Finger millet is a seeded annual cereal which belongs to the grass family, Poaceae. The height of a mature plant ranges from 30-150 cm in the cool, high-altitude regions of Africa and Asia, where it is grown for its seeds.  The seeds, which may be white, light brown, or dark brown, are consumed in a variety of forms including as unleavened bread made from milled flour. Various types of porridge and alcoholic beverages are also prepared from the seeds. In India  finger millet is commonly called by various names like ragi (in Kannada, Telugu and Hindi). Finger millet originated in Africa and has been cultivated for many thousands of years in Uganda and Ethiopia. In India, the crop was probably introduced 4000 years ago, and has been found in archeological excavations in the Harappan Civilization.



Top 7 Health Benefits of Finger Millet - Urban Platter

1.Excellent Source of Calcium – Calcium is one of the most important minerals for the human body. It helps form and maintain healthy teeth and bones. A proper level of calcium in the body over a lifetime can help prevent osteoporosis. The necessary amount required for the body is provided by Ragi which is the richest source of calcium (344 mg).

2.Get Rid of Anemia – Anemia affects more than 1.6 billion people worldwide, and iron deficiency is the leading cause of the condition. Finger millet sprouts are rich in readily-absorbed iron that helps in blood formation and treatment of anemia. The Ragi based foods are highly suited for expectant mothers and elderly due to high calcium and iron content.

3.Stress reliever – Finger millet consumption helps in relaxing body naturally. It is beneficial in conditions of anxiety, depression and insomnia.

4.Low glycemic Index – Finger millet’s phytochemicals help in slowing digestion process. This helps in controlling blood sugar level in condition of diabetes. It has been found that finger millet based diet helps diabetic as it contains high fiber than rice and white.

5.A great grain for sensitive individuals – It is gluten free and non- allergenic. If you suffer with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, then you could safely use millet as an alternative to wheat.

6.Prevents Hair Fall – If you want to get rid of hair fall consider millets as your ultimate remedy. It will boost hair growth and make your hair look thick, long and strong. These grains promote blood circulation on your scalp and make your hair grow faster than you thought.

7.Helps to lose weight – Finger millet has a high fiber and protein content which makes you feel full for longer.


Recipes

Ragi Ladoos

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Ragi flour / Finger millet flour (roasted or sprouted & roasted)
  • 1 cup of white sesame seeds
  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup of peanuts
  • 2.5 cups + 3 to 4 tbsps. of powdered or grated Jaggery (make sure you use one that doesn’t have the taste of salt in it)
  • 1 tbsp. of ghee for jaggery syrup (can increase another spoon if desired)
  • 2 tbsps. ghee for smearing on to the palms while rolling the balls
  • 6 to 8 green cardamoms powdered finely

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp. Ghee and fry the flour till you get a nice aroma of ragi. …
  2. Dry roast peanuts, cool, remove the skin.
  3. Dry roast sesame seeds, cool. …
  4. Dry roast desiccated coconut lightly. …
  5. Powder together peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut and cardamoms. …
  6. Grate or powder jaggery or sugar.

Top 7 Health Benefits of Finger Millet - Urban Platter

Ragi dosa

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raagi flour
  • 1 cup unroasted rava / semolina
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ½ cup maida / all purpose flour
  • 1 cup curd
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 medium finely chopped onion
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped corriander leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • water as required

Method

  1. Finely chop onion, coriander leaves, chilli, curry leaves and keep it aside.
  2. In a large vessel take raagi flour, semolina, rice flour, all purpose plain flour and cumin seeds, salt.
  3. Mix the ingredients with curd and a cup of water.
  4. There should not be any lumps in the dosa batter.
  5. Add finely chopped onion, coriander leaves and chilli to the batter and mix it well.
  6. The dosa batter consistency should be watery or otherwise the dosa would not be crispy.
  7. Keep aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. Heat dosa tava and spread 1 or 2 tsp oil. skip this step if you are using non stick pan.
  9. Start pouring the dosa batter from the corner and then fill at the centre.
  10. Spread some oil on top dosa.
  11. The base should be golden in colour and dosa should be crisp. no need to flip over on the other side as dosa is thin.
  12. Ragi dosa is ready and serve it immediately. serve the raagi dosa hot with coconut chutney.

Top 7 Health Benefits of Finger Millet - Urban Platter

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