If you are consuming just wheat and rice as grains, know that you are already following an unbalanced diet plan. It’s time to go back to our roots, learn from our elders and incorporate more millets and seeds into our diet.
Interestingly, my healthy cooking workshops give me the opportunity to experiment more with millets. And before any menu is curated, my countless attempts assure that it turns up on the platter, just right. Here’s an attempt at Millet Sushi. It’s a vegetarian Sushi, prepared with Barnyard Millet.
¾ cup – Fermented barnyard millet and tapioca batter
1 cup – Colourful veggies strips of bell peppers, carrots and beetroot
2 tbsp – Grated coconut
2 tbsp – Black sesame seeds
2 tbsp – Jaggery syrup
2 tbsp – Mint chutney
1 tbsp – Oil for brushing
* Soak 1 cup barnyard millet (Samak) and ½ cup tapioca pearls (sabudana) for 3-4 hours, and then grind it to a fine paste. Check for water consistency. Leave it at some warm place to ferment in 4-6 hours. Your batter is ready.
* Keep aside 2 tbsp jaggery sauce mixed with 2 tbsp mint dip (chutney).
* Keep aside 2 tbsp black sesame mixed with 2 tbsp freshly grated coconut.
* Add salt to the batter and mix well.
* Pour 1/3 cup of the prepared batter on a greased dhokla plate and tap well to spread evenly. Steam it in a steamer for 3 to 4 minutes or till done. Keep it aside.
* Repeat the same steps to make one more sheet.
* Cool slightly, loosen the edges and remove using a flat steel ladle. Keep it aside.
* Place a cling film on a clean, dry and flat surface, brush it with little oil and sprinkle half the black sesame-fresh grated coconut mixture evenly over it.
* Place one steamed sheet over it and spread half the jaggery sauce and mint chutney mixture evenly over it using a butter knife.
* Place colourful veggie strips over lapping each other on one side.
* Roll it very tightly, pressing each time while rolling. Make sure you do not roll the cling film while rolling. This process needs some practice but after 2-3 attempts you will be surprised with your results.
* Place the rolled sushi on a clean dry surface and cut it into 8 equal portions using a sharp knife. Serve immediately with pumpkin pineapple dip.
For Pumpkin Pineapple Dip
¾ cup – Pumpkin (peeled and diced)
½ cup – Pineapple (peeled and diced)
1tsp – Coriander leaves (chopped)
1 tsp – Lemon juice
¼ tsp – Turmeric powder
1 tsp – Red chili powder
1 tsp – Brown sugar
Rock Salt to taste
* In a heated pan, add pumpkin pieces and pineapple pieces with enough water to cover the contents.
* Add turmeric powder and rock salt and cook it till it becomes soft.
* Now coarsely liquidify, leaving some small bits of pumpkin and pineapple.
* Transfer it to the pan and add sugar till it dissolves. Add red chili and check for salt.
* Let it cool, add lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve chilled.
* Barnyard millet is a superior grain with good amounts of macronutrients and dietary fibre. It is an important grain, which possesses good cooking and sensory qualities. It is a good source of B-complex vitamins, good for diabetic patients and helps in weight loss.
* Gluten-free and low in sodium, tapioca is a rich source of calcium, and folate, and keeps you full.
* Rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants, pumpkin boosts immune system, protects eyesight, lowers risk of certain cancers and promotes heart and skin health.
* Pineapple improves immunity, is a great source of healthy carbs, lowers the risk of cancer, heal wounds, improves gut health, strengthens bones and gums, improves eye and skin health and helps in alleviating common cold too.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups.