Ragi / Finger Millet are one of the oldest known foods to mankind. Have anyone of you seen a millet plant? (I can hear you say I can google it). For others who want to visualize, here I go. They look like small mushy grass with a sponge like green seeds towards the end. They are kind of rigid and hard.The maids who worked at my grandparent’s place have extremely thick lustrous locks of hair. I would sit and awe at the look of their hair – shiny, pitch black and healthy. Watching my expressionless face, my mom would announce her discovery that it’s because they eat organic grains straight from the field. I don’t whether that was the reason but I have seen those girls bring home stalks of millet, roast it in direct heat, once cooled they will pull out the grains just like snapping the curry leaves off their stem and eat it just like that. Even I try to eat that way whenever we visit the fields. They are highly nutritious, gluten free and so easy to digest.
Did you know that finger millet has?
- High content of iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium
- Gluten free and whole grain
- Has calcium content about 10 times more than rice or wheat
100 gms of finger millet has 344 grams of Calcium in comparison to rice (45 gms) and wheat (41grams). Also 100 grams of Ragi has close to 336 KCal of energy in them.
- Has some key essential amino acids like tryptophan, lysine, valine.
Have I not convinced you to buy a packet of finger millet flour yet?
If not then take a look at a dish I made with finger millet flour (ragi maavu) – Ragi idiyappam served with thengai paal (creamy coconut milk sweetened with coconut palm sugar and flavorful crushed cardamon. Wondering what’s this coconut palm sugar all about? Then you must read my post on coconut palm sugar here? Also try my savory version (ragi sevai).
Eating a bowl of steamy idiyappam with thengai paal is an art to me. I would carefully nestle the soft chewy idiyappam inside a bowl and gently pour the coconut milk along the edges, just enough to soak them, neither too less milk as it gets absorbed fast nor too much milk as it floats in excess. Just perfect to dip, chew and slurp! And the pleasure to drink the leftover cardamon scented coconut milk is like being invited to have dinner with God. Pure and heavenly!
- 4 cups finger millet
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-3 cups hot water
- Mix ragi flour with salt and sprinkle water little-by-little to form a soft dough. Pull out a little (about 1/2 cup) and place the dough inside the press and cover. Use the press as per manufacturer’s instruction. Run the press around a greased idly plates forming large circles. Steam cook them for 12-15 minutes. Once steam has settled, open and transfer to a fresh bowl. Set aside.
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar
- 3 cardamon pods crushed
- Mix them all together and let the sugar dissolve. Check for sweetness. Add more if needed. Just make it as per your requirement.
2. My ragi idiyappam with thengai paal can be eaten during gestational diabetes. You can also try my savory version (ragi sevai here).
3. Ideal breakfast/dinner food for those who are diabetic / pre diabetic.
4. You can chill it and serve it in small portions as dessert too. They are creamy, gritty and sweet.