Monday, March 23, 2015

An introduction to Millets



I have mentioned millets in Life Natural diet. Many of you might be thinking what it is. Some of you may already know that Finger millet (Ragi), Pearl millet (Bajra) & Sorghum millet (Jowar) belong to millet families. I also had the same idea until I read the articles titled ‘Aaraam Thinai’ written by Dr.G.Sivaraman in Ananda Vikatan magazine few years ago. I was introduced to minor millets like Kodo, Foxtail, Little, Barnyard & Proso. Finger (Ragi), Pearl (Bajra) & Sorghum (Jowar) are known as major millets. Millets were consumed as staple food until the childhood of our grandparents. Slowly the Green revolution (for more information on the true story and the politics involved in Green Revolution, read ‘Pasumai Puratchiyin Kadhai’ book) started and polished white rice took a prominent place in our daily menu. Finally people forgot the minor millets completely which used to be healthy, low cost, eco-friendly and locally available grains. 

I would like to mention an important point here. There are different types of millets grow across the world. One should find out what are the locally grown millets and consume those only.  Those who are new to millets, should definitely know about various types of millets and its health benefits. There are many sources already available in the internet where you will find complete information about millets. Here is one such link. https://millets.wordpress.com/. I would request you to read the FAQs section without fail to clear all kinds of doubts.

When my husband and I came to know about the benefits of millets through Vikatan magazine (sometime in 2012), initially, we started cooking with Kodo millet. Then we also tried Barnyard, Little millets, etc.. We could not completely give-up white rice those days. So millets were used only on alternate days. After attending the Life Natural camp in mid 2013, we decided to quit white rice as there was no reason to eat it. Finally millets took over the major place in our diet.

For the benefit of beginners, I have posted several recipes on millets. I have learnt most of these recipes from internet, millet cooking workshop conducted by Nalla Soru (now it is called Nalla Unavu) team and Jaya TV Arockia Unavu show. If anyone wants to try millets, I would suggest to start with variety rices and snacks. That way, you can easily get children’s attention towards millets. Once the family members are adapted to the taste of millets, you can make plain rice with all types of millets and traditional rice varieties. I would like to clarify one point here. Life Natural practice does not support using oil in cooking. But most of the recipes posted here include oil as an ingredient. It is only for the beginners to get used with millets cooking.


My humble request to the beginners is to buy only unpolished millets. I have seen certified branded millets’ packets sold in super markets these days. Those are polished and look white just like white rice. Eating such millets does not make any sense at all. Unfortunately, it is also sold in few organic stores. So you have to find the right shop in your locality and buy good millets.

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