While every now and then new fads in diet are making headlines, thankfully, people have understood the importance of age-old foods and moved on from fancy ingredients to local ones.
Ancient millets and unpolished grains are now the preferred replacements of quinoa and oats.
And with celebrity nutritionists like Rujuta Diwekar vouching for the benefits of local and seasonal produce, health-conscious populace is researching and going back to the roots when it comes to their food choices. Let us look at some of the ways that one can incorporate millets in their daily dietary intake.
As staple food
Many regions in Telangana eat jonna rotti (Sorghum bread) as a staple every day. In Rayalseema, ragi sangati (finger millet) is the most-common dish at local households. When it comes to korralu (foxtail millet), it is a nutritious replacement to rice and can be cooked and eaten in the same way. The above mentioned millets can be easily incorporated in our daily meals as they have very simple methods of preparation.
Before the grocery-chain revolution, local kirana stores stocked up on these. But, once customers started preferring branded, packaged food, the inventory also changed to match the needs. Now again, due to the rise of organic and whole food stores, millets have become easily accessible. In terms of price point, they aren’t too expensive which is another major factor. Apart from exclusive stores, farmers’ markets and stores in small towns have ample supply of these ancient foods.
These ingredients have a natural flavour of their own which enhances even common every day snacks. For instance, instead of suji in regular upma, use foxtail millet. The taste and texture adds a new dimension. Even murukulu and other crispy snacks can be made out of any millet flour – ragi, jowar or multi-millet. Ragi dosas and ragi idlis have already become a favourite for their numerous nutritional benefits.