The comeback of the traditional whole grains has added to the health boost of many. A lot of nutrition scientists and dieticians are supporting the consumption of whole grains like bajra, ragi, jowar and other millets. Ragi is one such super grain that has made a comeback. It is a millet that originated from Africa, but in India, it is traditionally grown and consumed in the south but is equally famous in north India. Some of its common names are nachni, finger millet, ragi, mandua etc. It is a grain brownish in colour and packed with many nutritious properties.
Following are a few benefits of Ragi:
- Good source of protein: 100 gm of Ragi contains 7.16 gm of the protein of high bioavailability. This makes it suitable for those who exercise regularly or those who tend to have hormonal imbalances as protein helps in hormone balancing and tissue repair.
- High in Calcium: A deficiency of calcium in the body leads to osteoporosis, brittle bones, poor teeth etc. Needless to say how important calcium is for our bones, teeth and blood clotting factor. It is a great source of calcium and can benefit pregnant women, growing children and old-aged people. Also, it is a good vegetarian source of an inactive form of vitamin D (Vit. D2) which when exposed to sunlight can help in the absorption of calcium and preventing Vitamin D deficiency disease.
- Good Source of Fibre: You will be surprised to know that 100 gm of Ragi contains 11 gm of fibre. It is rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre making it ideal for those who have constipation.
- Great for skin: Ragi promotes the growth of collagen which helps in maintaining skin tightness.
- Gluten Free: It is a great option for people with gluten intolerance and gluten ataxia as it is free from the gluten protein and since it is high in fibre it is a better alternative for rice specially for those who are suffering from celiac disease.
- Aids weight loss: Ragi is rich in the amino acid Tryptophan which acts as an appetite suppressant that helps in reducing and maintaining the weight.
- Versatile and delicious in its application: People have a misconception about healthy cereals of being monotonous and tasteless. But Ragi is not one of those, it is really versatile in its application. One can have chapati, ladoo, dosa, cookies, porridge etc. made with ragi or a multigrain one combined with other cereal.
Following are a few easy recipes that you can include in your daily routine:
- 1 cup Ragi Flour (Finger Millet)
- ¼ Cup Rice flour
- ¼ cup Sour curd
- Onion, green chilli, Coriander leaves
- Cooking oil
- 1 ½ cups water
- ¼ tsp mustard seeds, cumin seeds
- 5-7 curry leaves
- 1 tsp oil
- Take ragi flour, rice flour, chopped green chillies and curd in a large bowl.
- Add 1½ cups of water and salt. Mix well and let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
- Add chopped onion and coriander leaves to the batter and mix well.
- Heat oil in a small pan for tempering. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves till it starts to crackle.
- Heat dosa tawa/griddle over medium flame. Stir the batter before making each dosa. When tawa is medium-hot, smear oil on the surface, take ladle full batter and pour it over tawa (from the 2-3 inches height) from centre to the side in circular motion.
- Ease out dosa with a spatula and flip it over another side, cook for 30-40 seconds each side over medium flame and serve hot dosas with coconut chutney.
- 1 cup ragi flour
- 2 cups of water
- 2 powdered green cardamom
- 1 cup finely chopped cashews
- 2 cup milk
- Stevia for sweetness
- Take a medium sized bowl and mix the ragi flour with milk and water till it is lump free.
- Now, in a pan heat the mixture at medium flame, add stevia for sweetness as per requirement. Keep stirring it continuously until thick.
- Garnish with chopped almonds and serve hot.
Ragi, due to high nutritional values can be placed at the pinnacle of food grains!
So why compromise on taste while having healthy food? Enjoy this nutritious yet delicious grain and make your meals exciting.