Millets are small-seeded grasses that are hardy and grow well in dry zones as
rain-fed crops, under marginal conditions of soil fertility and moisture.
Millets are one of the oldest foods known to humans and possibly the first
cereal grain to be used for domestic purposes.
Millets are also unique due to their short growing
season. They can develop from planted seeds to mature, ready to harvest plants
in as little as 65 days. This is important in heavily populated areas. When
properly stored, whole millets will keep for two or more years.
They are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid forming foods. Hence
they are soothing and easy to digest. They are considered to be the least
allergenic and most digestible grains available. Compared to rice, especially
polished rice, millets release lesser percentage of glucose and over a longer
period of time. This lowers the risk of diabetes (More here).
are particularly high in minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and
potassium. Finger millet (Ragi) is the richest in calcium content, about 10
times that of rice or wheat. Click here for
the nutrient composition of millets as compared to wheat and rice.
Unlike rice and wheat that require many inputs in terms of soil fertility and
water, millets grow well in dry regions as rainfed crops. By eating millets, we
will be encouraging farmers in dryland areas to grow crops that are best suited
for those regions. This is a step towards sustainable cropping practices where
by introducing diversity in our diets, we respect the biodiversity in nature
rather than forcefully changing cropping patterns to grow wheat and rice
are many co-operatives of small farmers that are working on providing
livelihoods to farmers while at the same time focusing on ecological
preservation. In dryland regions, these groups encourage the farmers to produce
crops that are local to those regions, that thrive best there – millets. By
incorporating millets into our diets, we will be supporting these groups. Learn
more about these groups here.
kinds of millets are available?
- Barnyard Millet (Hindi: Jhangora;
Tamil: Kuthiravaali; Telugu: Odalu)
- Finger Millet (Hindi: Mandua;
Tamil: Kelvargu; Telugu: Ragulu; Kannada: Ragi;
- Foxtail Millet (Hindi: Kangni;
Tamil: Tenai; Telugu: Korra; Kannada: Navane;
- Kodo Millet (Hindi: Kodra;
Tamil: Varagu; Telugu: Arikelu; Kannada: Harka)
- Little Millet (Hindi: Kutki;
Tamil: Samai; Telugu: Sama; Kannada: Same;
- Pearl Millet (Hindi: Bajra,
Tamil: Kambu, Telugu: Gantilu, Kannada: Sajje)
- Proso Millet (Hindi: Barri;
Tamil: Panivaragu; Telugu: Varigulu; Kannada: Baragu)
- Sorghum (Hindi: Jowar;
Tamil: Cholam; Telugu: Jonna; Kannada: Jola;
do I cook them?
Most millets can be cooked like rice. Millets can replace rice in various
dishes such as idli, dosa, payasam/kheer. Millet flour can be used to make
rotis. Click here for
can I buy millets?
Earth 360 Ventures, Kadiri, Andhra Pradesh. Email
Dinesh at “millets dot dinesh at gmail dot com”.
Kaulige Foods: Brigade Road, Bangalore. Contact
them at www.kaulige.com or
Jaivik Mall, near Lalbagh Double Road gate. 080
These can be purchased at any Namdhari Fresh outlet.
Timbaktu Organic products: To order, call 08559
202149 / 202335 / 202339
Svad Products: To order, send an email to “svad dot organic at gmail dot com”
www.sattvanaturals.in in visakhapatnam – 8374225624