|South Indian Millets|
It's probably the same reason why millets that have been intrinsic to South Indian diets were pushed out of the spotlight. My maternal grandmother always looked around for healthy alternatives and I still remember her obsession with finger millet (Ragi). It's one of the few millets that has remained a mainstream food in many parts of interior Karnataka. From Ragi Rotis to Ragi Mudde, ragi is a mainstay in many homes in Karnataka and not a new health food obsession. Most modern dieticians concur that millets are a healthy substitute to rice and wheat largely due to their nutritional values and low glycaemic index that makes them more suitable for diabetics.
Barnyard Millet (Kuthiravali in Tamil / Odalu in Telugu / Oodhalu in Kannada / Kavadapullu in Malayalam / Sanwa in Hindi): It is a high source of iron and fibre. This widely available variety is suitable for upmas or Pongal.
Foxtail Millet (Tamil: Thinai / Telugu: Kirra / Malayalam: Thinna / Kannada: Navane/ Hindi: Kangni): Rich in minerals and vitamins and lends a lovely texture to upma or Pongal.
Finger Millet (Ragi in Kannada / Kelvaragu in Tamil / Ragulu in Telugu / Koovarugu in Malayalam/ Mundua in Hindi): A staple in many parts of Karnataka where it's common to find Ragi Dosas or Rotis. Ragi Porridge is a great substitute for oats or cereal at breakfast.
|Ragi Millet Flakes|
Little Millet (Samai in Tamil / Same in Kannada / Sama in Telugu and Chama in Malayalam/ Kutki in Hindi): Ideal for crispy dosas or even idlis, this millet is also loaded with iron and fibre.
Pearl Millet (Kannada: Sajje / Telugu: Sajjalu / Tamil: Kambu / Malayalam: Kambam / Bajra: Hindi): A high source of proteins, this millet works well for dosas.
|Pearl Millet Flakes|
Proso Millet (Tamil & Malayalam: Panivaragu / Kannada: Baragu / Telugu: Varigulu / Barri: Hindi): A great substitute for rice in a risotto or a traditional Bisi Bele Bath, you could also cook this millet along with your rice as a great health option with sambar or rasam.
Recipe: Millet Bisi Bele Bath Recipe
There's probably no better place to sample a Bisi Bele Bath than Mysuru. I was truly enamoured by this restaurant's healthy spin on the conventional Bisi Bele Bath
For the Bisi Bele Bath Masala Powder(You could also buy a ‘ready to use' powder):
1/4 kg coriander seeds (dhania)
50 gm dry red chilli (guntur – for the pungent flavour)
50 gm dry red chilli (byadagi – for colour)
10 gm cinnamon
10 gm clove
4 piece star anise
4 piece cardamom
50 gm poppy seeds
100 gm black gram dal (urad dal)
100 gm bengal gram dal (chana dal)
4 piece kapok buds (marathi moggu)
Method: Dry roast the above ingredients and powder it using a mixer. This can be stored for several days.
Bisi Bele Bath Recipe
1 cup toor dal
1 cup proso millet or foxtail millet
1 cup finely chopped vegetables (beans, carrot, kohlrabi, peas, tomato)
20 gm jaggery powder
Few sambar onions (shallots)
To taste dry coconut grated
To taste salt
1 tsp turmeric powder
6 cups water
3 Tbsp oil
1. Add all the above ingredients into a pressure cooker and cook for three whistles.
2. Allow the cooker to cool until it can be opened.
3. Open the cooker, add 5 tablespoons of the masala powder.
4. Mix and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Remove the Bisi Bele Bath into a serving bowl.
Seasoning Ingredients (to taste):
Dry Red Chillies
Seasoning Instructions: Heat oil in a seasoning pan, add the seasoning ingredients, roast until the mustard begins to sputter, pour the seasoning mixture onto the Bisi bele bath. It is now ready to be served hot.