Lesu (Mandua Roti / Finger Millet roti)

Today I am posting a recipe from Uttarkhand. Every day this month I will post a recipe from a different state in India.

The Kumaon and Garhwal regions of Uttar Pradesh are now their own state Uttarkhand. It is a beautiful region of the country located in the Himalayan foothills. Names of cities like Dehradun and Nainital bring visuals of natural scenic beauty and the faces of friends and neighbors from those regions.

A couple of my teachers in school were from this region. In high school we had danced to a very famous traditional Garhwali song 'Bedo pako barmasa'. There is a commercialized version of this song on youtube if you are interested. You can appreciate the beautiful melody of the song from the hills.

The food from Uttarkhand is similar to Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. Wheat, Archar (toor), Mandua (Finger millet), Gahat (Kulath/horse gram) etc are commonly used grains and pulses. I have heard of Kulath dal made in Maharastra but have never tried it myself. I had never tried to use mandua either. I decided I had to use one of these (new to me) grains.

Lesu has a very interesting concept. It is not possible to roll mandua flour into a poli as we do with wheat. It may be the lack of gluten in the flour that requires it to be patted into shape. So the people from Kumaon came up with this solution. They made two different dough, one with wheat flour and the other with mandua flour. They stuff the mandua in the wheat and suddenly you have pliable dough that can be rolled into a poli.

This poli is best eaten hot. I got the recipe from here. This website has a lot of other interesting recipes that I would love to try out.

You will need
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup mandua (finger millet) flour
1/2 tsp. ajwain seeds
salt to taste

Mandua or Finger Millet is dark colored flour with darker specks.

Using water knead the whole wheat flour into a soft dough. Keep aside. In a separate bowl make dough with the ragi flour using water. Let it rest for 5 minutes.

Heat a griddle pan. Divide both dough into equal number of small portions. Take one portion of the wheat dough and flatten it on the palm of your hand.

Place a portion of the ragi flour in the flattened wheat dough.

Close the wheat dough over the top and form a ball.

Roll it out to a disc of the desired thickness. I like it thin so I rolled it to 1/4 of an inch.

Put a few drops of oil on the pan and place the rolled out poli on it. Put a few drops of oil on the top. Let it brown and then flip it over to cook the other side.

Take it off the heat when it is brown on both sides.

Serve hot.


  1. Wow perfectly rolled..and it looks so pretty..the way you get shades on the roti is amazing..loved this concept.and must try it.

  2. a very healthy one!! love the step wise clicks varada.. very helpful..

  3. Looks so well done Varada...I liked this roti so much..

  4. They came out extremely prefect, beautiful double shades there, healthy roti..

  5. The stuffed ones have come out beautifully, Varada.

  6. That is a great looking roti. Will have to try stuffing ragi and regular wheat roti -- that is such a genius idea.

  7. the mandua roti seems to be the pick of the day. perfectly made.

  8. Very healthy and perfectly made rotis ! Wonderful....

  9. Looks so perfect Varada and a nice one too...

  10. This is quite interesting.. Imagining how this tastes.. I like the way the finger millet color is popping out of the roti. One of our family friends are from Garhwal but they never spoke the language. Will check out the video to see how the language sounds.

  11. I must try this. Looks great and healthy too!

  12. I must try this. Looks great and very healthy too.

  13. love the two tones effect you got by stuffing it

  14. I saw a couple of versions of these and your rotis look really beautiful with that contrasting shades.

  15. u can skip the wheat flour to make it gluten free...

  16. Ur roti's lovely! !!that shape you should reach us how u get to roll it so perfectly !!!


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