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Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely known around the world as cereal crops/grains. In appearance they are round-shaped, tiny seeds and come in color like yellow, white, grey or white. Millets are high in nutrition content. In relation to rice and wheat, millets are three to five times more nutritionally superior in terms of proteins, minerals and vitamins. Millets are rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, also are gluten-free and has low-GI (Glycemic Index). Thus it can be said that Millets are suitable for wheat intolerants or who are allergic. This gluten-free grain has been the staple food in Asia and India for around 10,000 years. Millets can be cooked in many delicious ways, and when it is packed with many health benefits makes it easy to get it in pocket. Here are some millet recipes-
6 Healthy and Easy to Make Millet Recipes
1. Ragi Dosa:
It is a healthy breakfast from South-Indian cuisine made with finger millet (Ragi). This whole grain is a staple in many parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
- ½ cup rice
- ½ cup ragi whole grain or flour
- ½ cup urad dal or skinned black gram
- ¼ tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds or 2 tbsp poha
- Salt as per taste
- 2 tbsp oil for drizzling
- Wash urad dal and meethi seeds thoroughly and soak for at least 4 to 5 hours. Next wash ragi and rice together and soak them as well.
- Drain them and rinse. Blend the urad dal with water as needed until frothy and thick. Transfer this to a bowl.
- To the same jar, add ragi and rice and blend well. Mix it well and add salt to it as per requirement. You can even avoid salt for now and add it after fermenting.
- Let this batter ferment for 6 to 8 hours (timings may change as per the climate). Batter must rise at least slightly.
- Pour water and bring it to a desired consistency. It is even better to keep it little thick to make crisp dosas. If thin is desired, keep this batter thin.
- Grease the pan and heat up. The pan must turn hoyt enough.
- Pour 1 ladle of ragi dosa batter and spread it the way you like thick or thin. Drizzle some oil or ghee to it. When the sides leave the pan, flip it and cook it from the other side too.
Now, serve hot Ragi dosa with chutney.
2. Pearl Millet Paniyaram:
- ½ cup idli rice
- ½ cup raw rice
- ½ cup bajra
- ¼ urad dal
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp jeera seeds
- 2 tbsp chana dal
- 3 green chillies
- 1 onion (you can even add other vegetables of your choice like corn, capsicum, carrots, etc.)
- Soak the raw rice, idli rice, bajra, urad dal, fenugreek seeds, and together for 4 to 5 hours.
- Grind all the soaked items together into a fine batter, add salt and water to it.
- Ferment it for 10 to 12 hours. Consistency should be thick like batter of idli.
- Heat the oil and add mustard seeds, when it splutters, add jeera to it, add chana dal when it sizzles, when dal gets golden brown in color add green chillies to it, add onions and other vegetables (optional) to it and mix it well.
- Now heat the paniyaram pan till it gets hot. Add ¼ tsp oil in each hole of a pan. Then take a ladle of batter and fill each hole with the batter.
- Flip the side of paniyaram to other side when it turns to golden brown. After it gets cook from both the sides, remove it and serve hot with chutney. (You can use spoon or knife to flip the sides of paniyaram).
3. Ragi dry-fruit milkshake:
Ragi milkshake is a healthy filling drink, which can be served as a quick and nutritious breakfast recipe. Ragi is loaded with calcium and vitamin D that makes it a vital component for increasing bone strength.
- 2 tbsp ragi flour
- 1 cup water
- 6 cashews
- 4 almonds
- 4 pista
- 1 walnut
- Sugar as needed
- 2 tbsp fresh cream (optional)
- 1 cup cold milk
- Dry Roast cashews, almonds, pista and walnut in a pan till it turns golden brown color. Now grind into a coarse powder. Now keep this mixture of dry-fruits aside.
- Take ragi flour in a pan, add water into it and mix it well, without any lumps. Now cook it on a medium flame, till it thickens. Allow it to cool down.
- In a blender, add ragi, milk, sugar and fresh cream. Beat it till it turns smooth and frothy.
- Now add dry-fruits powder into it and mix it well.
- Garnish it with chopped dry-fruits and serve chilled.
4. Little Millets paneer uttapam:
Uttapam are thick pancakes, here the uttapam is made of millets, rice and urad dal batter with paneer, onions and some spices toppings. Little millets control diabetes and also known as king of cereals because of its rich nutritional and medicinal value. You can even make this uttapam with kodo millet or barnyard millet.
- 1 cup little millets rice
- 1 cup idli rice
- 1 cup urad dal
- 1 tsp methi seeds
- Salt as per taste
- 5 green chillies
- 200 grams paneer
- 5 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 tsp pepper corns
- 8 to 9 onions (you can also add some finely chopped vegetables either raw or sauté in oil)
- Soak samai rice, idli rice, urad dal, green chillies and methi seeds for 4hours and then grind into a smooth paste with needed water and salt. Allow it to ferment for 8 to 9 hours. Let the consistency of the batter be like idli batter.
- Grate the paneer, crush cumin seeds and pepper corns in a mortal and pestle into a coarse powder. Keep the onions and other vegetables (optional) ready for uttapam.
- Heat the tawa and when it is hot, reduce the flame to medium, take ladle of batter and pour it on the tawa and spread it a circular motion just like a thick dosa.
- After a minute, place some chopped onions on it, grated paneer, and sprinkle some pepper and cumin powder on it.
- Drizzle a tsp of oil over the uttapam, once the base turns to golden brown, flip the side and drizzle some oil again.
- Once cooked, serve hot with chutney or sambhar.
5. Bajra chi bhakri:
Most of the millet flour is gluten-free and doesn’t stretch out like the refined flour. You need to add hot water to make the dough which helps in rolling out easily. You can even combine 2 different flours. Or instead of bajra you can use jowar too.
- 5 cups bajra
- ½ tsp salt
- Water as per need (approx 3/4th cup)
- Add salt to the water and bring it to boil.
- Take the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in between.
- Pour the water little by little and keep mixing with the spoon.
- Now knead with your hands to form soft and elastic dough.
- Take a lemon sized portion of the dough.
- On a clean surface, flatten the dough and keep pressing it with your palm. Use some dry flour for the help so that it doesn’t stick to the surface.
- Keep pressing it till it becomes big.
- Heat the tawa in a meantime.
- Now place the bhakri on the tawa.
- Sprinkle few drops of water on the top side of the bhakri to prevent it from drying.
- Flip the side and cook on the other side too.
- Once it is done, spread some ghee on it.
- Serve hot with chutney or any vegetable side-dish.
6. Little millets pakoda:
Samai vegetable pakoda is an apt tea-time snack.
- ½ cup samai flour
- ½ cup besan flour
- 5tsp chilli powder
- Salt as needed
- 1 Carrot (small)
- 6 beans
- ½ cup chopped cabbage
- ½ small capsicum
- 2 onion
- 1 sprig. Curry leaves
- 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
- 1 green chilly
- Take a mixing bowl, add samai flour, besan, chilli powder, finely chopped carrot, beans, cabbage, capsicum, onion, curry leaves and coriander. Add salt and mix well.
- Then add water little by little to make tight dough. Mixture must be tight, if soggy it will absorb more oil and fritters won’t be crispy.
- Heat the oil, if you feel that the oil is hot, then check it by dropping a small portion of the dough. If it comes up immediately in it, it is an indication that the oil is hot and if not wait till the time it gets hot.
- When oil is hot, keep the flame at medium, then crumble the dough into oil, as you wish in a form of fritters.
- Deep fry it, until it turns golden brown on both sides.
- Take it in a serving plate and your pakoras are ready to eat.
Health benefits of Millets:
1. Vegetarian friendly source of proteins.
2. Low impact on blood sugar especially the finger millet as it helps in promoting healthy blood sugar.
3. It contains excellent nutritional value and offers more dietary fiber and antioxidants than most other grains.
4. A diet that includes healthy amount of dietary fiber has direct correlation with a healthy heart, so it also supports cardiovascular health.
5. It controls cholesterol levels.
6. Millets are a great source of starch, so it also makes it a high-energy food.
7. Millets are easy to digest.
8. Millet will hydrate your colon to keep you from being constipated.
9. It detoxifies your system, hence makes your skin, and hair more beautiful.
10. Helpful in weight loss as it tends to lower your appetite.
11. Another great benefit that millets provide us with is the prevention of cancer.
Types of millets:
- Pearl Millet (Bajra)
- Finger Millet (Nachani/Ragi)
- Foxtail Millet (Kangni)
- Kodo Millet (Kodra)
- Little Millet (Kutki/Shavan)
- Barnyard Millet (Jhangora/Sanwa)
- Sorghum (Jowar)