Following a proposal by India, the United Nations declared 2023 as the International Year of the Millet. These grains are a group of healthy cereal crops including pearl, foxtail, barnyard, kodo, finger, and sorghum which contain protein, dietary fibre, iron and calcium in high quantity. Millets were a staple in India before the Green Revolution. Rice and wheat became more accessible and people almost stopped making millets post this movement. However, things seem to be changing once again now.
Health experts have always talked about the health benefits of millet, and it is always a good idea to incorporate this cereal into your meals. Millets are a powerhouse of nutrients and also act as a good defence in the fight against diabetes. Rich in several B vitamins and numerous dietary minerals like manganese, millet recipes are easy to make at home.
One always associates this crop with boring recipes, however, different millets can be prepared in several different and delicious ways. You can cook them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here is a list of millet recipes that are easy to make at home.
7 delicious millets recipes that you need to introduce in your meals
Millets are easily available in the market, and making millets recipes does not involve a lot of steps as well. You can replace your consumption of rice with millets to ensure your carb intake is also in check. Not just the basic upma and the pulao, you can try out several new dishes with millets.
Sorghum Millet or Jowar
This gluten-free millet is rich in protein, iron, copper, potassium and phosphorus. Eating jowar helps in managing cholesterol and blood pressure level. It also aids digestion and is great for weight loss. You can make a tasty salad with jowar.
How to make: Soak jowar seeds overnight and boil them in the same water for 15 minutes. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and ginger to a pan with oil. Once cooked, add the vegetables of your choice to the pan. You can add zucchini, baby corn, and yellow and red bell peppers to the salad. Sprinkle salt and pepper and mix it all with the cooked jowar. Serve hot after garnishing it with coriander leaves.
Pearl Millet or Bajra
Bajra is power-packed with carbohydrates, essential amino acids, antioxidants, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, niacin, beta-carotene, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. These grains are good for the heart and work really well for constipation. There are several millets recipes that you can make with bajra, but our favourite is bajra potato pancakes.
How to make: Mash two large potatoes and add one cup of bajra flour and two tablespoon semolina with water in it. Mix the thick batter with coriander leaves, three green chillies, one chopped onion and salt. Pour a ladle full of the batter onto a hot pan to make the pancakes. Serve hot with green chutney.
Finger Millet or Ragi
One can make one of the most delicious millets recipes with the help of ragi. This cereal crop contains elemicin, tryptophan, cystine, methionine and amino acids which are considered very crucial to human health. Its daily consumption also prevents the production of cancer cells. You can incorporate this crop into your diet by making ragi cookies.
How to make: Mix equal amounts of ragi flour and whole wheat flour and roast it for 6-7 minutes. While this is happening, beat the butter and sugar until soft and creamy. In another bowl, mix the baking powder with the yoghurt and freshly ground cardamom. Cool the flour mix and add all the other ingredients to it. Form small balls of this dough and place each one on a greased cookie sheet. flatten them using a fork and bake them for 12 minutes at 180°C.
Buckwheat Millet or Kuttu
Buckwheat or Kuttu contains essential amino acids and is very rich in fibre, antioxidants, and magnesium. Its daily consumption may help in improving cardiovascular health and regulating blood sugar. It may also reduce the risk of colon cancer. You can eat kuttu by making buckwheat soba noodles.
How to make: Chop vegetables like shiitake mushrooms, carrot, garlic, ginger, napa cabbage, bell pepper, and green onions and keep them aside. Cook the buckwheat soba noodles in boiling water and drain it when al dante. Do not add salt to your water. Once done, keep it aside. Mix sesame oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and soy sauce in a bowl. In a pan, heat some oil and add all the vegetables. Stir fry it for a couple of minutes and add chopped ginger and garlic to it. Add the soba noodles and the sauce you prepared earlier. Toss all of it together for 1-2 minutes. Add a little salt and cook. Garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds and serve hot.
Foxtail Millet or Kakum
Foxtail millets are an absolutely great substitute for any rice recipe. Since it is a low glycaemic index food, it helps in lowering blood sugars and keeps the glycosylated haemoglobin in check. The tryptophan in kakum helps in weight loss as well. You can enjoy a delicious bowl of kakum lemon rice to ensure that you get all of its benefits.
How to make: Pressure cook a cup of kakum with 1-1/2 cups of water for a couple of whistles. Keep it aside. Take a heavy-bottomed pan and heat some oil in it. Add mustard seeds, urad dal and peanuts to the oil and roast it. Once crunchy and golden, add curry leaves, ginger, green chillies, and turmeric powder and stir for a few seconds. Add carrots and saute for about a minute. After this, add the cooked foxtail millet with some salt and give it a good stir. Add lemon juice and cover the pan to allow the rice to cook a little bit more. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with yoghurt.
Barnyard Millet or Sanwa
Sanwa looks quite similar to broken rice and is often consumed by locals during fasts. This cereal crop is very rich in iron, proteins and fibre which aid weight loss. It is also rich in calcium which helps in having stronger teeth and bones. Incorporate Sanwa into your diet by making barnyard millet fried rice.
How to make: This is one of the easiest and yummiest millets recipes that you can cook. Dry roast the barnyard millet and add water and salt to it. Wait till the millet soaks all the water and set it aside. In a pan, heat oil and add ginger, garlic and red chillies to it. Add onions and cook until pink. Throw in the carrots, red and yellow bell pepper and french beans and cook it for 4-5 minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well. Toss in the cooked barnyard millet and cook well. Garnish with chopped spring onions and serve hot.
Kodu millet or Kodon
This millet crop is a drought-tolerant annual plant cultivated extensively in India, Nepal, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and West Africa. One can make several scrumptious millets recipes with Kodon. It is a great substitute for rice and wheat and is very rich in protein, fibre, carbohydrates, and good fats. It also has a remarkable presence of calcium, iron, polyphenols and various other nutrients. Eating Kodu millet is very beneficial for your overall health and you can enjoy having it by preparing Kodon burgers at home.
How to make: Soak watermelon seeds and Kodu millet separately for about an hour. Grind the paste with coriander and mustard seeds. Mix cumin powder, chopped basil, parsley, spring onion leaves and salt into this mix. Make patties and cook them on a non-stick pan till brown on both sides. Set aside. Mix chopped tomato, onion, spring onion, coriander, olive oil, black pepper and salt in a different bowl. Prepare hummus by boiling chickpeas and mashing them into a fine paste and adding olive oil, coriander, chilli powder, lemon juice and salt to it. Toast some buns and add the homemade hummus over them. Place the patty with slices of tomato, onion and iceberg lettuce. Serve it with the salsa on the side.
Hero Image & Feature Image: Courtesy Evgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock