Healthiest millet in India - Finger Millet ( Ragi )
In India, various millets are considered healthy due to their nutritional content. Among them, finger millet, also known as ragi or nachni, is often considered one of the healthiest. Finger millet is rich in calcium, iron, fiber, and other nutrients. It is also gluten-free, making it suitable for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Additionally, finger millet is known for its high antioxidant content, which may contribute to its health benefits. Overall, finger millet is popular for its nutritional value and is often used in traditional Indian dishes.
Benefits of Finger millet
Finger millet, also known as ragi or nachni, offers several health benefits:
Rich in Nutrients: Finger millet is a good source of calcium, iron, and other essential minerals. It also contains a significant amount of dietary fiber, making it beneficial for digestion and overall gut health.
High in Antioxidants: Finger millet is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols, which help in fighting oxidative stress and reducing the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Gluten-Free: It is naturally gluten-free, making it a suitable grain for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Low Glycemic Index: Finger millet has a lower glycemic index compared to rice and wheat, which means it can help in managing blood sugar levels and is suitable for diabetics when consumed in moderation.
Good for Bone Health: Its high calcium content is beneficial for maintaining bone health and preventing conditions like osteoporosis.
Aids in Weight Loss: Finger millet is relatively low in calories and fat but high in fiber, which can help in promoting a feeling of fullness and aiding weight loss when included as part of a balanced diet.
Improves Skin Health: The antioxidants and other nutrients in finger millet can contribute to better skin health, reducing the risk of skin disorders and promoting a healthy complexion.
Potential for Infant Nutrition: Finger millet is often used in infant and child nutrition due to its nutrient-rich profile, making it suitable for promoting healthy growth and development in young children.
Overall, finger millet is a nutritious grain with several health benefits and is a valuable addition to a balanced diet.
Best Recipes of finger millet ( Ragi )
Finger millet, also known as ragi or nachni, is a versatile grain that can be used in various recipes. Here are some popular finger millet (ragi) recipes:
Ragi Porridge (Ragi Kanji): This is a simple and nutritious breakfast dish. To make ragi porridge, roast ragi flour in a pan until it turns aromatic. Then, add water or milk and cook until it thickens, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Sweeten with jaggery or sugar and flavor with cardamom or cinnamon.
Ragi Dosa: Ragi dosa is a healthier alternative to traditional dosa. To make ragi dosa batter, soak ragi grains along with urad dal and fenugreek seeds for a few hours, then grind into a smooth batter. Ferment the batter overnight and use it to make dosas the next day.
Ragi Mudde: Ragi mudde is a traditional Karnataka dish made by cooking ragi flour with water to form a thick dough-like consistency. It is usually served with sambar or other spicy gravies.
Ragi Idli: Ragi idli is a nutritious variation of the popular South Indian breakfast dish. Prepare the idli batter using a combination of ragi flour, urad dal, and rice. Ferment the batter and steam it in idli moulds to make soft and healthy ragi idlis.
Ragi Ladoo: Ragi ladoo is a sweet treat made from ragi flour, jaggery, ghee, and nuts. Roast the ragi flour in ghee until it turns aromatic, then add powdered jaggery and nuts. Shape the mixture into small balls to make delicious ragi ladoos.
Ragi Upma: Ragi upma is a savory dish made from ragi flour, vegetables, and spices. To prepare ragi upma, roast ragi flour in a pan, then sauté onions, green chilies, and vegetables. Add water and ragi flour to the mixture and cook until it thickens, similar to making regular upma.
Ragi Roti: Ragi roti is a nutritious flatbread made from ragi flour. Mix ragi flour with water, salt, and any additional flavorings like chopped onions, green chilies, and coriander leaves to form a dough. Roll out the dough into flatbreads and cook on a hot griddle until done.
These are just a few examples of the many ways you can incorporate finger millet (ragi) into your diet. It's a versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, offering a range of health benefits.