Ragi or Finger Millet – Its Health Benefits and a Quick Dessert

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These tiny deep red pearls called Ragi or finger millet are bundle of nutrients. A whole grain which I came to know about much later in life. Until then the cobs or the fingers of ragi used to decorate my vase of dry flower arrangement for long.

It was only when I came to the South of India I became aware of these goldmine of nutrients. From then on it has occupied a much coveted place on my dinning table. I love the earthy and rustic aroma of this mighty grain.

Health Benefits;

  • It is a good source of fiber in diet.
  • Ragi has low Glycemic Index which makes it digest very slowly thus keeping the blood sugar levels constant. Ragi is surely a boon for people suffering from diabetes.
  • Ragi is rich in many minerals such as thiamine, iron and calcium.
  • It serves as a good laxative for constipation.
  • Ragi is rich in carbohydrate and low in fat, which can help control obesity.
  • Ragi malt can be a good substitute for people suffering from milk allergies.

Prudent ways to include Ragi in diet;

  • Ragi can be ground and use in baking and making puddings.
  • Porridge made with Ragi powder is very healthy refreshing breakfast.
  • Soups, and vegetable broth can be prepared using Ragi flour.
  • Many Indian desserts such as Halwa and Barfi can be made with Ragi.
  • Idlis and Dosas of Ragi flour is a nourishing breakfast.
  • Mix Ragi flour with whole-wheat flour and make chapattis or Indian breads.
  • Sprout the ragi grains and use them in your salads.
  • Ragi Puttu a traditional a healthy recipe is a great addition to the meal.

A Quick Ragi Dessert

This is a quite simple and healthy dessert made with ragi flour. The process involves making the Ragi Puttu first and then preparing the following recipe. The instructions for ingredients and method is given in Steamed Rice Cake.

Alternatively you can steam the Ragi flour in any vessel if you do not have the Puttu maker. Put the crumbled ragi flour in a small bowl and keep it inside a pressure cooker with a little water and stem it for 4-5 minutes. Take it out and proceed further to make the dessert.

Ingredients;

  • 1 cup of steamed Ragi flour
  • 1/2 cup of grated coconut
  • 1/2 cup sugar/Jaggery powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of cardamom powder
  • 3-4 tsp. of crushed Almonds

Method: Take the steamed Ragi flour and mix it with rest of the ingredients. Serve it hot.

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