Ragi Modak Named Best National Millet Recipe
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While Ganesh Chaturthi is still a few weeks away, you have a good reason to load up on Modaks today. Ragi Modak is declared the best recipe in the national millet recipe competition organised by the Union Agriculture Ministry in the run-up to the International Year of Millet 2023. Modaks are sweet dumplings often made with rice and coconut, but this fantastic recipe proves just how good they can turn out with a handful of millets too.  

The UN has declared 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millet’. India may be one of the biggest producers and consumers of rice and wheat, but it also has a rich repertory of millets such as Ragi, Jowar, Bajra, Barnyard millet, and many more that have been an intrinsic part of our cuisine since time immemorial, but remain criminally underrated in most parts of the country. In regions like Rajasthan and parts of Karnataka, the fields are not conducive to grow rice, so millets like Bajra and Ragi take precedence and provide nutrition.  

Millets are often referred to as the ‘poor man’s food’ since they do not enjoy the same cultural supremacy as rice but the Indian government is determined to change this image.  

Finger millet is one of the popular millets used in Indian dishes

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar gave away awards at Delhi Haat at the launch of the three-day ‘Millets Culinary Carnival’.  The recipe of Ragi Modak by student chefs Shalini Raj Soni and Om Shantani from the Institute of Hotel Management (Delhi) bagged the first prize. The recipe of salad made of three millets (bajra, jowar and foxmillets) in tricolour shades by Anubhav Nautiyal and Saksham Kaushal, students of Chitkara School of Hospitality (Punjab), won the second prize.  While the third position was sealed by a Sweet Pongal made of millets by Hiranmoy Chalita and Hansika Jandhayala, students of Indian Culinary Institute (Nodia).

In the run-up to ‘International Millet Year 2023’, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is organising several programmes to promote and encourage the production and consumption of millets in India and the world. Contrary to popular opinion, many parts of India rely very heavily on millets for their daily nutrition. Therefore, from the point of food security, this ‘poor man’s food’ can just not be ignored.  

This Ragi Dosa is one of the reasons, why we can never have enough of millets. Try this recipe soon, and you’d know what we mean.