Millets are different small-seeded cereal crops found in various parts of India. They are naturally gluten-free, rich in fiber and nutrients. The different millets found in India are Jowar (sorghum), Kodo millet, Sama millet (small millet), barnyard millet, foxtail millet, Ragi (finger millet) and Bajra (pearl millet). They are extremely beneficial for your health. Before we find out how to include millet in your diet, let’s understand the health benefits of millet.
Health benefits of millet
Millet is a powerhouse of nutrients and offers various health benefits:
1. It is very nutritious and a good substitute for rice.
2. Helps reduce stress due to the presence of a good amount of potassium and magnesium.
3. Loaded with fiber and keeps you full for a long time. It also relieves constipation.
4. Maintains hormonal imbalance in women.
5. Millets are a good source of niacin which helps keep skin healthy.
6. Black millets are a good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that promotes eye health.
7. Due to the presence of soluble and insoluble fiber, millet contributes to the health of the intestinal flora and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
8. Millets are rich in calcium, iron and protein, making them a complete food for pregnant and lactating women.
9. Vitamins like riboflavin, thiamine, niacin and folic acid contribute to cell growth, development of the nervous system and spine.
10. Minerals like iron, phosphorus and potassium contribute to blood formation and nerve conduction.
11. Eating millet can be beneficial for diabetics and those suffering from heart diseases.
Read also: Millets for weight loss: lose extra pounds with this superfood
Ways to include millet in your diet
Now that you know the health benefits of adding this superfood to your diet, here are some ways to add millet to your diet:
- Millet can be ground into fine flour and prepared into roti/chapati and dosa
- Use it to prepare healthy biscuits, bread and hamburger buns by baking it.
- Replace millet in all rice dishes like kichidi, pulao, tamarind rice, bisibelebath, etc.
- Puffed ragi/bajra/jowar can be an alternative to puff rice. Use them as a snack in chivda, murmura and puffed (sweet) rice balls. In addition to rice flakes, millet flakes are also offered in the market.
Millet Recipes You Can Try
1. Bajra Wheat Palak Roti
- 200 grams of bajra
- 100 grams of whole wheat flour
- 1 bunch of palak leaves
- 2 cloves of garlic 2 cloves
- 15 ml of curd
- 2 chopped green chilies
- 3 tablespoons of coriander leaves
- teaspoon of turmeric
- Salt to taste
1. Mix all the ingredients to make a paste.
2. Make a roti out of it and cook it in a pan with ghee/oil.
3. Serve hot with curd or chutney of your choice.
Read also: Skip rice and wheat and try millet for dinner!
2. Frozen ragi
- 1 cup ragi soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup jaggery powder
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon of ghee
1. Grind the soaked ragi well to get its thick ragi milk.
2. Take ragi milk in a pan, add jaggery and salt to it and mix well. Heat the mixture over low heat for several minutes.
3. Stir continuously to avoid any lumps forming and add the ghee in small portions while stirring.
4. After the mixture solidifies, add the chopped nuts and transfer it to a plate greased with ghee and let it cool.
5. Cut into desired shape and serve.
3. Pearl Millet Dosa
- 1 cup pearl millet
- 1/4 cup urad dal
- 2 tablespoons of rice flakes
- Salt to taste
1. Soak pearl millet, rice flakes and urad dal separately in water for 4 hours.
2. Grind them separately until you get a sandy texture and mix them with salt if necessary.
3. Ferment them overnight or for 8 hours.
4. Prepare the dosa and serve hot with tomato or coriander chutney and sambar.
4. Mixed millet laddoo
- 150 grams of ragi flour
- 150 grams of bajra flour
- 150 grams of Jowar flour
- 75 grams of flour
- 30 grams of mixed nuts and chopped dried fruits
- 1 tablespoon toasted flaxseed or linseed
- 3 tablespoons of ghee
- 2 powdered cardamom
1. Heat ghee in a pan and fry all the flours over medium heat until aromatic. Keep it aside.
2. Melt the jaggery with water in another pan. Once melted, add the flour little by little while mixing to avoid lumps.
3. Add the nuts and seeds. Remove from fire.
4. Prepare the ladoo by greasing your hands with ghee.
5. Store in an airtight jar.
Since millets are rich in nutrients, you should add them to your diet without thinking twice. However, consult a nutritionist or your doctor to check for possible complications.