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    Moderator Crown R.Varadarajan's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    Dear members,
    I have been posting about small grains like Varagu,Samai ,Ragi (kezhvaragu) etc in this forum.We do not realise how much we have lost to alien food habits. The reason why India is Diabetic and Hypertension capital is clear – forgotten grains – mainly.
    Many of our seniors, nay,even youngsters now suffer from two lifestyle diseases,OBESITY AND DIABETES.
    Hence I reproduce below a brief write up about MILLETS, and their advantages. They are a healthier option we have to improve our health.
    Hope some members will find this information of some use.
    P.S. I do not think that there is any ban on use of these in our sastras,to my knowledge(whatever little I have)


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    What are millets?
    Millets are small-seeded grasses that are hardy and grow well in dry zones as rain-fed crops, under marginal conditions of soil fertility and moisture. Millets are one of the oldest foods known to humans and possibly the first cereal grain to be used for domestic purposes.
    Millets are also unique due to their short growing season. They can develop from planted seeds to mature, ready to harvest plants in as little as 65 days. This is important in heavily populated areas. When properly stored, whole millets will keep for two or more years.
    Why eat millets?
    They are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid forming foods. Hence they are soothing and easy to digest. They are considered to be the least allergenic and most digestible grains available. Compared to rice, especially polished rice, millets release lesser percentage of glucose and over a longer period of time. This lowers the risk of diabetes.
    Millets are particularly high in minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Finger millet (Ragi) is the richest in calcium content, about 10 times that of rice or wheat.
    What kinds of millets are available?
    • Barnyard Millet (Hindi: Jhangora; Tamil: Kuthiravaali; Telugu: Odalu)
    • Finger Millet (Hindi: Mandua; Tamil: Kelvargu; Telugu: Ragulu; Kannada: Ragi; Malayalam: Koovarugu)
    • Foxtail Millet (Hindi: Kangni; Tamil: Tenai; Telugu: Korra; Kannada: Navane; Malayalam: Thina)
    • Kodo Millet (Hindi: Kodra; Tamil: Varagu; Telugu: Arikelu; Kannada: Harka)
    • Little Millet (Hindi: Kutki; Tamil: Samai; Telugu: Sama; Kannada: Same; Malayalam: Chama)
    • Pearl Millet (Hindi: Bajra, Tamil: Kambu, Telugu: Gantilu, Kannada: Sajje)
    • Proso Millet (Hindi: Barri; Tamil: Panivaragu; Telugu: Varigulu; Kannada: Baragu)
    • Sorghum (Hindi: Jowar; Tamil: Cholam; Telugu: Jonna; Kannada: Jola; Malayalam: Cholum)
    How do I cook them?
    Most millets can be cooked like rice. Millets can replace rice in various dishes such as idli, dosa, payasam/kheer. Millet flour can be used to make rotis..
    Millets – Why did we forget?
    Millets are small seeded grases giving us grains which are healthy. They grow easily in drought like conditions also. There are several of them which were common in our forefather’s time, forming staple food. Kelvaragu,Kambu,Varagu,Thinai, Samai were common. In those days- remember the famous prayer – தேனும் திணை மாவும் கலந்து… The first day I tasted Varagu – Pongal, I could realise how much we have lost to alien food habits. The reason why India is Diabetic and Hypertension capital is clear – forgotten grains – mainly. Now Varagu is regular in my house – dosa,idly, pongal, uppuma – just fits wherever rice fits. Well, using these millets have lot of advantage, some of them are
    • They release sugar slowly – enough time for our body to produce required insulin. This is mainly because the coat of the grain is in tact and we take whole grain and not polished one.
    • They are nutritious – well balanced at that – fibre,protein, iron etc.
    • They require very little water and can grow in not-so-fertile lands also. (May be Kaveri, Palar and all such disputes vanish)
    • They are disease and pest resistent
    • Millets are available in the form of instant breakfast flakes and Ragi and kambu boiled rice and flours and Varagu,Thinai,Samai rice and flours.

    [ More detailed information on the Millets can be had from this site.....]
    Last edited by R.Varadarajan; 09-03-2015 at 06:19 PM.

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