperature, like low or medium-high heat, has to be maintained throughout the entire cooking process, as the dough is thicker, and if cooked improperly, the roti may remain raw in the center.
  • Handling Sticky Dough: Cornmeal dough can be very sticky, and it can be a challenge to transfer it from one surface to the pan while maintaining its shape.
  • Dryness and Cracking: Makki ki roti can dry out very fast, leading to cracks while cooking, so keeping it moist by applying liberal amounts of ghee or kneading it properly is necessary to maintain a good texture.
  • Flipping Without Breaking: As makki di roti is more fragile compared to other rotis, flipping it over during the cooking process may lead to it breaking sometimes. 

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Outcome and Troubleshooting Common Issues While Making Makki Ki Roti 

  • Gradual Water Addition: Add water to the cornmeal (makki ka atta) gradually, as the flour is gluten-free. Add water slowly. Depending on the quality of the flour, you may have to alter the amount of water.
  • Use Warm Water: Using lukewarm water can make the dough easier to manage and achieve a better, smoother texture with fewer cracks.
  • Mixing Techniques: Always use your hands to mix the dough. This helps you to feel the texture and adjust the water accordingly. Knead the dough gently; there's no need for thorough kneading like wheat-based doughs due to the lack of gluten. 
  • Kneading Dough and Resting Time: Knead the dough balls again before flattening and shaping them. Let the dough rest for a while before making the rotis. This makes the dough more pliable.
  • Rolling Surface: Always wet your hands when working with the dough. You can also dust the rolling surface with maize flour to prevent sticking. You can also use parchment paper laid on the work surface for easier handling. 
  • Patting Technique: It is better to try patting the dough into a round shape with your hands. This is a delicate dough, so this will help prevent cracks.
  • Cooking Makki Ki Roti: Oil or ghee is applied while cooking the roti so it doesn’t dry out. This roti may take longer to cook, so be patient with it.
  • Flipping Carefully: When flipping the roti, do it gently to avoid breakage. Using two wide spatulas is helpful.
  • Keep Rotis Moist: Cover the cooked rotis with liberal amounts of ghee and stack them on top of each other, covered with a clean kitchen towel to keep them moist.

How to Serve Makki Di Roti(Punjabi Cornmeal Flatbread) 

You can serve makki di roti with the iconic sarson da saag or any vegetable like chane ka saag or palak ka saag. You can even serve this warm winter roti with dal banjara or darbari dal. 

One can even serve it with creamy dal makhani or aloo gobhi. You could even add some veggies or greens to your dough and serve the makki di roti like a paratha with aam ka achar or Punjabi achar.

How to Store Makki Ki Roti 

One can store cooked makki ki rotis in a zip-sealed plastic bag for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. To reheat cold rotis, you can wrap the rotis in a clean, damp kitchen towel and microwave it for 20-30 seconds to make it regain moisture and make it soft. You can also reheat the roti on a skillet, but be sure to apply ghee to help make them soft. Stacking and storing cooked rotis in between clean, damp towels will make them soft to eat so that you can serve them nicely.


  • Is makki ki roti keto-friendly?

Yes, makki di roti is keto-friendly as one cornmeal roti will give you approximately 90 calories, which is only 53 calories for carbohydrates, making it relatively low-calorie.

  • Can I freeze makki ki roti? 

Yes, you can freeze makki ki roti in the fridge for up to 2 days in a sealed bag. Be sure to rehydrate the roti once removed.

  • Can I eat makki ki roti during pregnancy?

Yes, you can! Makki di roti is made from maize flour, which is full of iron, folate, vitamin A, and zinc, which are all very essential micronutrients for expecting mothers.

  • How many calories and carbs are in makki ki roti?

One roti contains approximately 90 kcal, with 53 kcal of carbohydrate content.

  • How to make soft makki ki roti?

For softermakki ki roti, knead the dough for 4-5 minutes with the heels of your hand before rolling out and shaping. Also, add a touch of oil to your recipe to make the rotis more pliable.

  • How to make makki ki roti without breaking?

Add a generous amount of water and a little amount of oil to your dough. Make sure you shape with your hands and seal any cracks while rolling out with your fingers.

  • Is makki ki roti gluten free?

Yes, it is! It is made from maize flour, which is essentially cornmeal, made from dried and ground-up corn, which is completely gluten-free.

  • Is makki roti good for weight loss?

It is very good for weight loss as it is gluten-free and contains only 90 calories per roti! It is also rich in iron and other micronutrients, which will promote a healthy body.

  • Is makki ki roti good for diabetic patients?

Cornmeal, the main component of makki ki roti, helps to reduce blood sugar levels. So yes, you can eat makki di roti if you have diabetes.

  • What else can you add to makki ki roti?

You can add many greens like spinach to your roti to make it like a breakfast snack, accompanied by a cup of chai!

  • Can I make makki ki roti in advance?

As makki ki roti tends to dry out, it is not recommended to make it in advance. But you can make the dough in advance and store it in an airtight container, and rehydrate and knead it before cooking whenever you want!