Holistic Recipes - The pearl among millets
by Naini Setalvad
With the arrival of winter,
one grain comes to the
foreground: bajra. Called
pearl millet in English, it
is mostly grown in Africa
and the Indian subcontinent. India is the
largest producer of bajra. It is grown mostly
in the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat,
and Madhya Pradesh. While it is called bajri
in Rajasthani, Gujarati, and Marathi it is
called sajje in Kannada; kambu in Tamil, sajjalu in Telugu and bajra in Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi.
One can make a roti out of it or a kichadi as well.
Ideal grain for winter
This delectable grain creates a feeling of warmth when you eat it. A piping hot bajra roti, smeared with cows ghee, accompanied with pungent garlic chutney, steaming brinjal bharta, and onions on the side, is food for the gods, especially when the temperature has dropped.
The grain is a staple food for farmers, who may partake of it with nothing more than a lump of jaggery or a raw onion as accompaniment. Its popularity is because bajra provides energy for a long time. Being extremely rich in fibre, even a small amount keeps one full longer. The fibre also acts as a valuable source of roughage.
For those looking for gluten-free food, bajra is an extremely valuable option. The fibre in bajra makes it also a diabetes-friendly grain. Bajra is also rich in other nutrients such as B-complex vitamins as well as some amount of iron. Thus, it is a nutrient-dense grain. The presence of niacin in bajra lowers cholesterol, and thus protects the heart. The iron is great for anaemia as well.
Simply put, bajra is a delicious, gluten-free, and nutrient-rich grain. So store it up this winter and bring it out every time the temperature commands you to warm yourself inside out.
1 cup bajra ( coarsely ground)
1 cup mixed vegetables (capsicum, tomato, beans) chopped
1 tsp oil
1 tsp ajwain
1/4 tsp hing
4-5 curry leaves
1/4 tsp haldi
Green chilli paste (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Water (to cook)
Add ajwain, hing, and curry leaves.
Cook until it crackles.
Add ground bajra and roast for two minutes.
Add water, haldi, green chillies, and salt.
When half cooked, add vegetables.
Garnish with coriander. Serve hot.
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