A forgotten grain

One of the forgotten ancient millets —– Ragi —– is slowly resurfacing as the latest super food.  The grain which was once considered as ‘coarse’, during the colonial times, is now renowned nutritionally.  A rich source of calcium, protein and iron, this deep red pearl definitely deserves some more love.
This “natural wonder” is one of the best sources of calcium.  It is recommended for people with a Vitamin D deficiency.  A “power-house” of nutrients —– Ragi —– helps relieve stress and anxiety and is a great remedy for gastro-intestinal problems.  It is packed with fibre and is digested slowly.  This keeps you full for a longer time, makes you less hungry and aids weight loss.  Fibre is also beneficial for diabetics as it helps lower blood sugar levels in the body.
Ragi is often included in a new mother’s diet as it improves haemoglobin level.  It is fed to infants and is one of the healthiest baby foods.  The calcium and amino acids, in ragi, help in tissue repair, improve body metabolism and reduce bad cholesterol.  This “humble grain” is also gluten-free and  a great alternative for those suffering with CELIAC disease.
Ragi is immensely versatile. From breads to bakes, ragi flour complements almost every recipe.
Buying Tips : While purchasing ragi, make sure the package is sealed without any evidence of moisture..  It stays fresh if stored in an air-tight container and placed in a dry and cool place.  It is available as grains or in flour form.
ragi-dosaRAGI WHEAT DOSA : A great brunch option, this ragi wheat dosa is filling and wholesome and will keep your hunger pangs in place.  A low-fat South Indian dish which goes best with coconut chutney or any chutney of your choice.  Relish the easy-to-make meal for breakfast.
Ingredients : 1 cup ragi flour, 1 cup wheat flour,  buttermilk for mixing, salt to taste.
Method : Mix ingredients well and it should be of the consistency of regular dosas.  Keep it overnight and make dosas the next day.  Serve with any kind of chutney.
RAGI COOKIES : Calcium-rich cookies, with the goodness of ragi and cane sugar.  Enjoy the cookies the guilt-free way.
ragi cookiesIngredients : 1 cup ragi flour, 1/2 cup brown cane sugar, 1/2tsp green cardamom powder, 2 pinches of dry ginger powder, 1/2tbsp baking powder, 1/2 cup oil (rice bran), 1 egg (whisked), 1/2tbsp salt.
Method : In a pan mix ragi flour and cardamom powder.  Then roast this gently on a tava till the colour gets a wee bit darker ( a minute or 2 ).  In a bowl break the egg and whisk it,  Add the roasted ragi and sugar in it.  Mix well.  Add dry ginger powder and salt.  Then add the oil and mix well.  It will look like a dark dough.  Make round balls and flatten them in your palms.  Pre-heat oven for 5-7 minutes.  Take a flat dish and put butter paper in it.  No need to grease it.  Place the roundels an inch away from each other and bake for 8mins at 180 degrees Celsius.

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