Saturday, 13 August 2011

Missi roti (Low glycemic index chapati made with besan and wheat flour)

Whole wheat rotis are consumed pretty regularly in Indian households.  I've not been able to get definitive GI and GL values for rotis, but I think if you eat 3 phulkas (small indian flat bread made of wheat. No fat added in cooking), you get about 270 calories and a glycemic load all put together of about 20-25.

In terms of calories consumed, this is not bad. Unless, you eat it with something else that is really heavy. But the glycemic load is pretty high and one way of fixing this is to switch to a misi roti, which is made of one part atta (wheat flour) and one part besan (chickpea flour). Besan is much lower than atta on the glycemic index, so the average of the two will give you a better GI value. Also, besan is more filling, so you'll probably end up eating fewer rotis. So all in all, it's a great idea. Here's the data.

 Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

Chapatti, wheat


66 ± 9 (medium)

21.12 (high)

Available carbohydrate
32 (g)

Serving size
60 (g)

 Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

Chapatti, baisen


27 (low)

14 (medium)

Available carbohydrate

Serving size

However, even if you combine both flours, you still get a glycemic load of about 18 (remember the ideal is 10). So the best thing would be to either eat just two rotis or eat three rotis, but add some vegetables to the mix.

The downside is that if you like your roti all soft and fluffy, you won't get that with misi roti, but it's truly a small price to pay. So, here's the recipe for vegetable misi roti (you can omit the vegetables if you like).

Ingredients (Good for about 8-12 rotis depending on the size)
  1. 1 cup besan
  2. 1 cup flour
  3. 1 carrot grated really fine (any other vegetable like radish, or spinach will also be just perfect. No potatoes however)
  4. 1 onion chopped very fine
  5. 1 tbsp kasuri methi(dried fenugreek leaves)
  6. 1 tsp chili powder or 1 chopped green chili
  7. A pinch of turmeric
  8. Salt to taste (add very little salt if you are going to eat the rotis with some other salted item)

Mix all the ingredients and add boiling hot water slowly. Mix the dough with a spoon until it it makes a hard dough. Then you can let it cool down a bit and then knead it with your hands using a little lukewarm water at a time until you get softer dough that you can roll out. Remember that this should not get too wet, or it will stick all over the place.

Roll out the rotis using a rolling pin. You can use wholewheat flour to roll it out. 

Then cook the rotis on a preheated skillet. It is better to cook them quickly on a high flame on both sides. Take them off the skillet and apply just a little ghee if you like. 

Eat them with any vegetable in gravy, but eat them right off the stove, otherwise they'll lose their softness and become tough and chewy.

Tip: Changing over from chapati to misi roti is a good permanent change to make. 


  1. This is quite helpful. Making basmati rice to go with my dal is so much easier, but I've been shifting my family over to roti. This evening I used the left over moong dal from last night with some chapati flour to make parathas. Our neighbor's mother in law is Punjabi and had showed me how. Just one is pretty satisfying.

  2. wow, what a great idea. have found plenty of stuff online on breads but not much on roti.... this is such a great idea and besan flour is so much cheaper than other low gi flours such as spelt or rye flour. i am really looking foward to making more rotis and chappatis with besan flour now. thx

    by the way that thing that thing where they make us write a word out before you can publish... its too hard, took many attempts, i dont think its working properly

  3. i just commented a minute ago, you might want to delete that part about how many attempts it took me to comment, cos i finally figured out that i am supposed to write the number out too! so yes pls delete part of that comment, its not really that hard to comment anymore!

  4. Hi! Wow! I just realized people have been looking at my page. Am thrilled.

    Misi roti IS awesome and a really good accompaniment to any kind of Indian curry.

    Thanks for your comments. Am really inspired to post more.

  5. Hi, Please let us know how Pesarattu figures on the GI and GL. Thanks much. Your page is very informative indeed. Please post more recipies as I am stuck and confused what to cook for the D-husband.


  6. Hi! So sorry for the delayed response. Pesarattu is a healthy breakfast option and the GMI is fairly low. The only important thing to keep in mind is to avoid the rice if possible and use moong dal with the skin on. You can also try north indian variants like besan ka cheela and moong dal ka cheela. Will post some recipes soon