A finger millet is a type of millet that grows in the shape of fingers. It has been domesticated for over 7000 years and is one of the oldest cultivated crops in history. For this reason, finger millet flour has been a staple food in many cultures worldwide. The rich nutrition and health benefits make it so popular among vegetarians and vegans!
Finger Millet Nutrition
Finger millet is a gluten-free grain that has many health benefits. It’s high in protein and fibre, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians or those who want to reduce their meat intake.
Finger millet has 50% more iron than other grains like wheat or rice. This makes finger millet an ideal choice if a person suffers from anaemia.
Benefits of Finger Millet
Here are some important finger millet benefits that will convince people to add this to their diet.
- Finger millet is a good source of protein and fibre.
The protein content in finger millet flour is higher than wheat flour, so it can be used to make delicious desserts and baked goods. Finger millet also has a low glycemic index (GI). It doesn't spike blood sugar levels very quickly as other grains do. It helps reduce cravings for sugary treats and junk food!
- It is a good source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and folate.
Vitamin B1 is necessary for producing red blood cells and helps keep a person’s nervous system healthy. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) helps keep their skin and hair healthy and ensures they have enough energy to exercise. Vitamin B3 (niacin), also known as nicotinamide, regulates blood sugar levels. Vitamin B6 is needed for the formation of red blood cells. Folate plays a vital role in preventing congenital disabilities during pregnancy.
- It contains minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
Finger millet is a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. These minerals are essential for the human body to function properly. They help strengthen bones and teeth and support red blood cells in transporting oxygen throughout the body, which helps prevent fatigue during exercise!
Finger Millet Recipes
Some of the most popular finger millet recipes are:
Finger millet porridge (1 serving)
- 2 tablespoons ragi finger millet flour
- 3/4th cup water at room temperature
- 2-3 teaspoons palm jaggery
- 1/4 cup milk or coconut milk
- A pinch of salt
- Toasted almonds for garnish (optional)
- Mix the ragi flour with the jaggery (or sugar) and water in a saucepan.
- Stir continuously until the mixture thickens, bringing it to a gentle boil on low heat. Make sure the heat is kept to a minimum to avoid scorching.
- Make sure the mixture is thick enough to leave a trail behind. Stir in the milk with a pinch of salt until the mixture is lump-free and smooth.
- Garnish with toasted almonds and serve hot.
Finger millet dosa (1 serving)
- 1 cup finger millet
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1 cup semolina
- 1-inch ginger (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup curd/yoghurt
- 1 green chilli (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp coriander (finely chopped)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- A few curry leaves (chopped)
- 1 tsp cumin/jeera
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper (crushed)
- 3½ cup water
- Oil for roasting
- First, combine 1 cup of ragi flour, 1 cup of semolina, and 1/2 cup of rice flour in a large mixing bowl.
- Also, add 1/2 cup curd, 1 green chilli, 1-inch ginger, 2 tablespoons coriander, 1 onion, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt.
- To make a lump-free batter, add 1-2 cups of water and mix well.
- Allow the batter to rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Make a batter of flowing consistency by adding 1½ cups of water or as needed.
- The batter should now be carefully poured onto the hot tawa.
- Top with 1/2 or 1 teaspoon of oil.
- Once the dosa has roasted to a golden brown, flip it over and cook the other side.
- Lastly, fold the dosa and serve it with mint chutney.
Family of Finger Millet
The family of finger millet is millet, which includes sorghum and pearl millet. Millet in Hindi is also known as ragi, Kodo millet, and kulith.
Finger Millet vs Foxtail Millet
If one is wondering about finger millet vs millet foxtail, here are some key differences:
Foxtail millet is a cereal grain that's native to Asia, while finger millet is a cereal grain that's native to Africa. They look very similar, and both have been used as food in their respective regions for centuries.
Finger millets have higher protein content than foxtail millets (2 grams per 100 grams), which makes them more nutritious than their Asian counterparts. Additionally, they contain high levels of iron and calcium—two essential minerals for vegetarians who want to stay healthy!
Is Finger Millet Same as Ragi?
If anyone has asked this question several times, “Is finger millet the same as ragi?” Here's the answer:
Finger millet is a type of millet which is called ragi in India and is used in many Indian recipes. It can be seen in Kurmali Dal (a lentil soup), Kuzhambu (a lentil stew), and even desserts like Anar Kahani Rava Tukda (an easy dessert made with cooked rice).
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