Express Recipes: ‘Bajra Raab’; the natural health drink

Traditionally, raab was often given to growing children and also pregnant and nursing women for its nutritional values like high fibre, high protein and minerals like iron, phosphorous and magnesium.

Written by Ashima Goyal Siraj | Bucharest | Updated: May 9, 2018 9:01:00 am
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Bajra raab is the original health drink — nutritious and very easy to digest. While health drinks and mixes have become a fad now, our elders were making wholesome drinks from local crops much before all the craze started, like this bajra raab. Raab is a very dilute drink made by cooking bajra (pearl millet) in ghee and mixing it with spices like ginger, ajwain and jaggery. Both ghee and bajra are very nourishing foods. Traditionally, raab was often given to growing children and also pregnant and nursing women for its nutritional values like high fibre, high protein and minerals like iron, phosphorous and magnesium. Until recently, bajra was neglected as a villager’s grain. But with recent increase in gluten sensitivities, a lot of millets have found their way into stores and kitchens.

Bajra is one of the most popular millets which is traditional to Rajasthan and Gujarat. Bajre ki roti is a healthy alternative to the regular wheat chapati. You can also mix bajra with whole wheat flour to make a healthier flour mix for regular chapati or a methi bajra puri. Whole bajra seeds can be used in place of rice to make delicious khichdi. India is home to many different kinds of millets. It is disheartening to see that millet crops like bajra, jowar, ragi that used to be our staple food are now only grown in small quantities for the expensive “health food” market. Only by increasing the use of these grains can we provide enough encouragement and means for farmers to go back to traditional crops and also increase their accessibility for all.

Ingredients: 

1 tbsp – Ghee

1 tsp – Ajwain seeds (carom seeds)

6 tbsp – Bajra flour (pearl millet flour)

2 tbsp – Jaggery powder (or grated)

2 tsp – Dry ginger powder

4 cups – Water

Salt to taste

Method: 

* On medium-low flame, heat ghee in a pot.

* Once the ghee is hot, add ajwain seeds.

* Next add the bajra flour and dry roast for 2-3 mins till you can start to smell the aroma of roasted bajra.

* In a separate pot, heat water along with jaggery till the jaggery completely dissolves.

* Add salt, ginger powder and the jaggery water to roasted bajra. Be careful while adding water as it might sputter.

* Mix well to ensure that there are no lumps.

* Bring to a boil with continuous stirring and then let it simmer for 5 minutes.

* Empty into glasses and serve hot.

After working for six years as an engineer, I studied social policy and am now a full-time volunteer, serving children. Children are my first love. My other 'first love' is Food.  Food is story-telling, its conversation, and it’s also service. Food nourishes our body, mind, and soul. Eating well doesn’t require fancy cooking, but it does require mindfulness and practice. Anybody can cook and everybody should cook! I blog about my adventures in the kitchen at My Weekend Kitchen.

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