Millets- The New Age Superfood
- Ayandrali Dutta
Updated : January 20, 2022 05:01 IST
The mighty millets are back on our plate and getting the much needed attention
The most underrated superfood Millet in back in town and pretty much making waves. Rich in fibre, protein, minerals and more finally millets are getting there due space on your plates. Once an integral part of our diet, they just got lost in the age of fast foods and quick fix things. With the coming of age this extremely versatile grain had been pasta or rice in dishes, added to salads and power bowls and more.
Sahaniya Srivastava - Co-Founder - Sparrows At Home Café, A café that mostly focusses on sustainable homegrown products says “ I have always believed in these lesser known grains and also that they are a delicious way to start or end your day. Millets are everyday food for everyday people of all ages. Millets are whole grains with lots of health benefits. Being non-sticky, not acid-forming, they make for fantastic food choices for those looking for whole-grain options. Our menu is highly dominated by millets [gluten-free grains] because we believe there is a need to include millets in one's diet for healthy living. Being a rich source of a wide variety of micro-nutrients like calcium, thiamin, and magnesium at Sparrows we have this Thin Crust Pizza, which is prepared with jawar (sorghum) flour. Though, we also serve sandwiches and burgers, which are superbly healthy and have been hugely appreciated. Our menu is highly dominated by millets [gluten-free grains] because we believe there is a need to include millets in one's diet for healthy living”.
It's important to watch what we eat and for the environmentally conscious generation millets make for a great choice as they require little water, grow well in arid and semi-arid regions of the world and thus, consuming them amounts to you leaving a lower carbon print in the world. This gluten free grain usually categorised as minor & major millets. Major ones include Jowar (sorghum) and Bajra (pearl) while the minor millets include Ragi (finger), Kangni (foxtail), Kodo, barnyard, Browntop millet, Little millet and Proso millet.
Shreevardhan Asopa, Co Owner, LMNO_Q “Pearl millet or bajra is used throughout the Indian subcontinent to make bread or roti because of the nutritional benefits it has. We took it one step further and incorporated pearl millet with pizza to make it healthier for those who are health conscious but still want to enjoy the flavours of a pizza. Due to its distinctive taste and nutritional benefits people are enticed to try this option”.
With new age new age entrepreneurs who are more focused on reviving the culture and keeping up with the health benefits, it’s seen that more and more restaurants / café like Millets of Mewar in Udaipur, Herbs And Millet Cafe, hoysalanagar, Indiranagar, Pilibhit House -Haridwar, The Green Path- Bangalore and more switching to exclusive Millet based menu they are bridging the gap between gap between our ancient grains and contemporary cuisines. Naresh Bandaru of Sumaja Eco wellness who runs an organic food store sells cookies made with different millets and sweetened with jaggery, millet rusk, multi-millet dosa, jowar idli mix, ragi malt and vermicelli made with different millets.
Saloni Jhunjhunwala, business partner, The Salt House “In an endeavor to incorporate fresh seasonal ingredients into our dishes, we had introduced the ‘quinoa and millet risotto’ on our menu. Besides enhancing the flavour, it serves as a healthy option and has turned out to be a crowd favourite! Millets also formed important parts of the prehistoric diet amongst Indians and is a ‘local’ ingredient- we have always believed in using local ingredients in our menu. We also wanted to give the classic arborio rice risottos a break by introducing a different option which is also healthy. We use it with a combination of mushrooms and truffle, all the more adding to the flavour profile”.
Definitely, there’s a full 360-degree awareness about this once neglected grain Milet as a nutrition experts are talking about them. Not to miss that they help the environment and farmers and in turn giving rise to a much sustainable ecosystem. Innovative ways to present this grain on the table is surely gonna be the way forward.