Food

Ragi the super food

Ragi has innumerable health benefits

Ragi has innumerable health benefits   | Photo Credit: K_K_Mustafah

Ragi is a finger millet, which is high in protein and minerals in comparison to all other cereals and millets. Also a source of protein, it is perfect for vegetarians.

Finger millets contains important amino acids—isoleucine, leucine, methionine and phenyl alanine which are not present in other starchy meals. It has the highest amount of calcium and potassium. Ragi is a great source of iron making it beneficial for individuals with low haemoglobin levels. It is good for the stomach and for good digestion.

To use, ragi is sorted and washed. It is spread out in the sunlight for 5 to 8 hours to dry. It is then powdered. Millets also contains B vitamins, especially niacin, B6 and folic acid. Some of the health benefits of ragi are attributed to its polyphenol and dietary fibre contents.

Ragi possesses anti diabetic and antioxidant and antimicrobial properties; it protects against tumours and atherosclerosis. Low in fat and gluten free, ragi is easy to digest. It is therefore, given as first food to babies in the form of ragi porridge.

Ragi porridge

Ingredients

Ragi – 1⁄2 cup

Jaggery – 2 to

3 tbsp

Ghee – 1⁄4 tsp

Or

Milk – 1⁄2 cup

Sugar – 1 tbsp

Method

Soak ragi in 2 to 3 cups of water for one hour. Drain. Adding fresh water, change the water 2 to 3 times. Grind with 2 to 3 spoons water into a pulp. In a pan, place the ragi and a little (2 to 3 spoons) water, adding either jaggery and ghee or milk and sugar. Stir to avoid base browning.

Ragi halwa

Ingredients

Ragi – 1 kg

Jaggery syrup – Made by

melting and filtering 1and

a half kg jaggery

Ghee – 1 and a half cups

Cashewnuts – 150 gms,

split, roasted in ghee

Cardamom – 6 to 8 pods,

deskinned and powdered

Method

Powder the ragi to a fine dust. Add water that rises 2 inches above the surface. Let it soak for 2 hours. Drain the water. Wash, changing the water two to three times. Sort to remove any mud or small stones.

Grind adding a little water at a time (1 cup water). Add 2 to 3 cups water. When the water is clear above, drain. The ragi is now a little hard.

Place the ragi in a pan, add 2 cups water and jaggery syrup. Cook, stirring constantly. Add a cupful of ghee, stirring. Add a half cup of ghee. When it gets thick and slides off the pan, and is a firm ball as you stir, remove from flame. Stir in the roasted cashewnuts. Pour out any excess ghee.

In a greased thali, transfer the ragi mixture and pat with the ladle to get an even surface. Leave aside to cool for 1 to 2 hours. Slice the dark brown halwa into desired shapes and serve.

Ragi ela ada

Ingredients

Ragi powder – 4 cups

Jaggery syrup made from

one and a half kg jaggery,

melted and filtered

Chopped coconut slivers

– 1 cup

Salt – 2 to 3 pinches

Ghee – 3 tbsp

Method

In a bowl, combine ragi flour and water to create a batter of idli batter consistency. Stir in the jaggery syrup, coconut slivers, salt and ghee. In a banana leaf (seasoned in heat/immersed in hot water so that the leaf turns 2 to 4 shades darker), spread the batter in a circle, wrap this carefully without leakage. Place in steamer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Ragi kozhukatta

Ingredients

Ragi flour – 3 cups

Salt – 1⁄2 tsp

Grated coconut

– 1 1⁄2 cups

For Mustard

seasoning

Coconut oil – 3 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1⁄2 tbsp.

Dried red chillies, broken

– 2 to 3

Curry leaves, separated

from the stalks – 2 stalks

Method

Mix ragi flour with salt and grated coconut with enough water to form a tight dough. Roll into lemon sized balls . Cook in the steamer for 30 minutes.

In a pan, heat oil and splutter the mustard seeds, saute the red chillies and fry the curry leaves, tip in the ragi kozhukattas and stir well. Serve hot.

Red chilli chutney for ragi kozhukkatta

Ingredients

Big onions – 2, minced

Kashmiri dried red

chillies – 3 to 4

Coconut oil – 2 tbsp

Salt – To taste

Curry leaves – 5 to 6 ,

torn

Tamarind paste – 1 tsp

Method

In a pan, heat the coconut oil. Saute the onions and Kashmiri red chillies in hot oil until a fragrance issues forth. Grind this to a paste with salt.

Sprinkle the curry leaves and stir in the tamarind paste, which is an optional ingredient. Serve with ragi kozhukattas.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 11:55:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/ragi-the-super-food/article7457070.ece

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