Millets – Jowar, Bajra And Ragi

Millets include jowar (great millet), bajra (pearl millet), ragi (finger millet), arke (kodo millet) and there are more but these are the most prominent. These are available in Indian markets and in bulk areas of most natural food markets in the form of cracked grain and also flour forms.

millet collage

These days with the gluten intolerance fiasco, I am surprised that these little guys have not caught on. They are gluten free, which in Ayurveda lingo just means that they are light and easy to digest. Gluten intolerance means YOUR digestion is inadequate to deal with heavier foods that one puts into the system and/or the combinations that are incompatible, gluten just being one of them that is heavy and harder to digest. Just taking those heavier foods out of the diet is not the answer. Fixing the digestion and the system is the answer. These heavier foods are intimately connected to the building and strength of the body and its immune system. This is why we see those that have gluten intolerance also having immune deficiency problems as well. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness,18 million Americans have gluten sensitivity. And since latest research by the man who created the term gluten intolerance has back stepped and stated that there is no such thing as gluten intolerance, the point above is noted. About 15 million Americans have food allergies, including nearly six million children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. I can go on and list a long number of percentages and people that are stating them but the fact remains the same, we are devastatingly unhealthy as Americans and everyone has a cure or the correct new way of treating these problems. What furthers the confusion is that we have no knowledge of what or how to eat that has any time testing and we have lost any intelligence into what is healthy as it has all turned into a matter of opinion and generalizations. As an example, I googled “health of millet” just for kicks. Try it for yourself. Google millet here. You will be amazed at all the misinformation and the scientific research showing that millets are the most healthful thing Health Benefits of MilletMore health benefits, to eat as well as the most unhealthy… everyone has an opinion. Example the Paleo Diet Paleo’s Millet Rant which has the masses enthralled for the moment says that millet is horrible to eat and causes disease. Lol. And India itself has lived off of millets for how long up to about 50 years ago?????? In a bigger picture we start to see the fads and the ridiculous research for what it is.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/03/09/173840841/gluten-goodbye-one-third-of-americans-say-theyre-trying-to-shun-it

https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/percentage-of-us-adults-trying-to-cut-down-or-avoid-gluten-in-their-diets-reaches-new-high-in-2013-reports-npd/

Gotta read this one….. I share this authors experience

http://foodspin.deadspin.com/what-is-the-deal-with-all-the-gluten-paranoia-america-1651306716

So what to do???

From an Ayurvedic perspective, the actual cause is totally being missed. It is oneself. It is what one is eating, how one is eating eating it, the combinations of food that one eating and the lifestyle one is living, all leading to the digestive problems that have been there for a very long time to get to the point of having disease and allergies to foods. A food, which may as well be labeled as the newest superfood, may be the most impeccable medicine but it is also the most deadly poison in the hands of the ignorant when it is used or combined improperly. Hard to swallow for most people, pun intended.

The solution…… One good solution is to eat lighter but eat foods that are easier to digest, prepared in a way that makes them easy to digest, with no bizzare combining of other foods. You can learn easily over a matter of a short period of time just from Ayurveda Articles on this blog about eating healthfully and food combining.

 

Here is a start….

Jowar/ Millet / Sorghum has the following qualities…
Rasa: Sweet
Virya: Heating
Vipaka: Sweet

Qualities: Dry, Light

Actions on the doshas: Balances Kapha, increases Vata and Pitta in excess

Bajra (pearl Millet) has the following qualities…

PROPERTIES AND ACTION –
Rasa : Madhura, Kashāya
Guna : Rūksha, Guru
Vīrya : Ushna
Vipāka : Amla
Karma : Balya, Durjara, Hrdya, Kaphavātahara, Pittahara, Pustvahara, Vātakara

THERAPEUTIC USES-
Prameha (metabolic disorder), Shaitya (coldness), Santarpaajanya roga (disorders due to obesity), Sthaulya (obesity)

Ragi – red smaller grain – nasini – has potential to increase vata. Jowar compared to wheat will increase vata, but less so than ragi.

Ragi (Finger Millet) has the following qualities…

PROPERTIES AND ACTION
Rasa : Madhura, Tikta, Kashaya
Guna : Laghu
Virya : Shita
Vipaka : Madhura
Karma : Pittahara, Vrishya, Tridoshashamaka, Raktadoshahara, Rasayana

THERAPEUTIC USES – Shvasa, Kasa, Trshna, Karapada Daha, Vrkkashmari, Jvaropdrava

Kodo Millet

PROPERTIES AND ACTION
Rasa : Madhura, Kashaya
Guna : Laghu, Ruksha
Virya : Shita
Vipaka : Katu
Karma : Grahi, Kaphahara, Pittahara, Lekhana, Vishaghana

THERAPEUTIC USES – Nadivrana, Prameha, Raktapitta, Vrana, Atisthaulya, Annadravashula, Medovrddhi, Jalodara
Recipes:

Jowar Roti Recipe

The bread is about 6″ diameter, thickness of a Nickel (5¢ coin). Normally, thinly sliced mild onions and fresh Cayenne peppers are added to the dough.

Ingredients

Jowar Atta (Sorghum flour): 2 Cups
Salt: ¼ teaspoon
Scallions finely chopped including the bulb and green:2
Serrano finely chopped: 2
Warm water (near 115ºF): 1¼ Cup
Melted Ghee: 1 Tablespoon

Mix salt, Atta, Scallions, and or Serrano.
Stir Ghee in the warm water.
Make a mound of flour. With a finger, make a well in the flour mound. Add warm water and start mixing dough and knead. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 Table spoon of flour. If the dough is too hard, add up to one Tablespoon of water (one teaspoon at a time) to get the right consistency.
Gather dough in to a ball. Cover with damp kitchen towel or a plastic film. Let it rest 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature.

Make a 6″ diameter cookie about the about the thickness of a Nickel (5¢ coin) to bake each bread. The lack of gluten makes it very difficult to roll out dough. Traditionally, the dough is rolled out by hand without a rolling pin, there is a video in another post of this.

Pinch dough to form it into a ball

This is another way….put down one wax paper. Baste the wax paper with melted Ghee or oil.
Put the dough ball on the greased wax paper. Try to spread out patty as much as you like by hand.
Grease and put the second wax paper on top of the patty.
Use a rolling pin to roll out dough to form the round cookie of desired diameter.
Slowly peel-off the top sheet of wax paper. The exposed surface is skin surface.
Lift the dough cookie with the bottom paper intact. Transfer the cookie on to hot griddle with skin surface down.
Slowly peel off the wax paper
Heat the griddle (Tawa). Use a cooler than the temperature used to bake wheat Roti.
During the cooking, take a very wet napkin and dab water upon the roti.
Can try to flip the roti but it is not necessary, it should cook thru from one side.

Bajra Roti Recipe

Bajra is pearl Millet. This is a gluten free. The bread is about 6″ diameter, thickness of a Nickel

Ingredients
Pearl Millet Flour (Bajra Atta): 2 Cups
Salt: ¼ teaspoon
Warm water (near 115ºF): 1¼ Cup
Melted Ghee

Mix salt and Millet flour. Make a mound. With a finger, make a well in the flour mound. Add warm water and start mixing dough and knead. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 Table spoon of flour. If the dough is too hard, add up to one Tablespoon of water (one teaspoon at a time) to get the right consistency.
Gather dough in to a ball. Cover with damp kitchen towel or a plastic film. Let it rest 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature.

follow the same instructions as above in the Jawar Roti instructions

Methi Chapati 

(great for spring)

Boil fenugreek leaves, puree one bunch with water to make it soupy
Wheat flour
Add a bit of salt
Turmeric and roasted cumin powder
(Great for diabetics and medoroga)

Can use either Ragi or Bajra
1 cup flour
Salt
Haldi
Fresh ginger
Coriander leaves
Add a bit of mustard oil so the pancake holds together
Ragi/millet pancake batter

Add in a bowl: ragi, turmeric, roasted cumin powder, coriander leaves, grated ginger.

(2nd version) special sweet version for hemanta ritu

dry roast the ragi flour, add jaggery/sugar, milk

Ragi Roti Recipe

Low calorie, high protein, gluten free flat bread made from Ragi. Ragi is a type of Millet. In South India, Ragi is given to pregnant woman, nursing woman, and children

Ragi flour: 1 Cup
Salt: ¼ teaspoon
Finely chopped onions: 2 Cups
Serrano finely chopped: 2
Fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped: 1″
Boiling hot water: as needed

Mix salt and flour well
Add onions, pepper, and finger
Add enough hot water to make dough like consistency
Divide in to 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball.
Heat a non-stick flat pan. Press each ball in to a thin cookie on the non-stick surface. Cook about one to two minutes. Turn over carefully and cook about one more minute. Repeat till all the Roti are cooked.

You can also mix millets with rice or add millet flour to idli/dosa batter or roti dough. There are many ways of cooking these millets.

4 thoughts on “Millets – Jowar, Bajra And Ragi

  1. I had prepared a health mix by adding all the ingredients(ragi, jowar, millet, barley, wheat, green gram, ground nut, etc) that I had thought and heard as good for health. I have been feeding these to my kids 1 cup daily. Am i doing the right thing? If not, could you please post a recipe for preparing the same. I also don’t mind about seasons, just given them daily thru’ out the year..

    • So what happens when we put substances together with opposite characteristics? They create what is considered incompatible and this in turn is undigestible. It creates a metabolic plaque called aama.
      I would never make something so complex by adding all sorts of things together like this.
      Stick to simple things. make roti and chapati out of one flour. There are recipes already for breakfast items that are simple to make and delicious.
      Nothing is given daily thru the year. The seasons change and so does what we eat.
      There is a whole post on eating with the seasons. There is no simple here. These things must be learned as to the why of it all to be able to discern, otherwsie it is just a list to follow with no internalization of it.

      We balance with the seasons. to not will cause disease.

  2. Thanks a zillion, Sire!

    Question: You list bajra as vatahara(Kaphavātahara) and Vātakara. Is this a typo? Also I was always told bajra is hot and increases pitta so we always eat it in winter in India. Could you elaborate a bit more on this?

    • As per its madhura, kashaya rasa and ruksha guna. As per the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia put out by the Gov’t of India, this is the information. I do understand what you mean and also agree that as per its use in the culture, I would agree. My apologies as I put the post together quickly and late at night as to post it for your request. Most of the posts that come up were written a longer time previous and are set to post on certain dates in the future. When i get time to write, I write several and just set them to post automatically scheduled. Thank you sir. I would need to look into it deeper to see if it is an actual typo or correct. That would take more time.

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