An Insider’s Guide To Jowar Bhakri Meals
August 19, 2017  BY  Akashrai A. Kamat

Alright, so, if you’ve been in Karnataka for a while, I’m sure you’ve heard the words “Joladda Roti” or “Jowar Bhakri” floating about all throughout. To all the tourists and travel enthusiasts coming to or already in Karnataka, your search ends here. We present to you the ultimate guide to Jowar Bhakri Meals.

Jowar Bhakri, locally known as Joladda Roti is quite a renowned dish all over Karnataka, so much so that it would be safe to almost call it a staple in several households. Back in the day, when agriculture was the most practiced profession, Jowar was a widely cultivated crop making it traditionally popular amongst the farming community of North Karnataka, especially the rural regions for it being simple and copious.

At Kamat Lokaruchi, located just a little away from Ramnagara on the outskirts of Bangalore, Jowar Bhakri Meal is the most sought after afternoon-delight served on a plantain leaf. The palette consists of Jowar Bhakri (of course!) with a big blob of freshly made butter melting on top of it, yennegai, soppu palya, kaalu palya, khadi junka, white rice with sambar or rasam along with everything else that usually comprises of a full course Indian meal such as several chutneys, bowl of curd, papad etc..

Lost you there? A lot of unfamiliar names that you’ve never heard of before? Worry not. Because, the ultimate guide isn’t complete without their mouth-watering descriptions.

  1. Yennegai - It is the most common accompaniment to the Jowar Bhakri. Yennegai is a specialty dish prepared with brinjal or eggplant, slit open and stuffed with aromatic spices. A paste of groundnut, coconut, coriander seeds, turmeric, jeera, dry roasted red chilies, salt and a dash of tamarind pulp is ground, usually on a stone mortar before being stuffed in these pre-slit brinjals. I recommend that the next time you get served Yennegai at Kamat Lokaruchi, close your eyes, inhale and take a deep breath. I guarantee your trance into the world of flavors!
  2. Soppu Palya – The word ‘soppu’ in Kannada means green leafy vegetables. Soppu Palya is another simple nutritional dish and a popular accompaniment to go with the Jowar Bhakri. This healthy mix of green leafy vegetables is cooked with garlic, and garnished with chilies and mustard.
  3. Kaalu Palya – I’m sure by now you’ve understood that ‘palya’ is a sautéed vegetable dish. So, this palya made of ‘Kaalu’ or pulses in Kannada, is a commonly prepared traditional recipe. Green gram, peas, chickpeas, and pigeon peas soaked overnight and used as prime ingredients.
  4. Khadi Junka – Junka, made of humble ingredients like gram flour and millet flour, can turn the rather bland Jowar Bhakri into something very flavorful and filling, something that you can eat every other day.

About the Sambar and Rasam, who are we kidding? Of course you know what the world famous Sambar and Rasam are! Right? People say, India runs on Chai, but we like to believe that it runs on Sambar!

Making Jowar Bhakri is one of the toughest experiences for a cook. The dough is notoriously hard to knead, it requires a lot of skill to not mess up the roti during cooking, and the finished product is tough on the cud. The Jowar Bhakri has many loud champions who compare it favorably to wheat on every point: taste, nutrition and calories. Some even claim that rural folks are healthier because they eat Jowar Bhakri.

Nowadays, it is prepared for its nutritional benefits and availability. Jowar or Sorghum is valued for it is a very good source of protein, contains essential nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorous and also known to be good for the heart.

Now, is a meal ever complete without a dessert? NO. We’re going to keep this part a surprise for you to come and satisfy your sweet tooth! 

If you’ve gotten this far reading, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I call this ‘Strong Food’ - nutritional, healthy and all natural, prepared with no artificial additives, color or preservatives. All the health-conscious people out there, here’s another outlet for you to add to your list of limited restaurants, and as for the foodies, you know where to go when you want to explore and savor the real taste of North Karnataka.

Living to the motto of the Kamat Yatrinivas Group, we whole heartedly invite you to come and enjoy our ‘strong food’, in other words Jowar Bhakri Meals.

Atithi Devo Bhava.   

About Author
Akashrai A. Kamat COO – Anantrai Kamat Group

Coming from a line of great ancestral heritage close to traditions and culture, I greatly appreciate the extravagance of our motherland, especially the hearty food! I'm all about that comfort food.