We are living in times when our social media addiction leads us to several fads, including health apps. A single tap is enough to get you thinking about your own diet patterns. However, the right path is defined differently by each platform.
A few years ago, terms like gluten-free diets, detox diets, the Keto diet, intermittent fasting, superfoods were totally unheard of. While in our teens, did we ever bother about the air quality, the pesticides in our food and the street food we binged on mindlessly? Now, however, while organic farmers’ markets, healthy eating programs, holistic diet plans are playing an important role in bringing awareness about the right foods, the sad reality is, the percentage of nutritionally deficient people has increased tremendously.
The key lies in following patterns that suit your body type. In all these years of conducting healthy cooking workshops, I have learnt that each one of us is unique in our own way. The numbers that define the ideal weight, height and even blood pressure shouldn’t be your parameter to follow a new trend.
In fact, going back to the roots and staying stable and mindful with your routine is something we need to ponder on. And if that works for your body, you are already following your own effective route.
And when I say going back to your roots, it simply means diversifying your menu, and adding more millets to your diet, along with wheat and rice. Please note that adding millets doesn’t necessarily mean a gluten-free diet! You don’t have to be a gluten intolerant to add more millets to your diet. The irony is, most of my participants come for the millets workshop only when they are diagnosed gluten-intolerant. I believe, be a millet lover and opt for a gluten-free diet by choice, and you will never have to worry. Go slow in the beginning and enjoy as you explore more recipes.
To begin with, you can try this simple Millets Khichdi (Porridge) with honey glazed beetroot. Read more for the step-by-step recipe and try it in your kitchen today.
A typical khichdi is made of lentils and rice, but here, I have replaced rice with millets. You can try different options with different millets as they are extremely healthy and khichdi is one of the perfect dishes. In this recipe, I have tried with a mix of Pearl Millet (Bajra), Sorghum (Jowar) and Finger Millet (Ragi) along with some Bengal Gram (Chana dal). You can always explore more with whatever millets suit your tastebuds.
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
¼ cup – Bajra (Pearl Millet)
¼ cup – Jowar (Sorghum Millet)
¼ cup – Ragi (Finger Millet)
½ cup – Chana Dal (Bengal Gram)
1 medium – Carrot finely chopped
10-12 – French beans finely chopped
1 – Medium Tomato finely chopped
2 tbsp – Cow Ghee
1 tsp – Finely chopped Ginger
1 tsp – Finely chopped Green chillies
¼ tsp – Turmeric
½ tsp – Dried thyme
2 – medium steamed Beetroots (cut in roundels)
2 tsp – Honey
2 tsp – Balsamic Vinegar
3.5 cups – Water to cook
Black Pepper Powder for seasoning
Rock salt to taste
*Thoroughly wash and soak the millets and lentils for a minimum 3-4 hours separately. Drain them.
*Now in a pressure cooker, heat cow ghee and add cumin seeds followed by chopped ginger and green chillies.
*Add millets and lentil, salt, turmeric and give it a nice mix. Add all chopped vegetables and mix again.
*Add adequate water. (The water content has to be three times of the total millets and lentils).
*Pressure cook for 1-2 whistles. Let the steam settle on its own.
*For honey-roasted beetroot: The beetroot flavour goes well with thyme. Take steamed beetroot, cut in roundels, add thyme and Balsamic vinegar, honey till it becomes a little sticky.
*Grill them in an open pan and garnish right before serving the Khichdi.
Please note: Khichdi tastes best when served hot.
Health benefits of Millets and Beetroot
Millets are nutri-cereals which are highly nutritious and are known to have a high nutrient content, which includes protein, essential fatty acids, dietary fibre, B-vitamins, minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium. They help in rendering health benefits like reduction in blood sugar level (diabetes), blood pressure regulation, thyroid, cardiovascular and celiac diseases.
Beetroot is packed with Vitamins A, C, K, beta-carotene, polyphenols, antioxidants and folate, all of which helps to boost blood count and immunity. Consumption of beetroot helps lower blood pressure. Beetroot has anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties that help flush out toxins from the body, which reflects in healthy and glowing skin.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups.