India is a significant Millet producer due to its location as a major Millet-growing region in the world. The small-sized Millets known as Finger Millets need a larger area of land in order to be successfully cultivated. Due to its high nutrient density, Finger Millet is often recommended as a special dietary supplement in contrast to the other major cereals such as barley, rye, etc. Its main components include said minerals, fibre, and amino acids. Ragi or Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana), is a staple food for many people in rural areas across India. Ragi's higher calcium content, along with its antioxidant and phytochemical content, makes it the healthiest cereal option. For diabetics, Finger Millet grain's high total dietary fibre content makes it a great alternative to other cereal grains. Patients diagnosed with cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and other forms of mental illness also benefit from it.

Ragi is a powerful and flexible grain that can be prepared in a variety of ways to create a dietary supplement that is appetizing in terms of appearance, taste, flavour, and consistency. In spite of its many positive effects, it is largely confined to the regions where it is produced. There is a significant market for transforming Finger Millet into a variety of health foods for widespread consumption in the country. Finger Millet is the richest source of calcium (344 mg) and magnesium (408 mg) than other Millets.

Delicious Ragi Recipes:

1. Ragi Dosa:

Masala Dosa is a staple in every South Indian household, but what if it could be made healthier? To make a Ragi Masala Dosa, simply incorporate Ragi flour into the regular Dosa batter. If you pair it with some potato curry, you'll have a delicious and a nutritious morning meal.

To prepare a delicious Ragi Onion Masala Dosa, you will need: The ingredients are enough to make 2 meals. It takes about 35 minutes to make a batch of Ragi Masala Dosa. All of the following items are prerequisites for cooking:


How to prepare Ragi Onion Masala Dosa:

2. Ragi Idli:

Gather the following prior to making these healthy, delicious, and soft Idlis. The following list of ingredients will make enough Idlis for three to four people, and the total cooking time will be about 30 minutes.


How to prepare Ragi Idli

3. Ragi Sweet Halwa:

Those with a sweet tooth may find that reducing sugar intake is one of the most difficult aspects of weight loss. Ragi Halwa, on the other hand, is a tasty and healthy dessert that can satisfy your sweet craving when you need it.


How to prepare Ragi Halwa

4. Ragi Chapatti (Roti):

Even though the gluten content is low in the proposed blend (ratio of 7:3, wheat: Finger Millet), the ability to make delicious Chapatti remains unaffected. More so, the Chapatti takes on a slightly darker hue. Chapattis made with fortified Finger Millet not only taste better, but also help diabetics maintain stable blood sugar levels. Fiber's slow digestion and bulky texture help us feel full despite fewer calories, which may help us control our calorie intake. In addition, the fibre in Finger Millet can help those who struggle with constipation.

5.Ragi Papad:

In Southern India, Papad is a traditional food. Ingredients like black gram, rice, and spices are combined with the Finger Millet flour (15-20%). Adding Finger Millet flour (upto 60%) is possible and practiced in Karnataka. To make Ragi Papad, Finger Millet flour is first cooked in water until it becomes gelatinized. The dough is rolled out, cut into shapes, and then dried until the moisture content is just right, somewhere around 7%. Since the starch from Finger Millet grains is not processed to remove the pericarp, the Papads take on a slightly darker hue. After being cooked in oil, Papad's dark colour fades and attains a lighter shade.

6. Noodles:

The growing demand for noodles in India and elsewhere can be attributed to the shift in eating preferences among children and teenagers. In recent years, there has been an uptick in the demand for Millet noodles, especially those made from Finger Millet, as more people have learned about the health benefits of this alternative grain. Drying turns noodles into a hard and brittle pasta product, which is why they are also known as “convenience food”. These noodles can be prepared in a matter of minutes, making them a very practical option. Noodles made from a variety of different blends are made, including those made entirely from Finger Millet, those made from a mixture of Finger Millet and wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio, and those made from a mixture of Finger Millet, wheat flour, and soy flour at a 5:4:1 ratio.

If you're making noodles out of Millet exclusively, you'll need to treat the Millet flour with TLC (Total Lipid Cholesterol) beforehand so that it can be extruded easily and retains a smooth texture while drying and cooking. The presence of wheat gluten has an added advantage that not only aids in easy extrusion but also gives the noodles a smooth and fissure-free texture, so wheat flour is always an important part of the blend when making noodles. Noodles can be prepared in a wide variety of blends, depending on the nutritional value and availability of the ingredients.

Millet grains were found to have similar health benefits and nutritional value to other popular cereals. Several different methods of processing were found to enhance the nutritional qualities of Millets. Millet grain consumption is still predominantly a rural phenomenon. This is because no cutting-edge Millet processing methods are currently in use. Parts of Eastern and Central Africa and India rely heavily on Finger Millet as a staple crop. With their high concentration of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants, Millets have a significant impact on human nutrition. Technology advancements in processing and value addition have enabled the production of processed and prepared value-added products that appeal to consumers in both rural and urban settings.

(Content shared by Shelly Kaushik, YP (Content Writer), PMFME PMU, NIFTEM KUNDLI)