Jowar is one of the five top cereal crops in the world, along with wheat, oats, corn, and barley. It originates in Africa, having been cultivated in Egypt in antiquity, and the largest producer of sorghum in the modern era is still Africa, although the crop has spread to southern Asia and the Americas as well. In traditional form, sorghum is a towering plant over six feet (two meters) tall, although many varieties designed for cultivation are dwarf breeds, specially designed for easy harvest. Jowar is an annual grass that is extremely drought tolerant, making it an excellent choice for arid and dry areas. Sorghum has special adaptations to weather extremes and is a very stable source of nutrition as a result. Sorghum is most commonly red and hard when ripe, and it is usually dried after harvesting for longevity, as the grains are stored whole. In many parts of the world, jowar has traditionally been used in food products and various food items; porridge, unleavened bread, cookies, cakes, couscous, and malted beverages are made from this versatile grain.