Much is being written about how millets have somewhere gone missing from, and why we need to reintroduce them, into our diet. In fact, ParentEdge carried a really informative article ‘Discover the goodness of millets’ in its Nov-Dec 2013 issue.
I have been experimenting with millets for some time now and I thought I’d share some of my experiences. Having settled down in Bangalore, we were introduced to the benefits of ragi more than 15 years back. Jowar, a commonly used grain in North Karnataka, entered our diets as jolada rottis (difficult to make I must warn because it is gluten free!) later. More recently, I have incorporated bajra through khichdis (very easy to make). However, after reading the article in Parentedge and realizing their many benefits, I have started incorporating millets into the menu at home more consciously. And in this post, I’m sharing some simple millet-based recipes which taste pretty good, and are easy to make.
Samai/ Sama/ Moriya Dosa/Idli
Samai or little millet is an astonishing source of iron (something I learnt from the ParentEdge article). Its other advantage: it looks good (unlike other millets). In fact, idlis made from little millets look and taste no different from rice based idlis.
To make samai idli, just substitute rice with samai. So you soak 3 measures of samai and 1 measure of urad dal, grind and leave to ferment overnight. Adding a few methi seeds makes the idlis softer.
Another couple of ways to use samai- make khichdi- like the sabudana khichdi- soak samai in water for about half an hour. Allow cumin seeds to splutter in some oil, add ginger, green chillies, haldi powder add the little millets, water and salt and cook for 10 minutes or until cooked. You can garnish with roasted peanuts, coriander leaves.
Samai can also be made into dal based khichdis or simply used to substitute rice in a meal.
Bajra (Kambu/ Pearl Millet) Khichdi
Being a die-hard fan of the late Tarla Dalal, I came across this recipe first in her book on Rajasthani cooking. Easy to make and pretty tasty too, I have altered the proportion of bajra and dal to suit our tatses. Coarsely grind bajra in a mixer, add moong dal in proportions that can vary from 3:1 to 1:1 ( I use 1:1). Combine the cleaned bajra and dal, add around 3 or 3 ½ measures of water (the millets need more water to cook), salt to taste and pressure cook. Once done, splutter jeera, hing , green chillies and curry leaves in some ghee and add to the cooked khichdi. Mix well and serve hot. Bajra khichdi tastes good with kadhi.