Bajra or Pearl Millet as known worldwide is probably one of the oldest cultivated grain the world before 3300 BC .It is grown widely in west India and consumed there very regularly. It’s gluten free and packed with nutrients and often known as the cereal of rural India, maybe the cause of it not making to our tables.
Consuming Bajra or Pearl Millet can help in digestion ,stabilize cholesterol,linked to lower risk of gall bladder formation and very powerful grain in controlling diabetes .
In my effort to reunite the east and west of India, I tried a famous breakfast or snack dosa (savoury crepe)called Pesarattu of Andhra Pradesh , south east of the country but added Bajra to it. It is usually made of yellow mung lentils and rice . Some places stuff it with Upma or savoury semolina pudding .
Pesara means Mung lentils and Attu means dosa
The pesarattu I tried..is healthier as it is prepared with green sprouted lentils and pearl millet . The sprouts add to the nutrition as their vitamin content increases with the sprouting.
Jowar or Sorghum ,probably originated in India and Africa, mainly Absynnia or present day Northern Ethopia , made its way to the U.S and is being touted as the ‘ new quinoa’.
Jowar too is gluten free , packed with nutrients like calcium , copper , zinc and phosphorus, potassium and cell building B vitamins and a great alternative to the normal grains like wheat and rice.It is very high in fiber, protein and great for bone health containing high levels of magnesium.It is great for heart health as it controls cholesterol.It is very rich in iron , reducing anemia .
So why do we not consume this grain in the rest of India and in the world ? Our food choices need to be re looked at and its time we come home to these grains.
And so tried easy to prepare pancakes made of Jowar as this was the first time I really had this grain.
Green Mung Sprouts and Bajra (Pearl Millet ) filled with Batata Bhaji or Spiced Potato Pesarattu / Dosa
Makes 10 pesarattus
1 ¼ cups of Green Mung Sprouts
2/3 cups of Pearl millet flour or Bajra(Hindi)
1/3 cup of chopped onions
2 ½ tblsps of chopped coriander
1/4 cup brown rice flour (optional)
Salt to taste
5 tsp of oil for cooking
To prepare :
Firstly to sprout the Green gram , soak it in water for 6 hours. Then transfer it to a damp muslin cloth , tie it and keep in overnight. Next morning you will see it sprouting .
Grind the Sprouts in a blender. It will have a course texture.
Mix it then with the flours , onions , coriander and salt.
Mix 1 cup water to it to make a batter like consistency .
1. Heat a tawa or griddle .Put little oil and pour some batter in it and spread it to make round pancake like dosas.
2. You can flip them and cook on both sides till they turn golden brown if you would like to eat them plain.
Fold and enjoy hot with chutney or pickle.
I prepared the green Mung Pesarattu mixture and added Sprouted Ragi Flour to it . This can be kept in the fridge and made the next day too ...savour at breakfast , lunch or dinner ..
As I loved to have them filled , I prepared a Spiced Potato filling called Batata Bhaji
For the Filling : For 4 servings
4 nos. medium sized potatoes
1 no. large onion
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
¾ cups of water
½ teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of asafoetida
¾ cup of coriander leaves
1 inch piece ginger
12-15 nos. of curry leaves
Boil the potatoes and cut into cubes.
Heat oil in a wok or pan and add the cumin and mustard seeds. When they start spluttering , add the onions .
When the onions become translucent , add the ginger and after a minute add the curry leaves.
Stir fry for a few seconds and add the turmeric and asafetida . Don’t let the turmeric burn.
Add the potatoes and half of the coriander leaves.
Mix very well and add the water and salt. Simmer , cover and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Please see the flame is low.
Garnish with the left over coriander leaves .
When the pessaruttu is on the griddle or tawa, add these potatoes and fold it into half. Place gently in a dish .
I have not added any green chilles , you may do so if you like a bit of spice.
You may also add grated coconut in the potato dish or sprinkle it on top .
¾ cup Jowar or Sorghum flour
¾ cup grated cucumber
3 tblsps chopped onions
1 ½ tblsp fresh yoghurt
A pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 ½ tblsp of freshly chopped coriander
Oil for cooking
To prepare :
Mix the Jowar flour with the grated cucumber, onions , yoghurt , turmeric powder, salt and coriander.
Add 5-7 tblsp of water and mix well.
3. Heat oil on a griddle and pour the batter on to it and spread evenly .
4.When one side becomes golden brown flip it on the other. Cook on both side.
5.Serve hot with green or coconut chutney.
Incorporate these grains in your diet . Rotate them with wheat and rice and see the added benefits in your health !