Jai Sri Hari.
A dear Community member and a friend recently asked me if I can make some interesting recipes from millets. She wanted to introduce the goodness of millets to her kids. My favorite among millets is finger millet or Ragi.
Finger millet is a cereal grass belongs to the family Poaceae and is more commonly known as ragi in India, in Tamil, it is termed as kezhvaragu .It is a vital and nutrient-rich food for pregnant women, lactating mothers as well as children.
I tried out some millet recipes after that and fell in love with them. So these recipes are for our dear moms and the sweet kids.
I had forgotten all about Ragi after my kids grew up. I was making Ragi porridge very often for my kids when they were babies. Ragi porridge was my preferred baby food. So let us see the healthy baby food first.
(For Infants )
Makes two bowls
1 cup Ragi
1/ 2 cup Palm Jaggery Or sugar of your choice
Soak the ragi for 5 to 6 hours. Grind to a nice paste. Extract the milk by adding a half a cup of water.
A thick milk extract will be obtained. Add half cup of water and powdered jaggery and cook on a slow fire, till the extract thickens to a porridge consistency. Keep stirring to get a smooth porridge. This is healthy, natural ad easy to digest for babies who are just starting on solid food. It is very good for mothers too.
Makes 8 to 10
1 cup Ragi powder
1 cup whole wheat atta
½ cup Bajra powder
2 cups of milk
1 egg or ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 to 3 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
2 teaspoons Butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ½ cup milk.
Honey or Maple Syrup for topping. Any fresh fruits like banana or strawberry are also used for topping.
Pass all the dry ingredients through a sieve into a bowl. To this mixture add the egg (or baking soda), vanilla essence, and butter. Add milk in small quantities blend to a smooth batter using an egg beater Heat a pan smear a little butter and add a ladle full of batter. No need to spread. Turn the side when small bubbles appear on top of the pancake. Cook for two more minutes. Take out your soft and fluffy pancake. Serve it topped with honey or maple syrup. Add a few pieces of banana, strawberry, or mulberry. I am sure your kids will gobble them up. Save some for you too.
Makes 15 to 20
1 cup Urad Dal
3 Cups Parboiled Rice
1 cup Ragi
Soak them separately for 5 to 6 hours. Clean and grind them separately in Idli batter consistency. Mix all the ingredients. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and keep for fermenting for 8 hours or overnight. Make soft nutritious Idlis. Serve them with Coconut Chutney.
2 cups Ragi Powder
1 cup whole wheat atta
1 cup Bajra atta (Pearl Millet ) (optional)
Salt and Oil for kneading.
1 small beetroot. (optional)
2 green chilies
1 teaspoon ajwain
2 teaspoons aliv (watercress seeds)
Cook and make a puree of beetroot.
Add finely chopped green chillies, coriander leaves, aliv, ajwain, and beetroot puree to the flour. Add salt and oil. Knead to a soft .Keep aside for ten to fifteen minutes. Take lemon sized balls of dough and roll out the rotis or tortillas. Make them on a hot tawa or pan. Brush little butter or oil on both sides.
Serve hot with a bowl of yogurt and pickle.
RAGI NUTRITIONAL AND DIETARY FACTS
A major portion of ragi is a carbohydrate, around 80%. The nutritional values per 100 g of finger millet are: Protein 7.3 g Fat 1.3 g Carbohydrate 72 g Minerals 2.7 g Calcium 344 mg Fibre 3.6 g Energy 328 kCal. Finger millet has been found to have calcium as high as 450 mg/100g of grains and hence, can be developed and used as a preventive drug(s) against osteoporosis. It has also possessed micro nutrients including manganese, phosphorus, and iron as well as useful amounts of copper and relatively higher chromium, magnesium, molybdenum, zinc, and selenium . It also has significant levels of polyphenols and their bio availability was good even after the conventional cooking.
The Calcium content is three more than milk and ten times more than brown rice, wheat, and maize.
Finger Millet is a good laxative and prevents constipation due to high fiber content. Feeding mothers can also consume ragi as it helps in lactation.
A boon for diabetic and obese patients as the digestion takes place slowly.
A rich source of Iron
An antioxidant and anti-aging agent.
Reference : Scientific Journal Of Food Science and Nutrition.
Food For Thought:
Eat slowly and chew your food well and you will start losing weight in practically no time.