Most of us Indians might not be familiar with the term finger millet, but ragi or nachni definitely rings a bell. This cereal is one of the healthiest amongst the bunch. Ragi grains are so tiny that it is impossible to polish them, thus retaining all the nutrients that this tiny brown grain is born with! We tell you 6 simple reasons why ragi rules the roost when it comes to healthy food ingredients!
Calcium rich – Ragi is one of the cereals that are loaded with calcium – almost 200 times more than rice. Start your day with a deliciously healthy ragi porridge using three simple ingredients - ragi flour, milk and jaggery to reap maximum benefits out of all three.
Gluten free – One of the best ingredients for a gluten free diet is ragi. Fibre, calcium, vitamins, amino acids and essential carbs and most importantly proteins are all present in good quantities in this cereal. Making it a very intelligent choice for those who are lactose intolerant or are opting to live a gluten free way of life.
Better digestion – Nachni is high in fibre, which automatically makes it an ingredient that promotes effective bowel movement and digestion. High dietary fibre content makes you feel full for a longer period of time and hence prevents overeating. When you have tummy woes – go in for some nutritious nachni!
Great for new mothers and babies – Ragi is loaded with all types of vitamins and minerals that does good to a new born baby and mother. Make a batch of some nachni laddoos by roasting some coarsely ground nachi flour in ghee, add in some gum raisin, desiccated coconut and your choice of dried fruit, and shape into laddoos and store. These are great for pregnant women and lactating mothers. Ragi porridge is great for the babies too.
Diet friendly – The fat content in this cereal is much less when compared to other cereals. It contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which controls hunger and reduces appetite. Idlis which are already considered healthy and diet friendly food, becomes way healthier when you use ragi instead of rice. Also they get that earthy rustic flavour and look because of this wholesome ingredient. Your weight loss diet just gets more effective with one small switch!
Versatile uses – Ragi is an ingredients that is not just versatile in its nutritive value, but also in its uses. You can use this in recipes ranging from breakfast right through to dessert after dinner!
Ragi dosa – Nothing beats a south Indian breakfast. This ragi dosa tops that list. Serve alongside some urad dal chutney and start your day with true food bliss.
Ragi cutlets – These cutlets are made with sprouted ragi, oats and potatoes and served alongside a fancy salad.
If you aren’t already convinced about using this healthy cereal in your diet, try making one of the recipes – the nutty after taste and the earthy flavour will definitely have you hooked.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.