Millets- The Forgotten Super Crop of our Ancestors!

Different types of millets

Small seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains.

  • Natural Taste & Colour
  • Premium Quality Whole Grains
  • Easily Digestible
  • Aid in Weight Loss
  • Incredibly Nutritious
  • Great substitute for commonly used grains such as rice and wheat.

What are Millets?

They are a group of highly variable, small-seeded grasses, widely grown worldwide as cereal crops or grains for human food and fodder.

Why are they used?

  • Easily available and easy to store- Drought resistant.
  • Highly nutritious- Rich in Protein, Vitamin B, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Fiber, Phytochemicals and Antioxidants
  • Naturally Gluten-free - Perfect for people with gluten intolerance
  • Easy to digest and easy to prepare- Used in various healthy recipes
  • Highly sustainable- Do not get destroyed easily, and some of the millets are good for consumption even after 10-12 years of growing, thus providing great food security.

What are their benefits?

  • Rich in Dietary Fiber and several Vitamins & Minerals.
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  •  Decrease the incidence of colon cancer, constipation and gastrointestinal complications.
  • Each millet has its own benefits as described :
Finger Millet Ragi

Finger Millet (Ragi)

  • Excellent source of Calcium as it has 5 to 30 times more Calcium content than other cereals
  • Rich in other minerals like Phosphorus, Potassium and Iron
  • Great source of protein for vegetarians as it contains significant quantities of tryptophan, cystine, methionine and aromatic amino acids which are crucial for human health
  • Has anti-oxidant and anti-diabetic properties
  • Highly beneficial for those with low haemoglobin levels
  • Extremely helpful for reducing excess weight
  • Excellent for growing children
Sorghum Jowar

Sorghum (Jowar)

  • Richest source of Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Thiamine
  • Rich in Protein and Minerals like Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus and Manganese
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Rich in fibre and helps in weight loss
  • Reduces high cholesterol levels
  • Prevents heart problems
  • Improves digestion
  • Fights constipation
  • Boosts immunity
Pearl Millet Bajra

Pearl Millet (Bajra)

  • Rich in Protein, Starch, Fibre, Calcium, Folic Acid, Phosphorus, Zinc and essential compounds such as Phytic Acid and Niacin
  • Helps in reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cancer
  • Great body coolant
  • Improves digestion power
  • Heals stomach ulcers
  • Improves bowel movements
  • Prevents constipation
  • Reduces high cholesterol levels
Foxtail Millet Kangni

Foxtail Millet (Kangni)

  • Great source of dietary fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients
  • Regulates normal blood sugar & cholesterol levels
  • Helps in losing excess weight
  • Boosts energy
  • Reduces the risk of heart attack and gastric problems

How to incorporate them in our diet?

  • We must consume various kinds of millets in order to derive benefit from each one of them but we need to remember to have only one millet at a time, in a single meal.
  • We should not mix more than one type of millet or any other grain in one meal as it is much more difficult for the body to digest them if we mix them since a particular set of digestive enzymes are required to properly digest each one of them.
  • We must always consume millets or other grains with vegetables in a 30:70 ratio i.e. 30% grain mixed with 70% vegetables. This is because grains and cereals are water-poor and can only be easily digested when mixed with water-rich vegetables.
Millet Upma Recipe

How to use them to create delicious recipes?

Millet Upma

Dry roast 2 tsp black mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 chopped green chillies, 2 tsp grated ginger and 2 tbsp chopped peanuts in a pot for about 5 to 8 minutes. Then add about 15 curry leaves and roast for another minute. Add I cup chopped green beans, 1 cup chopped carrots, 1 cup peas to the pot and saute for about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and cover it with a lid. After 15 minutes, add 1 cup soaked Kangni (Foxtail millet) with one cup of water, stir, cover with lid and let it cook. Add more water if needed. Switch off the flame, add lemon, salt and coriander and stir well. Cover with lid for another 2 minutes. Garnish with roasted peanuts and coriander and serve with coconut chutney.

Recipe Credit: Satvic Food Book by Satvic Movement.
Millet Khichdi Recipe

Millet Khichdi

Dry roast 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 small chopped green chillies in a pot and add 1.5 cups soaked Bajra (Pearl Millet), ½ cup soaked moong daal, ¼ tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste. Then add 7 to 8 cups of water to it and cover with lid. In another pan, add ½ cup water, 1 chopped carrot, chopped beans, 2 diced potatoes, ½ cup green peas, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well and cover with lid. When bajra and vegetables are cooked, mix them, garnish with fresh coriander and serve.
Millet Salad Recipe

Millet Salad

Mix 1 cup cooked Jowar (Sorghum), ½ cup chopped cucumber, ½ cup chopped capsicum, ½ cup chopped red and yellow bell peppers, ½ cup diced cherry tomatoes, ½ cup grated carrots. Add any fresh herb such as basil leaves, 1tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1 tbsp fresh lime juice and salt to taste. Garnish with fresh pomegranate or any dried fruit according to taste.
MIllet Sprouts Recipe

Millet Sprouts

Soak Ragi (Nachni/ Finger Millet) for 12 hours and then wash well in running water. Place Ragi in a white cotton cloth and make a potli and keep it in a cool place. It will take at least 12 hours for the sprouts to grow. The longer you wait, the longer sprouts you will get. After sprouting, transfer the ragi to a plate. These sprouts are highly nutritious and can be eaten raw, lightly cooked or ground into flour after drying and are widely used in various recipes.
Plain Millet with Gravy Recipe

Other yummy ideas:

a) Plain Millet with Gravy

Millets can be cooked simply like rice (millet to water ratio will depend on the type of millet you are using) and can be enjoyed with Sambar or Vegetable Curry.
Millet Chapati/Dosa/Idli Recipe

b) Millet Chapati / Idli / Dosa

These whole grain millets can be ground into flours when needed to create many more incredibly nutritious and delicious recipes! Remember, freshly ground flours are always the best to use.
Millet Cookies / Desserts Recipe

c) Millet Cookies / Desserts

Ground millets can also be used to prepare various healthy & tasty desserts or cookies which are a great treat for kids as well as adults.