These days, everyone’s raving about ragi. The humble super millet, packed with fibre and calcium, is extremely beneficial due to its umpteen health benefits.
Known as finger millet in English, ragulu in Telugu, nachani in Marathi and Gujarati and marwa in Bengali, this super food has long been a traditional baby food. But adults have also woken up its many health benefits.
It can help protect your heart health, improve the digestive system, lower the risk of cancer, boost respiratory health, detoxify the body, optimise the immune system, increase energy levels, and improve muscle and nerve health. Ragi also leads to stronger bones, stronger teeth and helps to prevent iron deficiency.
The millet is filling and wholesome and recommended for all age groups. Add it to a meal every day to increase fibre in your diet. To ensure that the calcium and iron are easily absorbed, sprout ragi at home or buy the easily available flour made from sprouted ragi. The millet is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes, including idlis, dosas, rotis, porridge, pancakes, cookies and even bread.
Serving and nutritional details
Single serving: 1 cup cooked ragi, 174 gm
Calories: 207 calories
Carbohydrate: 41.2 gm
Dietary fibre: 2.3 gm
Fat: 1.7 gm
Protein: 6 gm
Ragi also contains between 10 and 20 percent of the USDA’s recommended daily value of thiamin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese.
Try these wholesome ragi recipes to add the benefits of this millet to your diet.
Recipe 1: Sprouted Ragi Dosa
To add to batter: Chopped onion ½ cup, green chillies 2, curry leaves 2 sprigs, cumin seeds 1 tsp, coriander leaves 1/2 cup
Sprouting ragi: Wash and clean the ragi grains in water. Soak the grain overnight/8 hours in a wide mouthed vessel. Colder climates may need some more soaking time. After 8 hours of soaking, remove excess water. Close the vessel using a thin wet cotton cloth. Leave it to rest for 10-12 hours or up to 24 hrs. Within 10-12 hours, you will notice sprouts appearing. The length of the sprouts will depend on the climate in your region.
Roughly 6 hours before you want to make the batter, soak 2 cups of raw rice and 3/4 cup of urad dal separately. After 6 hrs, drain excess water. When your ragi sprouts are also ready, it’s time to make the batter.
Making the batter: Grind the urad dal to a smooth paste. Then grind raw rice and sprouted ragi and mix with ground urad dal. Add salt. Mix well using your hand (this aids in fermentation). Leave undisturbed overnight. Fermentation causes the batter to rise. Ensure that you choose a vessel that has some space to allow the batter to rise. After 8-10 hours, the batter would have risen and is ready to be used.
Lay a griddle on the pan and run some oil over it. Pour some batter on it in a consistency of your liking and add the toppings. Flip when the underside is crispy. Serve hot with chutney and sambar.
1 dosa: 25g; 73 calories, 2.5 g fibre, 2.7 g protein, 0.6 g fat, 14.4 g carbohydrates
Recipe 2: Ragi Biscuits
Ingredients: Ragi flour 1/2 cup, wheat flour 1/2 cup, powdered organic jaggery 1/2 cup, cold butter 100 grams/1/2 cup, baking powder 1 tsp, vanilla essence 1/2 tsp, milk 2 tbsp to knead the dough
Method: Grease a cookie tray with butter and keep it ready. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C for 15 minutes.
Roast ragi flour on low flame until you get a nice smell of roasted ragi. Leave it to cool. Sieve together ragi flour, wheat flour and baking powder. Cut butter into small pieces and add to the sieved flour. Mix well with your fingers until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add powdered jaggery and mix well.
Add needed milk little at a time and make a smooth dough. Refrigerate the dough for 15-20 minutes.
Dust wheat flour and roll out the dough. The rolled out dough should not be too thin or too thick. Using a lid or cookie cutter, cut desired shapes. Place biscuits on a greased tray and bake at 180 degree C for 15-20 minutes or until the biscuits start browning slightly. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
3 biscuits: 113 calories, fat 4 gm, protein 2 gm, fibre 3 gm