In the past year, I noticed a lot of people were making a switch to millets in place of rice. Hard-core rice eaters like my father alternated his rice consumption with millets.
I saw millets in mixed rice, porridge, dessert and even steamed cake versions. It was a force to be reckoned with. I did a bit of reading to find out what the fuss was all about. I was stumped! Millets besides being one of the oldest and inexpensive cereals available, comes with a host of health benefits.
To list a few, it is high in fibre, iron, calcium and B vitamins and protein. It is also favoured by many for its slow release of sugar making it perfect for those watching their sugar intake and on a low GI diet. As a huge plus, this is gluten free and easy on the tummy.
- Thinai/ foxtail millet – 1 cup
- Yoghurt – 1 cup
- Milk – ½ cup
- Carrot – 1, peeled and finely chopped
- Cucumber (optional) – 1 peeled and chopped
- Salt – To taste
- Water – 4 cups
- Mustard seeds – 1 tspn.
- Broken urad dal – ½ tspn.
- Red chilli – As much you’d like.
Oil – ½ tblspn.
- Wash the millets thoroughly. Allow it to soak for about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the soaked millets into a cooker.
- Pour the water.
- Pressure cook for 4 whistles.
- Alternatively, you could cook the soaked millets in a pot.
- Bring the millets to a boil, simmer until it is al dante or mashable. The consistency is a personal preference. I like mine mashed and creamy.
- Once done, transfer to a mixing bowl. Add yoghurt, milk, salt and chopped carrots & cucumber.
- Combine to mix well.
- Adjust the salt quantity at this stage. Keep aside.
- To temper, heat oil in a small pan.
- Add mustard seeds and let it crackle. Follow it up by adding the broken urad dal. Gently stir until the dal is golden.
- Remove the pan from the flame and pour the tempered mixture into the mixed yoghurt rice.
- Give it a good mix and serve chilled or in room temperature.
- I have used foxtail millet because that is the variant I had in my pantry. There are other varieties, which you could opt instead of this one.
- The vegetables I have used are just indicators of combinations that could work. You could add halved grapes, chopped onions, chopped raw mango pieces, pomegranate and the choices are endless.
- I normally add chopped green chilli for a bit of a kick you could do so if you like that spicy flavour.
- If you intend to pack this for lunch, then add a little bit more milk so the yoghurt rice doesn’t turn clumpy.
- Tempering is to give the yoghurt rice some texture. It gives the nuttiness and a crunchy flavour as you take each morsel of the creamy dish. You could however totally skip the tempering if you wish.
- For those in Australia, check your Indian or Asian grocers for foxtail millet.