Ragi Milk, A Forgotten Traditional Drink Of Karnataka

The story of ragi milk begins with the cultivation of finger millet, or ragi, in the state of Karnataka, India. This hardy grain has been grown in this region for over 5,000 years. The ancient people of Karnataka were wise to recognise the immense value of this crop and began cultivating it as a staple food source.

The warm and arid climate of Karnataka proved to be the perfect environment for finger millet to thrive. The farmers of Karnataka developed innovative techniques to cultivate and harvest this resilient grain. They understood the importance of conserving water and used traditional methods like rainwater harvesting to support the growth of ragi crops. Their dedication and expertise allowed finger millet to become a prominent part of the local cuisine.

One of the key reasons for the rising popularity of ragi milk is its incredible health benefits. It is packed with essential nutrients, making it a fantastic alternative to dairy milk for those who are lactose intolerant or following a plant-based diet. Ragi milk is an excellent source of calcium, iron, and dietary fibre. It is also rich in vitamins B1, B2, and B6, which are essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system.

Another remarkable feature of ragi milk is its low glycemic index. This means that it causes a slower rise in blood sugar levels compared to other grains, making it an ideal choice for individuals with diabetes or those seeking to manage their blood sugar levels. Additionally, ragi milk is gluten-free, making it suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Apart from its nutritional value, ragi milk is known for its delightful taste. It has a mild and nutty flavour that pairs well with various ingredients, making it a versatile base for smoothies, porridges, and other culinary creations. So, whether you enjoy it plain or in creative recipes, ragi milk is sure to leave your taste buds satisfied.


  • 1 cup ragi (finger millet) grains
  • 4 cups water
  • Sweetener of your choice (such as jaggery, honey, or sugar)
  • Optional: Flavourings like cardamom powder or vanilla extract


  • Start by rinsing the ragi grains thoroughly under running water to remove any impurities. Drain the water.
  • In a large bowl, soak the rinsed ragi grains in water for about 6-8 hours or overnight. This step helps soften the grains and makes them easier to blend.
  • After the soaking period, drain the water from the ragi grains. Transfer the soaked grains to a blender or a food processor.
  • Add 2 cups of fresh water to the blender along with the soaked ragi grains. Blend on high speed until you get a smooth and creamy mixture.
  • Place a fine mesh strainer or a cheesecloth over a large bowl or jug. Pour the blended ragi mixture into the strainer to separate the milk from any remaining solids.
  • Use a spoon or spatula to press down on the solids in the strainer, extracting as much milk as possible. Discard the solids or save them for other recipes like rotis or pancakes.
  • If desired, add sweetener of your choice to the strained ragi milk. You can use jaggery, honey, or sugar according to your preference. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste.
  • For added flavour, you can also mix in a pinch of cardamom powder or a few drops of vanilla extract.
  • Stir well until the sweetener and flavourings are fully incorporated into the ragi milk.
  • Your homemade ragi milk is now ready to be enjoyed! You can serve it chilled or at room temperature.