Finger Millet Or Ragi In Your Diet:
Finger millet is called ragi, which is high in protein and minerals in comparison to all other cereals and millets. A perfect source of protein for vegetarians. It is easy to digest, therefore, given as the first food to babies in the form of ragi porridge. There are many types of millets and various benefits of millets. The following ragi flour recipes make your cooking easy, delicious and healthy.
Finger millets contain important amino acids—isoleucine, leucine, methionine, and phenylalanine which are not present in other starchy meals. It has the highest amount of calcium and potassium. Ragi is a great source of iron making it beneficial for individuals with low hemoglobin levels.
Benefits Of Ragi | Finger Millet Benefits:
- Ragi possesses antidiabetic and antioxidant and antimicrobial properties; it protects against tumors and atherosclerosis.
- Low in fat and gluten-free, ragi is easy to digest.
- It is good for the stomach and for good digestion.
Ragi Flour Recipes:
To use, the ragi is sorted and washed. It is spread out in the sunlight for 5 to 8 hours to dry. It is then powdered. Millets also contain B vitamins, especially niacin, B6 and folic acid. Some of the health benefits of ragi are attributed to its polyphenol and dietary fiber contents. Here are some delicious ragi flour recipes to add to your diet.
1. Ragi porridge:
- Ragi – 1⁄2 cup
- Jaggery – 2 to 3 Tsp
- Ghee – 1⁄4 Tsp Or Milk – 1⁄2 cup
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
Soak ragi in 2 to 3 cups of water for one hour. Drain. Adding freshwater, change the water 2 to 3 times. Grind with 2 to 3 spoons water into a pulp. In a pan, place the ragi and a little (2 to 3 spoons) water, adding either jaggery and ghee or milk and sugar. Stir to avoid base browning.
2. Ragi halwa:
- Ragi – 1 kg
- Jaggery syrup – Made by melting and filtering 1and a half kg jaggery
- Ghee – 1 and a half cups
- Cashew nuts – 150 gms, split, roasted in ghee
- Cardamom – 6 to 8 pods, deskinned and powdered
Powder the ragi to fine dust. Add water that rises 2 inches above the surface. Let it soak for 2 hours. Drain the water. Wash, changing the water two to three times. Sort to remove any mud or small stones.
Grind adding a little water at a time (1 cup water). Add 2 to 3 cups water. When the water is clear above, drain. The ragi is now a little hard.
Place the ragi in a pan, add 2 cups water and jaggery syrup. Cook, stirring constantly. Add a cupful of ghee, stirring. Add a half cup of ghee. When it gets thick and slides off the pan, and is a firm ball as you stir, remove from flame. Stir in the roasted cashew nuts. Pour out any excess ghee.
In a greased thali, transfer the ragi mixture and pat with the ladle to get an even surface. Leave aside to cool for 1 to 2 hours. Slice the dark brown halwa into desired shapes and serve.
3. Ragi Ela Ada:
- Ragi powder – 4 cups
- Jaggery syrup made from one and a half kg jaggery, melted and filtered
- Chopped coconut slivers – 1 cup
- Salt – 2 to 3 pinch
- Ghee – 3 Tsp
In a bowl, combine ragi flour and water to create a batter of an idli batter consistency. Stir in the jaggery syrup, coconut slivers, salt, and ghee. In a banana leaf (seasoned in heat/immersed in hot water so that the leaf turns 2 to 4 shades darker), spread the batter in a circle, wrap this carefully without leakage. Place in a steamer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.
4. Ragi Flour Kozhukatta:
- Ragi flour – 3 cups
- Salt – 1⁄2 Tsp
- Grated coconut – 1 1⁄2 cups
For Mustard seasoning:
- Coconut oil – 3 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 1⁄2 tbsp.
- Dried red chilies, broken – 2 to 3
- Curry leaves, separated from the stalks – 2 stalks
Mix ragi flour with salt and grated coconut with enough water to form a tight dough. Roll into lemon sized balls. Cook in the steamer for 30 minutes.
In a pan, heat oil and splutter the mustard seeds, saute the red chilies and fry the curry leaves, tip in the ragi Kozhukattas and stir well. Serve hot.
5. Red chili chutney for ragi flour Kozhukkatta:
- Big onions – 2, minced
- Kashmiri dried red chilies – 3 to 4
- Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
- Salt – To taste
- Curry leaves – 5 to 6, torn
- Tamarind paste – 1 Tsp
In a pan, heat the coconut oil. Saute the onions and Kashmiri red chilies in hot oil until a fragrance issue forth. Grind this to a paste with salt. Sprinkle the curry leaves and stir in the tamarind paste, which is an optional ingredient. Serve with ragi Kozhukattas.