Ragi Common Names:
Ragi is high in protein, iron, calcium, vitamin A and thiamine (100 grams of ragi has 7.6 gm of protein, 370 mg of calcium and 3 grams of fiber). Another important thing about ragi is it’s very cheap and is readily available everywhere. I would also suggest sprouting ragi as it increases it’s nutrient content very highly. When buying ragi flour make sure you are buying from a good company and nowadays sprouted ragi flour is also available, you can give that a try too.
a. Ragi Mudde:
b. Ragi Malt:
When my son was younger, I didn’t want to give him regular boxed formulas. I only wanted to give him ragi malt and he loved it. Ragi malt is very simple to make, all we have to do is mix jaggery in 2 cups water and once it has dissolved strain to remove any dirt. Now add 1/4 cup of ragi flour to the strained mixture along with a cup of milk and boil in low flame till the color of ragi malt changes slightly.
Once cool, serve it warm topped with nuts for added protein. He was having this for his breakfast for many years till he went to his boarding school. Even now when he comes back from hostel, he does enjoy his traditional meals made with whole grains. I would strongly suggest introducing ragi to kids as early as possible else it will be hard to make them eat later on in life.
c. Ragi Dosa:
We also make ragi dosa at home and serve it along with peanut chutney. To make ragi dosa, take 2 cups of ragi flour along 1/4 tsp of salt in a bowl and mix well. Now soak 1/4 cup of urad dal for an hour in water, strain and grind to a smooth paste and add to the ragi flour. Now add enough water to form a thick batter and let it ferment overnight, the next day we can make dosas.
It is very nutrient dense and you will get crispy dosas with this recipe. We can also make ragi idli, I haven’t tried ragi idli yet, should try it sometime soon. I really really wish this generation kids also had our highly nutritious and at the same time tasty traditional dishes made out of whole grains and millets as their favorite dishes.
How To Make Ragi Flour At Home?
Ragi flour also called ragi ka atta in Hindi and finger millet flour in English can be easily made at home. To make it, buy ragi, sun dry covered with a thin mesh, clean well to remove any dirt and grind in a dry mixer and sieve. You can also buy ragi flour easily from the markets. We also get sprouted ragi flour in the markets which has got more nutrient value than regular ragi flour, it is made by sprouting ragi, drying and then powder it. You can use sprouted ragi flour in all the recipes that call for regular ragi flour.
Ragi Side Effects:
6 Top Health Benefits & Uses Of Ragi For Weight Loss, Babies, Diabetes & Pregnancy:
1. Ragi For Babies:
I would highly recommend giving ragi for babies as I have personally used only ragi for my son when he was a baby. Instead of boxed cereals I would suggest giving ragi porridge to babies, it is highly nutritious. It is cheap, highly nutritious, prevents infant constipation as it is high in fiber and above all tastes so very good.
To make it, boil water in a pan along with jaggery, once it dissolves strain to remove impurities, add the ragi flour mixed with little water into the jaggery water and cook till thick, add few drops of homemade ghee and delicious breakfast for your baby is ready. It can be given for kids too, once the kids like the taste they will continue having it.
2. Ragi For Weight Loss:
When it comes to weight loss any food that is low in calories, high in nutrition and has a high satiety value is very good. A homemade ragi dosa has only around 60 calories but keep us satiated for a long time, just compare it with a slice of white bread which has around the same calories.
I will be hungry after eating bread within minutes that is why I love our traditional recipes, they keep us satiated for a long time but doesn’t pile on the pounds. Good choices with ragi while on a diet are ragi dosa made with minimal oil, ragi kalli | ragi mudde and if you feel like having bread try using ragi flour in the recipe.
But you can’t make the bread fully with ragi flour, it will be hard, start with 1/4 of the flour in the recipe and you can slowly increase to your preference. I make ragi bread at home and serve it warm with honey drizzled on top, tastes delicious and it is quite filling too…
3. Ragi For Pregnancy:
When I was pregnant, the first few months I was continuously vomiting and barely could eat anything. But during the last trimester it was the opposite, I was always hungry and would crave spicy things in the evening. Since store bought greasy snacks would give me heart burn, I never had any of those, if I craved for something spicy and crunchy, my mom would make me ragi pakoras in the evening.
Just 2 or 3 ragi pakoras would fill me up and the best thing about ragi pakoras is if made without onions it can be stored for a long time. Also ragi mudde | kali can be had regularly for lunch with dal often with little bit of homemade ghee, it will prevent nutrient deficiencies especially if you are a vegetarian. Eating healthy during pregnancy will ensure that there is enough breast milk after delivery.
4. Ragi For Diabetic Patients:
Since ragi is filling and is low in calories, it is ideal for diabetic patients as it keeps the blood sugar levels stable. But I would suggest not taking ragi in the form of porridge and to take it in the form of dosai or idli or roti as taking porridge in any form does spike up the insulin levels more.
A hearty breakfast of ragi dosa with onion chutney or tomato chutney will tide us over till lunch without any need to snack in between. It will also fit in easily with a persons daily calorie requirements.
5. Ragi For Dogs:
By now you would have realized how extensively we use ragi in our home and it extends to our pets too :). Our dog Bruno (Labrador) loves ragi porridge, in our family we give only ragi porridge to the dogs and it is a common saying in our village that dogs who eat ragi porridge are hale and healthy and it is very true.
This is also a common practice in our village and you will find most of the homes serve only ragi porridge for the dogs. We never buy boxed dog food (never have) at home, we only give him ragi porridge (made without salt) mixed with homemade yogurt. But to train dogs to eat ragi porridge you have to introduce it when he is a puppy itself…
6. Ragi For Women: Prevents Anemia & Osteoporosis
I feel very very sad to write this because I see the usage of grains and millets diminishing in villages, previously (15 to 20 years back) most of the time the breakfast in most of the workers homes will be ragi porridge with dal curry as an accompaniment.
Now as slowly packaged food is making it’s way into the villages, people are slowly switching over to convenience food. Grinding and pounding grains in the traditional grinding stones is a breeze for village women but nowadays women are not able to do that kind of work. Even last week a dear worker of ours was complaining of leg cramps which is unheard of few years back.
I truly wish we stick to our traditional foods that are so nutritious, cheap, close to home and produced by our local farmers. It will keep us especially us women healthy and prevent conditions like anemia and osteoporosis which almost all the middle aged women are suffering….