A millet feast

Millets are now the rave in many parts of the world and especially in India. Quinoa is another popular grain that is becoming the health food of choice for many looking at alternative grains. Quinoa is still largely grown 1000s of miles away in Latin America and it does not encourage sustainability given the distances it travels to consumers. Farmers also lose their interest in indigenous crops and start growing what they see as cash crops.

India is one of the largest growers of millets. Traditionally many villagers in India used to have some kind of millet everyday. Today there is a shame around eating the simple but most nutritious grain and farmers have moved to farming more of hybrid and GMO varieties of rice and wheat. In an effort to revive the indigenous millets grown in Uttarakhand, we decided to try and bring these delicious grains to our friends. Most of whom wonder how on earth to use them.

Featured in the pictures are some easy recipes using Barnyard Millet {Jhangora as it is called in the Himalayas) and Finger Millet ie Mandva. These grains are nutritious, tasty and gluten free. They are more alkaline in nature and are packet with nutrients and fibre. Millets are high in protein and there are stories on how indigenous tribes who have moved away from these millets to white wheat and rice have developed rickets and other vitamin deficient diseases.

Mandva {Finger Millet} Rotis or Flat bread

Mandva flour - 1 tablespoon per roti/unleavened flat bread as shown in the picture.

1 Tablespoon of any one of the below flours for 5 tablespoons of Mandva

1. Normal wheat flour (if you are not looking at gluten free, but only at nutrition)

2. Flax seed powdered

3. Urad dal powdered

Method:

Mix the flour of choice from the list above with the Mandva/Finger millet flour and make a dough. Keep for 10 mins. Roll out gently into flat circles. If you find it is breaking up stop rolling further.

Cook on a hot griddle or pan as you would any unleavened bread or roti. A few minutes on each side till if is well cooked and fluffs up

Serve with dips or toppings like guacamole, mashed avocado, steamed broccoli etc. Some salsa like sauce is a good addition.

Barnyard Millet/Jhangora stir fry with vegetables

The below is just one recipe. But the millet is very versatile and can be substituted in almost all recipes that use pasta, potatoes, rice or quinoa as an addition. Like a caserole, stuffed peppers or an Indian upma.

1 cup of millet (Jhangora)

2 cups of water - You can reduce this a bit if you alike it al dente

Vegetables thinly cut - carrots, capsicum, beans or broccoli 1 cup in total

Onion - Sliced - 1/3 of a cup

Tomato - 1 small (optional)

Chillies - a few slices if you like

Herbs of your choice - Coriander or Basil works well.

Method:

Saute the onions till light brown and then add the vegetables and saute for a few mins. Pour the water and add salt to taste to the water. Bring the water to a boil and add the millet. Cover and keep on a small flame for around five minutes till the millet looks fluffy, opaque and cooked. Don't let it stick.

Serve hot with some tomato chutney

Enjoy the dishes and do buy the SaveAGram products and support the farmers.

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Image Credits:  Shop images alone - Sandeep Sebastin

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