By Naini Setalvad January 2013 Bajra is a nutrient-dense, gluten-free grain perfect for winter, says Naini Setalvad, while providing you with a delicious way to have it. 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 cow’s 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 fiber, even a small amount keeps one full longer. The fiber also acts as a valuable source of roughage. For those looking for gluten-free food, bajra is an extremely valuable option. The fiber 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 anemia 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. Bajri bhadku Ingredients 1 cup bajra ( coarsely ground)1 cup mixed vegetables (capsicum, tomato, beans) chopped1 tsp oil1 tsp ajwain1/4 tsp hing4-5 curry leaves1/4 tsp haldiGreen chilli paste (to taste)Salt (to taste)Water (to cook) Method • Take oil.• 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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