Since I’ve been on a bit of a health streak lately, I’ve been introduced to millets. It’s not like I didn’t know what they were earlier, but it’s only now that I’m discovering how easy it is to use and adapt to them.
What are millets?
Millets are essentially small grains from the grass family. Coarse millet grains have been eaten around the world for thousands of years.
There are a range of millets available today, many known by their local names. Examples include finger millet (ragi or nachni), little millet (sama), foxtail millet (kangni), sorghum millet (jowar), proso millet and kodo millet. Just because they are all called millets doesn’t mean they are all the same. They differ in nutrient profile and texture.
For instance, I found proso millet more brown rice-like than little millet which made it easier for me to adapt to it and have with my daily dal. On the other hand, a friend loves little millet.
Either way, it’s good to try different millets to see what works best for you, and also to get your body a range of nutrients.
I usually cook millets like I cook my brown rice- in my Mealthy Multipot. I use the same proportion of water like I do for brown rice and as of now, I prefer cooking it in the pot-in-pot method since I generally cook less quantities and because it makes washing up easier (yes I know, lazy me!).
Millets expand a lot on cooking, almost doubling in volume. So I generally cook only 1/3 cup at a time. Sometimes when I go extra, I wonder what to do with the leftover millet. Here is an idea: millet poha!
RECIPE: Millet poha
Leftover cooked millet 1 cup
Mustard seeds ½ tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
4-5 curry leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
½ cup of mixed veggies finely chopped (carrots, French beans, capsicum, cauliflower, peas)
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Half a lemon
A few coriander leaves
1 tbsp oil of your choice
In a pan, heat oil.
When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
Then add cumin seeds, followed by curry leaves and onions. Saute the onions for a minute or two. (we don’t need to brown them).
Add chopped vegetables and very little turmeric powder, and mix well.
Then add ¼ cup of water, cover the pan and let the veggies cook.
Once they are done, uncover the pan and add the cooked millets, along with salt and rest of the turmeric powder. Mix well.
Cook again for a minute or two, ensuring that the millet is evenly mixed with the vegetables.
Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Add lemon juice and sprinkle coriander leaves.
Serve hot with green coriander chutney or coconut chutney.