And its time we take pride in cooking these ancient mostly forgotten miracle grains…Shall we?!
Now lets get on to the FAQ’s first:
What are Millets?
Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains. Millets are known as “Small Grains” or “Siru Thaaniyangal” in Tamil.Millets are one of the oldest foods known to humans and possibly the first cereal grain to be used for domestic purposes.Millets are also unique due to their short growing season. They can develop from planted seeds to mature, ready to harvest plants in as little as 65 days. This is important in heavily populated areas. When properly stored, whole millets will keep for two or more years.
Why to eat Millets?
- Millets are gluten free, rich in fiber and proteins.
- Their rapid growth and shorter growing seasons make millets ideal for emergency, late-planted, and double cropping situations.So mostly they are grown organic without any pesticides and chemicals.
- Millets are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid forming foods. Hence they are soothing and easy to digest.
- Compared to rice, especially polished rice, millets release lesser percentage of glucose and over a longer period of time. This lowers the risk of diabetes.
- Millets are particularly high in minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Finger millet (Ragi) is the richest in calcium content, about 10 times that of rice or wheat.
Where to buy Millets?
Try getting millets in organic stores or at any trusted supermarket so that its already cleaned else you will have to take the pain of cleaning to remove husk if any.
Cooking Methods for Millets (2 methods)
1.Pan Method – Refer stepwise
2.Pressure Cooker Method : For 1 cup of millet add the same 3 cups and pressure cook for 3 whistles in medium flame.
I would prefer the pan method for making plain rice variety and pressure cooker method for making upma / pongal.
How to cook millets
Recipe Category: Main | Recipe Cuisine: indian
Millet – 1 cup
Water – 3 cups*
* Water quantity slightly differs for thinai and kambu alone.Check my notes section.
The millet varieties can easily be substituted for rice and wheat. The recipes I have tried so far are:
1.Thinai Upma, Thinai Payasam
2.Kambu Koozh, Kambu Thayir Sadam, Kambu Sadam, Kambu Dosai(recipe coming up soon)
3.Varagu Pongal (recipe coming up soon)
4.Kuthirai Vali Idiyappam
6.Ragi Malt, Ragi Kozhukattai
There are many recipes you can try with millets like adai, roti, idli, dosa etc will sure post them one by one.
- Clean the millet first and remove any grits if any.Take the millet(I used varagu here), rinse it in water and set aside.Boil water. Here I have used only 1/4 cup of millet so adjusted water quantity accordingly.
- Add the rinsed millet, and let it cook covered till all the moisture is absorbed and the grain is cooked till soft.
- Once all the water has been absorbed by the millet, switch off and keep aside for 10mins by that resting time it will cook further.Then fluff it up with a laddle.
Serve hot with sambar and any veggie of your choice.
- For thinai alone soak for an hour and cook else it will take longer or you will need to add more water.Check thinai upma recipe.
- If you want pulav style grains then use 2 to 2 and 1/2 cups of water if you want it little more mushy then 3 cups water will be perfect.If you want to make variety rice then use 2 and 1/2 cups of water.
- And if you want more creamier porridge consistency then add 4 cups of water.
- Rinsing is optional.While washing take care as the grains are tiny it gets easily washed away with water, You can use a big wide strainer to wash/rinse the millets.
- Also you can even roast the millet for few mins to enhance the nutty flavour of the grain.
- Serve millets always hot / warm exceptional for kambu alone.
- The time required to cook depends on each millet variety.
- You can make any variety rice or khichdi with the millets just substitute millet for rice.
- In the varagu sadam pic above you see I used 2 and 1/2 cups of water to get it grain separated as I wanted to make lemon rice with it.
- As I made just 1/4 cup I used my small pan but if you are making 1 cup or more use a thick bottomed vessel to cook to avoid sticking at the bottom.