Millet, unlike wheat and rice, gets none of the glory. Millet is a type of small-seeded grasses. The crop has grown the world and serves great utility as cereal or fodder. Now, most millets are native to India and Africa as they require high temperatures and short growing seasons.


They have high productivity and are used to make alcohol, porridges and puffs. Contrary to other food sources, they are high in nutrition and often gluten-free.


Surprisingly, there are over 6000 varieties of millet around the world and here is some detailed information about six of those types commonly available in India.

Finger Millet (Ragi/Mandua)


A healthier alternative to rice and wheat, finger millet is also known as ragi. It resembles small red colour beads, and it is high in proteins and amino acids. To prepare a finger millet dish, you’ll need to soak this and boil it, as you would rice. It is also gluten-free and commonly used to make rotis, cheelas and dosas.


Foxtail Millet (Kakum/Kangni)


Available as rice flour or semolina (sooji), it is packed with carbohydrates and aids in moderate blood sugar levels. Foxtail millets are also rich in iron and help improve the body's immunity. It has a pale-yellow colour and tiny size. The millet is commonly used to prepare docs, cheelas and chapatis.


Sorghum Millet (Jowar)


Native to Africa, it is used to prepare varieties of bread and roti, Jowar is rich in fibre, antioxidants, protein, and iron. It can also improve metabolism. It is pale white with little dark spots.


Pearl Millet (Bajra)


Bajra is one the most frequent types of millet enjoyed across the country. Popular in Rajasthan, it used to make khichdi and certain types of breads. Like all other millets, it is very healthy and loaded with proteins and fibres that the body requires for numerous reasons.


Buckwheat Millet (Kuttu)


This is often used during the Navratri as an alternative to whole wheat flour. With a plethora of health benefits, there have been studies that show that Kuttu can prevent gall stones and even cancer.


Amaranth Millet (Chola/Rajgira/Ramdana)


Also known as quinoa, this kind of millet has incredible health benefits. Used to make flours, salads and chikki.