Millets have been used in Tamil Nadu since ancient times and Varagu called Kodo millet in English is one of the most common millets used. Its usage dates back more than 3000 years and has been recorded in ancient texts and poems. Kodo millet like other millets has wonderful uses and it will do us plenty of good if we include it in our diet regularly.
Varagu is rich in phenolic and flavonoid content which suggests the presence of bioactive compounds. Bioactive compounds are powerful antioxidants that protect our body from cancer, premature aging, and oxidative stress. Since Kodo millet is rich in fiber, it will greatly help prevent constipation too.
Kodo Millet Common Names:
The botanical name of kodo millet is called Paspalum Scrobiculatom and it is called Koden in Hindi, Varagu in Tamil, Arikelu in Telugu, Koovaragu in Malayalam, Arka in Kannada, and Kodra in Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi.
Kodo Millet | Varagu Rice Nutrition:
100 grams of dry grain has around 353 calories. It is a nutrient-rich grain and 100 grams of dry grain has around 8.3 grams of protein, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 1.4 grams of fat, 5.2 grams of fiber, 35 mg of calcium, 188 mg of phosphorus, 1.7 mg of iron, .15 mg of thiamin and 2 mg of niacin.
Kodo Millet | Varagu Rice Health Benefits:
1. High Protein Content:
Than relying on protein powders that are filled with color and preservatives, it is good to get our protein requirements naturally. If you are a vegetarian, millets are a great way to get your proteins, 100 grams of varagu has around 8.3 grams of protein.
2. Good For Diabetics:
Varagu is rich in fiber and therefore it does not cause drastic spikes in our blood sugar levels making it a very good food for diabetic patients. You can read the study that supports this claim here.
3. For Weight Loss:
Kodo millet is low in fat, high in fiber, and keeps us satiated for a very long time which makes it an ideal weight-loss food.
Kodo millet is gluten-free and is a great substitute for people who are on a gluten-free diet. Kodo millet cooks faster, take on flavors well, and tastes wonderful if prepared properly.
5. For Wound Healing:
The paste got by mixing Kodo millet and water when applied as a poultice on the wounds accelerates wound healing, you can read the study that supports this claim here.
Varagu also has a soothing effect on both the stomach and mind.
How To Cook Kodo Millet At Home?
At home, we use millets regularly and I make a simple veg pulao (recipe below) with Varagu that everyone in my family likes. It is so easy and quick to make and very filling and nutritious. Even my son who is a bit fussy enjoys it, I would kindly suggest including Varagu in the diet of children as early as possible. Regular use will keep them healthy and strong………
1. Cut a few beans, 1 carrot, 1 onion, and 2 green chillies.
2. Wash 1/2 cup Varagu twice and soak for 10 minutes.
3. Heat a tbsp of coconut oil in a pan. Add in mustard seeds, 1 cinnamon stick, and 2 cloves.
4. Once the mustard splutters, add in the onions, veggies, and green chillies and fry well.
5. Once fried, add cut mint leaves and water in the ratio of 1: 2 and let it come to a boil. Add in the required amount of salt.
6. Once the water comes to boil, add in the soaked Varagu rice and 1 tsp ghee. Let it cook covered in a low flame till the water is fully absorbed.
7. Your delicious Varagu rice is ready!
- Serve this rice hot with cool curd pachadi
- For me 1: 2 ratio of rice to water is perfect, you can decrease or increase it according to your preference.
- You can also make Pongal and Dosai with Varagu rice.