Ragi: From Being A Coarse Millet to Becoming A 'Super Food'
Image Credit: Ragi/Finger millet

Ragi or finger millet is a known name when it comes to health and diet. Ragi, also known as Eleusine coracana, is packed with ample health benefits such as enhancing digestion, slowing down aging, managing diabetes, reducing the risk of heart diseases, and many others. Ragi is a powerhouse of nutrients like iron, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It definitely has more nutrients than wheat flour. 


But do you also wonder how Ragi came to India? We have an answer for you. 

Ragi, also known by the name African Millet, is widely grown in Asia and Africa. Originally, it is native to the Ethiopian Highlands though it was introduced in India a long time ago. Ragi is mostly grown and consumed in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Goa, and the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. From being a coarse grain in colonial times to becoming a grain duly recognized for all its nutrients, Ragi has indeed turned into a ‘Super Food’. 


Having packed with multiple benefits, Ragi which was mostly favoured by hard-working class people, is now becoming a much-consumed grain from the health point of view. Interestingly, Ragi proteins are said to be as complete as milk proteins, making it an ideal substitute for those who are lactose intolerant. Besides, its low glycemic index makes it suitable and beneficial for diabetics. Like all other millets, Ragi is gluten-free and it is preferable for those with gluten allergies. Because of having a good amount of energy component, it is a popular food among those involved in hard labour and is also listed in diet plans. 


Another good thing about Ragi is that keeping in view its vital nutritional properties, this tiny millet has evolved into many delicious recipes across India, especially in the southern region. Be it dosas, upmas, mudde, or any other delicacies, all these are prepared with Ragi flour. And people do have it often as it is tasty as well as healthy. 

Ragi flour is also known as “Mandua” in Jharkhand and Bihar states. There, Ragi pancakes are made both savoury and sweet with Jaggery. In Gharwal, Ragi flour is used to cook rotis. Famous ‘Thag roti’ is roti with an outer layer of wheat and inner stuffing of Mandua. This roti is specially made in winters and often eaten as an energy substitute. Moreover, some good brands have also started selling Ragi biscuits which shows how this grain is evolving over time.

We cannot let you go without telling you a quick recipe that you can make with this Super grain Ragi. Here is the recipe for Ragi Pakoda. Let us know in the comment section if you know a Ragi recipe that is still unknown to health freaks. 


 Method of making Ragi Pakoda 

  • Mince one ginger and finely chop some curry leaves and coriander.  
  • Chop half a cabbage and one capsicum 
  • Add minced ginger and chopped coriander and curry leaves to a bowl. 
  • Take another bowl 
  • Add 150 gm Ragi flour, 2 tbsp besan, and one tsp sesame seeds 
  • Add salt, black pepper, and chili powder (as per taste)
  • Add the chopped vegetables to the dry mixture. 
  • Add two tbsp hot oil to the dry mix 
  • Mix well 
  • Sprinkle just with water to make the mixture a little thicker so that could be shaped 
  • Take out Ragi Pakoda into bite-sized pieces and fry them in hot oil 
  • Garnish with Chat masala and serve it with green chutney 
Hope you liked it. Enjoy!!