7 Lesser-Known Indian Grains And How To Cook Them
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Embark on a culinary journey through the lesser-known grains of India, where a vibrant tapestry of flavours and textures awaits discovery. Beyond the familiar realms of rice and wheat lies a treasure trove of nutritional gems, each boasting unique profiles that add both health and diversity to your plate. 

From the robust earthiness of Bajra to the gluten-free goodness of Jowar and the nutrient-packed Ragi, these grains offer not only culinary delights but also a plethora of health benefits. Amaranth, Foxtail Millet, and Barnyard Millet join the ensemble, bringing their distinctive qualities to the forefront. Through this exploration, we unveil the secrets of these grains and present tantalising recipes that showcase their versatility. Join us on a quest for "Grain Glory," where the lesser-known grains of India take centre stage, promising a gastronomic adventure that transcends the ordinary.

1. Bajra (Pearl Millet):

Bajra is a powerhouse of nutrients, rich in iron, magnesium, and fibre. It is gluten-free, making it an excellent choice for those with gluten sensitivities. Try Bajra Khichdi, a savoury porridge made with bajra, lentils, and an array of spices. Enhance its flavour with ghee and serve it with yoghurt for a wholesome meal.

2. Jowar (Sorghum):

Jowar is a gluten-free grain packed with essential nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, and iron. It is known to support heart health and aid digestion. Explore the goodness of jowar with "Jowar Roti," a traditional flatbread made by kneading jowar flour with water. Pair it with a spicy curry for a satisfying meal.

3. Ragi (Finger Millet):

Ragi is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in calcium, iron, and fibre. It's an excellent source of energy and is often recommended for its potential to manage diabetes. Indulge in the goodness of ragi with Ragi Mudde, a Karnataka specialty. These round, soft dumplings are best enjoyed with spicy sambhar or coconut chutney.

4. Amaranth:

Amaranth is a gluten-free grain loaded with protein, fibre, and micronutrients. It's known for its ability to boost immunity and promote heart health. Prepare amaranth pilaf by sautéing amaranth seeds with vegetables and spices. This light and fluffy dish makes for a perfect accompaniment to grilled meats or as a standalone meal.

5. Foxtail Millet (Kangni):

Foxtail millet is a good source of carbohydrates, fibre, and essential minerals. It's easy to digest and provides sustained energy. Enjoy the nutty flavour of foxtail millet in Kangni Upma, a savoury dish where the millet is tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves and mixed with vegetables.

6. Rajgira

Rajgira, also known as amaranth, is a gluten-free pseudo-grain with nutritional benefits. Rich in protein, fibre, and essential amino acids, it supports muscle function and digestion. Additionally, it provides vitamins and minerals like calcium and iron. Commonly consumed during fasting, it's versatile for cooking in various dishes, from porridge to flatbreads. Rajgira contributes to a balanced, nutritious diet.

7. Sanwa (Barnyard Millet):

Barnyard millet is a low-calorie grain with good amounts of fibre and micronutrients. It's known for its cooling properties, making it a popular choice during fasting. Try Sanwa Khichdi, a fasting-friendly dish made with barnyard millet, cumin seeds, and ghee. Add cubed potatoes and sendha namak (rock salt) for a delightful flavour.

Incorporating these lesser-known grains into your diet not only diversifies your culinary experience but also offers a range of health benefits. Experiment with these grains to discover new textures and flavours while reaping the nutritional rewards. Embrace the grainy glory of India and elevate your meals with these hidden gems from the diverse tapestry of Indian cuisine.