Millets as Main Course
In our previous article, we mentioned some fantastic millets-based snacks which are great as breakfast too. As the day progresses and lunch time nears, did you know you could make some amazing filling and tasty main course dishes with millets too?
Millets are cost-effective and abundantly nutritious, hence they have been the staple foods of the Economically Weaker Sections of society for a very long time. Except for these 2-3 decades or so, millets have been a part of our diet in India and it is now that we have to regain our lost culinary heritage.
Here are some main course preparations that are great for meals, ideally as a one-dish meal.
Ragi/Nachni (Finger Millet)
A popular combination of a rural meal in Maharashtra, Ragi bhakri (a thick Finger Millet flatbread) with thecha (a coarsely ground chilli-garlic-peanut preparation) is a quick preparation when you do not wish to have your usual elaborate meal. We recommend you have an onion too, the white one, now that the summers are almost here.
How about a protein and calcium meal? Sounds interesting na! Then here’s what you can make. A flavourful paneer stuffing between ragi/nachni rotis and there you have it, a delicious meal. The tricky task here is getting the paranthas right, because ragi flour and other millet flours are difficult to bind.
We all have had Curd-Rice, now how about Curd-Jowar? That’s right, whole jowar grains can be made into a delicious dish too. A simple, light-on-the-stomach flavourful preparation of jowar with curd. A flavourful tempering just makes it simply good.
Quite a popular preparation, Jowar Bhakri is a staple preparation in Maharashtrian households and also in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. Tastes fabulous with Baingan Bharta, Pithla, gravy sabji or curry, as the bhakri is thick and a bit dry. Else, garlic chutney is often a usual accompaniment. Bhakris, when had straight from the tawa, taste fabulous and are easy to swallow.
Bajra (Pearl Millet)
A perky spice mix that goes into the millet-lentil mixture, changes the way you have been having Bajra. Simple and yet delicious, this Bajra preparation is just what you need on days when all you need is a lot of rest and yet not much fuss about cooking.
Now, the wholesome goodness of wheat, bajra flour and fenugreek leaves together makes these fried puris a wonderful meal. Great to have with chunda, pickle or yogurt.
While preparing the puri dough, if you add gram flour, you can roll out dhebras too. Dhebras are a thicker version of theplas. Great to carry on long distance journeys and filling too. So, you see you can make two interesting preparations with the same dough.
So, here we have shared a few recipes that are good options for your next meal that also show the versatility of millets.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.