Ask Amma

Posts Tagged ‘millet’

10-grain idlis

In Recipes on 19 March 2016 at 9:34 am

We’ve made idlis and dosas with little millet, kodo millet, proso millet, pearl millet, foxtail millet, finger millet and even made them with teff, which it turns out, is also a kind of millet. Oh, and of course we have made them with paddy rice.  (Our millet-farming friends insist on calling what generally goes by the name of rice, “paddy rice” to distinguish it from some of the millets which in the local language are actually called varieties of rice, e.g. సామ బీయ్యము or वरी चावल (little millet rice),  కొర్ర బీయ్యము (foxtail millet rice), सामक चावल (barnyard millet rice).  In this case the term “rice” is used not as a name for the grain but for the whole form of the grain, as opposed to cracked grain (ravva), flattened grain (poha) or flour (atta).

I made idlis using all 11 of these ingredients - 10 grains plus 1 legume.

I decided to make idlis using all 11 of these ingredients – 10 grains plus 1 legume.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Teff Idli and Dosa!

In Recipes on 13 February 2016 at 3:11 am

Sometimes our millet dosas remind us of injera, a traditional Ethiopian dish we ate a few years ago when visiting friends in Boston.  Khiyali and her friends enjoyed chanting, “eat the plate!  eat the plate!”   The injera was the edible plate on which the various toppings were served.  After tearing off pieces of injera and scooping up the steamed and stir-fried vegetables, the rest of the plate, which had absorbed some of the flavors from the toppings, was fun to eat up all by itself.

Out of curiosity I bought a bag of teff at David’s Natural Market when I was in Maryland but did not get around to finding out how to make anything with it.  By the time I left for India the bag was still unopened so I brought it along with me.  When I searched for recipes for injera it seemed I needed teff flour and not whole teff.  Of course this grain is so tiny it is almost like flour but anyway that gave me the free pass to try using it like all the other grains in my collection – to make dosas!  How different could they be?

Teff and Urad

Teff and Urad, ready to get soaked.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ragi Idli and Dosa, Take 3

In Recipes on 30 January 2016 at 9:44 am
Tri-Millet Idli - made of Ragi, Sama and Proso millet along with Urad (Black Gram).

Tri-Millet Idli – made of Ragi, Sama and Proso millet along with Urad (Black Gram).

In Ragi Idli and Dosa, Take 1, I tried using whole ragi (finger millet) to make the batter used for idli and dosa.  Since I’d never done nor seen any one do it before, I used part ragi and part rice along with the urad (black gram).   Pleased with the results, I tried using only ragi and urad in my next attempt, Ragi Idli and Dosa Take 2.  To my pleasant surprise, this batter also rose well and produced tasty idlis, albeit heavier than even my usual idlis which, being always whole grain, tend to be denser than white idlis, just as whole wheat bread is less airy than white bread.

Now that I have made idlis and dosas using  just about every kind of millet I have been able to get my hands on – little millet (sama), kodo millet (arikalu), proso (varigalu), pearl millet (bajra) and finger (ragi), I thought, why not mix them up? Read the rest of this entry »

Whole Ragi Idli and Dosa, Take 2

In Recipes on 14 January 2016 at 5:20 pm

¡Si se puede!  I exclaimed when I saw the dough the morning after grinding it.  It had risen.  At last I could report to the naysayers, who thought that whole ragi and whole urad couldn’t be trusted to make a good idli, oh yes they can!

ragi idli with sambar

Read the rest of this entry »

Ragi Idli and Dosa, Take 1

In Recipes on 8 January 2016 at 12:03 pm
Mix 1 part sprouted ragi flour and 2 parts water, bring to a boil while stirring continuously. Video

Ragi: Not only for porridge. (Video)

Soon after I arrived in India, I visited Balaji in Chennai and met the folks of the Tamil Nadu Science Forum which took Balaji by storm (or was it the other way around?)  There I heard Ambarigi, Shanthi and other workers talk about the value of sattamavu, or ragi, sprouted and ground and easy to make into porridge. They focussed on encouraging parents to prepare it for young children and asked us and other well-wishers to help promote it by sponsoring a year’s worth of sattemavu for a family in need.  This Ravi and I did and later started a program to distribute ragi in Srikakulam as well.  It was not until six months after our daughter was born that we bought the stuff to make and eat ourselves.

As it turned out ragi porridge was an instant hit and we have been making it ever since.  I didn’t venture further in the millet department until a couple of years ago when I started using every variety of millet I could find.  Ragi, or finger millet was a regular part of our diet in the form of porridge.  What to do with the other kinds?  I tried them out in idli and dosa batter and they were great.  Soon I was making idlis and dosas out of Proso MilletKodo MilletLittle Millet and Pearl Millet (bajra).  I also made pulihara out of Foxtail Millet.

But what about Finger Millet?   Read the rest of this entry »

Bajra-kodo idli

In Recipes on 18 December 2015 at 2:19 pm
Bajra-Kodo Idli

Bajra-Kodo Idli

Picked up some bajra (సజ్జలు | pearl millet) from the Farmers’ Market and thought, let’s see if we can make idlis with these too. Since it was my first time trying it I used some millet as well.  I didn’t use any rice.  My proportions were:

1 cup bajra (సజ్జలు)
1 cup kodo millet (ఆరికలు)
1 cup urad (మినువులు)

Soak in water for 8 hours, grind to a smooth batter, allow to rise overnight, add 1/2 tsp salt and make idlis as usual.

I will take pictures next time I make bajra idli and update this page with step-by-step instructions.   Meanwhile,  for a detailed description and pictures of the process see any of the following:

Bajra from Paryavaran Mitra (at Farmers' Market) and Urad from EcoFresh (via Chembur)

Bajra from Paryavaran Mitra (at Farmers’ Market) and Urad from EcoFresh (via Chembur)

Proso Millet Idli and Dosa
Kodo Millet Idli and Dosa
Swanky Little Millet Idli & Dosa
Whole -grain idli and dosa

 

Fall Colors! Sweet Potato and Collard Green Stew with Millet

In Recipes on 30 October 2015 at 3:21 am

My sister came across this dish at a lunch club that she joined in her old office — members took turns preparing lunch for the whole group.  Reminds me of my co-op in Madison.  Like most of her preparations this was beautiful and bursting with flavor.  Unlike most of her fancy dishes, however, this looked like something I could make!  She even threw in a few ingredients without measuring them 🙂 and Khiyali, host of the Young Person’s Cookery Show, even got to help.  I watched.

The dish was called African Peanut Stew.  The name conjured up colors of lush forest green and robust orange with accents of nutty brown … and sure enough we stirred these up in the pot and beheld the dish before us.  We made some variations to the recipe posted at Budget Bytes, (but all within the budget).

What a great way to eat different leafy greens – we made it with collard greens, but one could try other greens as well.

Stew made of collard green and sweet potato served with millet.

Stew made of collard green and sweet potato served with millet.

Read the rest of this entry »

Korra or Quinoa? Eat local and ensure food for all

In What on 4 August 2015 at 12:58 pm
Millet or Quinoa?

Millet or Quinoa?

Quinoa is a wonderful grain but does it make sense to grow and eat it far away from the Andes Mountains where it traditionally grows and where it has been a staple grain for the common people before the worldwide boom raised the price?  Rather than chasing after grains from around the world, we would do better for our own health, for the right to food for all, and for the earth if we explored the diversity of grains that grow well in the climate and soil wherever we live.  Readers in the United States and in India can find easy ways to get started using a variety of local millets in lieu of rice and wheat in standard preparations such as idli, dosa, pulao and pulihara, and from there get more adventurous with millets.

And now a word from our friends at the Millet Network of India. Read the rest of this entry »

Proso Millet Idlis (and Dosas)

In Recipes on 6 July 2015 at 6:23 pm

My friend Hema in New Jersey asked me, how can I use local grains in the United States?   While there are several wonderful cookbooks featuring such American staples as buckwheat, barley, rye it is not as easy to find recipes using millet and many recipes using these traditional yet less common grains call for even more specialized ingredients.  Of course it is well worth the effort, but what if you want to make something simple with millet right now?

Proso Millet Idli

Proso Millet Idli

One way to jump right into using locally grown millets is to make idlis with them.  Black gram, water and salt are the only other ingredients you need.  Read the rest of this entry »

Millet-wheat waffles or pancakes

In Recipes on 5 July 2015 at 4:00 am

Are you torn between buying one more appliance for the kitchen, and one more box of store-bought waffles?

If you need one more reason to start making fresh home-made waffles, here you go:  millet waffles!

Millet-wheat waffle topped with blueberries.

Millet-wheat waffle topped with blueberries.

Millet-wheat waffles, that is.  These are easy to make and use equal parts of millet and whole wheat flour.

(And if you aren’t interested in waffles, use the same batter for millet pancakes.)

In the waffles pictured above I used sprouted millet flour which I got from a company called To Your Health in Alabama. Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: