Alysha of The Savory Notebook has started a new club called ‘Virtual Recipe Club’ where she has chosen to utilize this club to swap new recipes and share our favorites every month.This month’s (January) theme is – Whole Grain Breakfast Foods that contain whole grains like whole wheat flour,wheat bran,oat bran,wheat germ,millet,whole grain cornmeal,oats,buckwheat or barley.I have chosen to highlight the benefits of including Finger Millet or Ragi as a highly nutritious whole grain in our diets.
The Latin name of Ragi is Elusine Indica which is a traditional crop of S.India and is also known as the poor man’s millet due to its long sustenance.The labouring farmers in our villages sustain on this whole grain which is more superior to rice or wheat in nutritional terms, being rich in proteins,providing highest levels of calcium,antioxidants properties, phytochemicals and high levels of dietary fibre which makes it easily and slowly digestable(hence helps control blood glucose levels in diabetics very effectively).The bulkiness of the fiber and the slower digestion rate makes us feel fuller on fewer calories, and therefore may help prevent us from eating excess calories.I have read this interesting article on fat loss with this wonder grain here ,where the author shows how we can manage to prevent obesity by incorporating ragi in our diet.
I weaned my toddler to complementary foods to meet his nutritional requirements at 5+ months and one of the major health foods I gave him was ragi malt and research has proven that millet grains holds the key to a healthy, wholesome diet and has a better balance of vitamins and minerals than wheat, barley, oats, rice or rye.It has amazing amounts of iron, Vit B, complex protein, amino acids, phosphorus,magnesium and potassium and can be given to babies from age 5+ months as baby food like a porridge or combine it with milk/yogurt/veggies/fruits which is a complete nutritious baby meal.Ragi flour cooked with a little milk and sugar is a tasty and easily digestable breakfast cereal.
Our farmers and labourers,over the centuries have traditionally used ragi as an essential whole grain in their diet,especially in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh states and most of their nutrition comes from the traditional Ragi Mudde (Kannada) or Ragi Sankati (Telugu) which is eaten in the morning with a chilli, onions, sambar (lentil based stew)or meat curry and helps them sustain throughout the whole day.
Similar to chapatis or parantas which are wheat flour based,we can prepare ragi rotis from ragi flour.Ragi roti is a traditional Karnataka breakfast dish prepared from ragi flour,fresh grated coconut,onions and green chillis.I usually prepare these ragi rotis with different vegetable stuffings using carrots,peas,cauliflower,drumstick leaves(mulaga akkulu)and methi leaves for added flavour and nutrition.
A highly nutritious and healthy food,Ragi Roti,making its entry for this month's Wholesome Grain Breakfast Food theme of Alysha's Virtual Recipe Club.
1 cup ragi flour
2 finely chopped green chillies (you can use chilli pwd)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of asafoetida or hing (optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 tbsp grated fresh coconut (optional)
1 onion finely chopped
½ cup cooked fresh vegetables (optional)..I have used grated carrots and boiled mashed green peas
oil for frying
a plastic foil for spreading the ragi dough into a circular shaped roti
Mix all the ingredients, except oil.
Add just enough water to make a firm dough.
Divide big lemon sized balls.Take a plantain leaf or butter paper or a plastic foil and place a ball on it and flatten with your fingers spreading it as thin as possible into a circular shape of approx 6" in diameter.
Pre-heat the griddle spreading a tsp of oil and carefully transfer the rolled out ragi roti onto the griddle.
Cook for about a minute,flip and cook for another minute.Keep flipping till its well cooked on both sides.
Serve hot with chutney.I like to eat my ragi roti with curd and lime pickle.
The traditional Ragi Sankati of Rayalaseema fame has been blogged by Indira of Mahanandi in her blog and you can find an authentic recipe of famous traditional Kannada Raagi Mudde here.You can also check out Vkn's Ragi Dosa recipe at his Dhaba.I'd also like to share with you this article on the benefits and the importance of eating a healthy breakfast.
Food,Andhra Recipes,Millet,South Indian Cooking,Traditional Home Cooking