Millet magic

This time, it's a tasty and nutritious dish made out of ragi

September 09, 2012 05:02 pm | Updated June 28, 2016 01:09 am IST - Chennai

Ragi displayed for sale at a retail outlet in Kochi, Kerala on Tuesday 2 August 2011. The country expects a record  food grain production this year as production of wheat and pulses output touched an all time high of 85.93 million tonnes and 18.09 million tonnes respectively, making the total production stand at 241.56 million tones. Coarse cereals output is also expected to be a record this year at 42.22 million tonnes as compared to 33.55 million tonnes produced last year, according to Union Agricultural Ministry.Photo:K_K_Mustafah.2/08/2011

Ragi displayed for sale at a retail outlet in Kochi, Kerala on Tuesday 2 August 2011. The country expects a record food grain production this year as production of wheat and pulses output touched an all time high of 85.93 million tonnes and 18.09 million tonnes respectively, making the total production stand at 241.56 million tones. Coarse cereals output is also expected to be a record this year at 42.22 million tonnes as compared to 33.55 million tonnes produced last year, according to Union Agricultural Ministry.Photo:K_K_Mustafah.2/08/2011

Ragi or finger millet is available in the form of grain, broken like semolina or powdered like flour. Ragi is rich in iron and calcium and, therefore, useful in preventing anaemia. It is low on calories and has high protein content. It is especially valuable as it contains the amino acid methionine, usually lacking in the diets of those who live on starchy staples such as polished rice. Due to its high nutritional value, ragi flour is recommended as a weaning food. It is also suitable for expectant mothers and the elderly. Since it does not contain gluten, it can be safely used to prepare interesting dishes for people with celiac disease.

Being an excellent source of calcium, it improves bone health. It aids weight loss, as it curbs appetite, takes longer to digest and gives a feeling of fullness. It reduces high glucose levels in the blood. Threonine, an amino acid, present in ragi, prevents the formation of fat in the liver and this, in turn, helps reduce cholesterol levels.

Now, for a recipe.

Ragi Lavash with Berry Chilli Dip

Ingredients

Ragi flour: 250 gm

Maize flour: 75 gm

Rice flour: 50 gm

Mashed potato: 50 gm

Salt: 5 gm

Castor sugar: 15 gm

Olive oil: 25 ml

Fresh thyme, chopped: 5 gm

Water: 100-120 ml (enough to make a hard dough)

For the dip

Chopped strawberries: 75 gm

Yoghurt: 300 gm

Olive oil: 5 ml

Minced garlic: 1 clove

Sugar: 10 gm

Salt to taste

Fresh red chillies (finely chopped): 15 gm

White balsamic vinegar: 5 ml

Method: Sieve the ragi flour, maize flour, rice flour and salt together. Add the chopped thyme, sugar and mashed potatoes. Gradually add water, kneading the mixture into a firm dough. Finally, add the olive oil. Gently knead the dough and let it rest for 20 minutes, covered with a moist cloth. Pre-heat the oven to 180*C. Roll out the dough into a thin sheet then cut it into triangular spears. Arrange these on a lightly greased or non-stick baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes (till they are crisp).

For the berry chilli dip

Drain the water from the yoghurt by putting it in a strainer and placing it on a bowl. Keep this in the refrigerator for 2 hours, till it reaches the consistency of cream cheese. Heat oil in a pan, add the minced garlic, and lightly sauté it. Then add the chopped red chillies followed by the strawberries. Sauté lightly; then add the sugar and salt. Cool this down and then gently mix it with the drained yoghurt.

Executive Chef

Taj Coromandel,

Chennai

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