Ragi or Finger millet , probably made its way from Africa to India , supplementing the native millets, according to food historian K.T. Acharya in the 2000 BCE .
Ragi , was first cultivated in Karnataka and has remained ever since the staple there, the most famous is the Ragi Mudde or flour balls that are boiled and savoured with sambhar (lentil) or mutton curry. No, this need not be your introduction to Ragi ...since this grain deserves more attention.
Its rich in methionine (essentially the building blocks that are bodies use to make proteins) making it a superfood for the liver , and very high in calcium which can be very useful for new mum's and it is considered a very healthy ingredient for weaning babies off milk. It is very rich in iron and thus a boon for anemic patients or for those with low hemoglobin levels . And yes it is gluten free!
Sprouted Ragi Flour from Dhatu Organics
It can be used to prepare lots of dishes from rotis, dosas, deserts or porridge and can be your alternative- to go- flour especially in this world where lifestyle diseases are rampant. Grains are healthiest when they are sprouted , so if you get a sprouted ragi flour like i did thanks to Aswini , www.rootzorganics.com then the nutritional value goes up, even higher. It increases the Vitamin C level required for easy absorption of iron into the bloodstream.
It is just a matter of looking beyond the regular wheat and rice grains that have been marketed and fed to us since many years as 'the' basic and most important grains. It is a major shift in our diet , but as we introduce these grains as part of our daily life , you will be able to see their everlasting benefits .
Here I start my Ragi journey with delicious treats ... Eggless Ragi Buscuits and Ragi Choco Cake Bites ..
Eggless Ragi Buiscuits
½ cup Sprouted Ragi or Finger millet flour
½ cup chickpea flour or besan
1/ 2 cup jaggery powder
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp cardamom powder
6 tbsp of melted cooled butter
Mix Ragi , chickpea , cardamom and baking powder together in a bowl .
Add the powdered jaggery and melted cooled butter.
Mix all very well and keep in the refrigerator for 30 mins.
Preheat Oven to 170 deg centigrade 15 minutes before you take out the dough.
Prepare a baking tray and place small round balls of the biscuits dough onto it. Flatten slightly with a fork.
You may sprinkle sesame seeds or any nuts you may wish you add.
Bake , Cool and enjoy.
Store in an airtight container for upto 3 weeks at room temperature
Easy to make Ragi Choco Cake Bites
¾ cup Ragi Flour , I used sprouted flour
¾ cup oats flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup jaggery powder
1/3 cup yoghurt, can be Greek
2/3 cup melted butter
¾ cup milk
1 tblsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt , optional
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade and line a loaf tin.
Sieve the flours with baking powder, soda, cocoa powder and salt at least thrice .
Add the jaggery first then the melted butter , milk, yoghurt and vanilla extract .Whisk the yoghurt before mixing it .
Mix well but not too much .Knock the pan to even out the batter.
Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes.
Cool , cut into bite size squares and enjoy . Take care while taking it out since it is very delicate. Make sure that it is cooled before cutting it.
I placed slivers of almonds on top before baking . This is optional .