Once a food ingredient becomes a rage, there’s no stopping it. Walk into an upscale restaurant and you are sure to see some form of Quinoa on the menu. This grain from South America has taken the world by a storm. It is gluten free, high in minerals and packed with all the essential amino acids that we need.  But before reaching for that packet of Quinoa at the store, think for a minute! Why not consider locally grown millets as well? Millets share a nutritional profile similar to quinoa. And, they are substantially cheaper, locally grown as compared to the imported quinoa!

OnTheRun - MilletsRagi

So what exactly are these miraculous millets? Think jowar (great millet), bajra (pearl millet), ragi (finger millet) – common millets that most have us have consumed at some point in life. Millets are power houses of nutrients that seem to stack up well even against our wheat and rice staples in terms over overall nutrition.

Cultivating millets is more suited to the Indian ecology making it a more sustainable choice. Millets are hardy crops and do well even without much water or irrigation. They also grow all year round. Why not reduce our carbon footprint by avoiding imported grains and foods especially since we have our own power packed superfood right here in our backyard!

We found a really good nutrition resource on Millets (Click here to read the source) that includes the following chart among other information:

OnTheRun - Millets

So how do we get started?

We recently tried this Millet Salad recipe. It turned out to be a big hit at a party. Here are a few changes we made:

  • Added fresh salted paneer crumbs
  • Used pressure cooked Jowar (it’s faster) than the steamed one
  • Added lemon zest, red chilli powder and fresh ground cumin powder instead of the harissa

Some more tips and recipes we found on cooking millets:

  1. Start your day on a healthy note with some piping hot millet upma.
  2. While baking, mix some millet flour along wheat flour.
  3. Add a handful of cooked or steamed millets to your salads.

So what’s cooking in your kitchen? Which local, accessible ingredient are you a fan of? Do tell! We would love to hear from you!