Ragi Milk, popular in Karnataka, is an energy booster loaded with nutrients
Indian traditional health drinks far surpass instant, commercial energy drinks in quality, as it has no preservatives and is made with easily available, local ingredients. There are a number of Indian health drinks that can be made at home in no time at all. Ragi Milk or Ragi Halu, is one such example of a delicious drink made with the super healthy millet called Ragi. It is well-known Karnataka health drink, which is made with a combination of two primary ingredients: ragi or finger millet and coconut milk. The drink is sweetened with jaggery, made healthier and tastier with the addition of almonds, and spiced with a hint of cardamom. The taste is an amalgam of smooth, mildly sweet, creamy, and slightly crunchy. Although ready-made coconut milk can be used to prepare the drink, it is better to make the coconut milk at home using a mixie and a sieve. This is also a plant-based drink which makes it a vegan option.
Ragi or finger millet is cultivated India in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Goa. Karnataka is said to be among the highest producer of ragi in India. This gluten-free grain is considered a superfood because of its high nutritional value as it contains a host of micro and macronutrients.
It is high in protein, is considered a good source of calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, and contains antioxidants as well as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid. It is believed to aid in digestion, controls blood sugar levels, improves energy levels, is said to be good for weight loss for its high fibre content, is said to be good for the bones and teeth, is considered good for the hair and skin (some reports even suggesting it reverses ageing), is said to be a good relaxant, and is also good for colon health. The health benefits of Ragi Milk are endless.
The health benefits of coconut milk includes being good for weight loss, is believed to be good for the heart, comprises antioxidants, and has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Here is a recipe for Ragi Milk:
1/2 cup of ragi
Soak the ragi in a bowl of water for an hour
Drain the ragi and put it in a mixie, add half cup of grated coconut, 4-5 almonds, half a cup of water, and grind together
Strain the mixture to extract the milk
Put the remaining strained mixture into the mixie, add half cup water, grind, and strain to extract the milk, add to the above milk
Add 1/2 a cup of grated jaggery, 1 teaspoon cardamom powder, and mix well
Pour into a glass and serve
Ragi is an important ingredient in Karnataka cuisine and a number of dishes is made with it, from Ragi Mudde with Saru (Rasam) to ragi dosa, and ragi roti to traditional Karnataka porridge.