Updated: August 10, 2020 10:01:16 am
“Because I am nearing 40, I am supposed to have pre-menopausal issues,” said one of my dear friends.
“You see, 40 per cent of the men are bald and because with so much stress these days, it is natural to have hair fall,” declared an interior designer guy who registered for my workshop last month.
When I do my one-on-one theory sessions on cooking and understanding millets, I witness each one has their own way of traversing the millets journey. With one-on-one sessions, my participants open up and feel comfortable in sharing their health issues and life in general with me. And the common string that invisibly connects them all is how easily they have accepted lifestyle disorders. As if they are bound to happen to each one of us. And this leaves me concerned.
Trust me, it is not normal to have blood pressure, diabetes, migraine, joint pains and many other such health issues in every other person these days. Ever wondered why our dadi-nani stories never had a king suffering from diabetes or a prince going for dialysis? I have never heard of a story where the queen has died of a heart attack. When was the first time you understood the term ‘chemotherapy’? And when was the last time you were shocked to learn someone was diagnosed with stomach cancer?
Can you witness the mental game that has happened over the years? Just because we lead sedentary lifestyles, we have no time to consider and reconsider our own food and our routine; just because life is busier than ever before, we are embracing the shortcomings of this lifestyle. Thankfully, some of us are waking up to this realisation.
The realisation that there is something wrong with the monotonous grains, the same wheat and rice we have been consuming over the years. And of course many other routine factors contributing to the problem.
As I always say, you don’t have to be gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive to start with your millets journey. Millets are for everyone and the sooner you bring them in your menu, the faster you witness positive changes. Of course, there is a way to choose your millets and understand the right way to cook with them. Something that I detail out in each of my sessions with my participants. But that shouldn’t stop you from bringing them in your kitchen. You can always reach out to me on my Instagram handle for any guidance. I will be happy to answer you.
To begin with, here is a very simple browntop millet porridge recipe. In my house, it is preferred over the regular rice khichdi any day. Yesterday, I added some cluster beans and steamed pumpkin to it. And paired it up with a simple Sindhi style karela (bittergourd) sabzi. Read more for the step-by-step recipe and do try making this easy delight to start with the very first step of your millets journey with me.
Loads of love and health to everyone.
Browntop Millet Porridge
- ½ cup browntop millet (soaked overnight)
- ½ cup moong dal (yellow lentil soaked overnight)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tomato finely chopped
- ½ cup steamed pumpkin
- ½ cup chopped cluster beans
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- ¼ tsp methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
- ¼ tsp asafoetida (heeng)
- ½ tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cow ghee
- 3 cups water
- Rock salt to taste
- Measure millet and lentil and wash and soak them separately for 6-8 hours or overnight. Please note soaking helps to remove phylates, oxalates and goitrogens from the grains.
- In a deep pan, add cow ghee and allow it to warm up. Add asafoetida, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and as they splutter, add chopped onion. Saute until they are soft and translucent.
- Add chopped tomatoes, steamed pumpkin chunks, chopped cluster beans followed by rock salt and turmeric. Cook them covered until soft.
- At this stage, you can add washed and drained browntop millet and moong dal followed by red chilli powder. Continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes till the spices mix with the grains.
- Add 3 cups of water, mix and cover it on low flame and cook till the grains are tender and mashable. It will take around 12-15 minutes. Once done, turn off the heat. Allow it rest for minimum 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, give your browntop millet khichdi a good stir. Check for salt and adjust spices as per your taste.
- Serve with a little more ghee on top. Pair it with any pickle, chutney, papadums or just plain yogurt.
I clubbed my khichdi with Sindhi style bitter gourd. It’s called ‘Karela Tamate Wara‘. For this dish, just peel bitter gourd, split open them and marinate with rock salt to allow the bitter juices be released. After a while, squeeze out extra water and shallow-fry or air-fry them. Cook these fried bitter gourds with tomatoes and spices until tender.
Health benefits of Browntop Millet
Compared with other grains, browntop millet has high nutritional value. It is rich in fibre, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and many other important minerals. Browntop millet eases constipation and helps in detoxifying the body. It helps to control high blood pressure and acts as a probiotic for respiratory disorders. It is also recommended for skin and arthritis problems. Highly recommended in cases of gastric ulcers and colon cancer.
(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups)
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