Despite high nutritional value found in Foxtail Millet, Little Millet, Pearl Millet, Brown top millet, Kodo Millet, people who consume it on a regular basis opine that the dishes made out of these millets are tasteless. To an extent it is true that consuming the same kind of dishes prepared from these grains result in boredom and the tongue would eke for some tasty dishes, when compared to dishes made from such grains. It is an accepted fact that we yearn for dishes that are tasty.
ARE MILLETS UNTRUE ?
However, the fact that millets are tasteless is untrue. Our ancestors prepared a variety of dishes using Millets. They used to prepare various sweets and other dishes using Millets. We can also prepare a variety of dishes through millets in our Kitchen which are healthy at the same time tasty. The cause of modern diseases is due the imbalances in our diet and food practices. We should now wage a war against deadly diseases such as Diabetes and Cancer. The first measure is to ensure we take a balanced diet and rigorous changes in our diet. We should adopt the dietary practices followed by our ancestors. A Millet rich diet will ensure you get all the nutrients and ensure a disease free life.
We are now accustomed to unhealthy food style; we are of the assumption that food we consume is healthy, which is completely wrong. Whenever we feel sick or afflicted by some ailment, we wonder how did we fall sick, despite consuming home-cooked food? The reason is the food we eat lacks sufficient nutrients required for the body, resulting in gradual weakening of the body and resulting in various ailments. We rarely consume spinach, vegetable and fruits in our daily diet, which give us all the nutrients needed by the body and keep us fit and free from diseases. Mother Nature has given us various types of healthy supplements through fruits, vegetables, pulses and other healthy food which gives us the necessary proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and other nutrients needed by the body. If we do not consume healthy food comprising of Millets and eat rice 3 times a day we are certain to get diseases over a period of time.
A noted Food and Nutrient expert explained an incident which happened at his clinic in Mysuru. “Sometimes Diabetes patients come to me for treatment; i have given treatment to thousands of such patients, whose blood-sugar levels are under control now. After the treatment these patients come to me and ask me if we can consume “Normal Food”, i ask them that if the Millet rich diet i had prescribed them was “Abnormal”?. I counsel and advise them that the previous diet was “Abnormal” and that the Millets you are consuming now is healthier than the diet you were having it earlier.
They often ask me what you eat. I tell them that i have a piece of dry land in the outskirts of Mysuru near Heggadadevanakote, Bidarahalli village. I grow Ragi, Foxtail Millet, Little Millet, Kodo Millet, Pearl Millet and use the same in my Kitchen. Consuming Millets has improved my health and kept me fit even at this age. It is a wrong notion that we cannot prepare various delicacies using different kinds of Millets. I will explain the various dishes, delicacies that can be prepared using Millets. Siridhanya or Millets have to be to be soaked in water mandatorily. Since Millets are rich in Fiber. We can use or replace the existing energy drinks; food with the following dishes using Millets.
GANJI FROM MILLETS
Porridge (Ganji): Coffee, Tea and Milk have become our morning drink. However, these have very less history of less than a few hundred years. Our ancestors would begin their day by consuming Ganji (Porridge). Ganji was considered to be meal of the poor. Ganji has a special place in the food system, as it is nutritious. It is known as Porridge in western countries. It is also known by the name ‘Ambli’. Drinking Ganji will prevent frequent ‘cravings’ and will not make you hungry for a long period of time. It also keeps you fit. We need to substitute Ganji over Tea/Coffee taken in the morning. In addition, preparing Ganji is very simple and less tedious.
HOW TO PREPARE GANJI THROUGH MILLETS
Preparing Ganji is easier. On any single scale of Millets, mix 4 cups of water and boil it for 20 minutes. Later, add a little salt, spicy powder and sour ingredients, Ganji will be ready. You can also add buttermilk with the Ganji and consume it. If you add a flavour (oggarane) to Ganji you will get a different flavour. Roast Rave (Siridhanya rave) later soak it in water for one hour. For 1 measure of rave add 5 measures of water, boil the water and leave it. Once it is boiling, add Siridhanya Rave and leave it for some time. Add salt and once it is done add some flavor (oggarane). A flavour of jeera, dried chillies, pudina or even flavour of Dill Leaves (Sabbaske Soppu) you will get a solid Ganji. As suggested earlier to use Siridhanya (Millets) as a substitute for Coffee- Tea, we can also use Siridhanya as an alternative to Rice and Wheat. Present day children are averse to Rotti and Ragi Ball. We can prepare Pongal and Khichdi from Siridhanya or even Upma using Siridhanya.
PONGAL AND KHICHDI THROUGH MILLETS
Take 1 measure of Siridhanya rice roast it for some time and after it gets cooled, soak it in water for an hour. Later fry ¾ paavu (a measure in Kannada), it is advisable to use Moong Dal (Hesaru Bele) with the skin as it gives good health and tastier. When you add flavour (Oggarane) to it your Pongal is ready. For the Oggarane (Flavour) you can use mustard, finely grounded pepper powder, cumin, green chillies.
Similarly, using the same ingredients Khichdi can also be prepared. Fry Moong Dal and Siridhanya rice separately; use beans, carrot, Chayote (Seeme badanekayi) cut in small pieces and fried. Then add flavour. Along with boiled pulses and rice, vegetables boil it again and consume it with ghee.