FOxtail millet, the second most planted millet, is a rich source of nutrients. The crop mainly grows in tropical or temperate climatic conditions and is mainly found in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
This variety of millet is an excellent alternative to rice. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that a protein in foxtail millet bran can control heart problems to some extent.
The main cause of heart disease is narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup or atherosclerosis. Foxtail millet bran peroxidase (FMBP), present in this crop, can inhibit this growth. Millet also contains high amounts of iron and calcium, which stabilizes blood sugar levels and boosts the immune system. Regular consumption of this millet can even help in weight loss, due to the presence of dietary fiber.
Dr PV Lakshmi, chief dietitian at Gleneagles Global Health City, told the New Indian Express: “Four months ago, a patient with extremely high blood sugar levels visited us. He was suggested foxtail millet in his diet and exercises. After a month, her blood sugar levels dropped significantly. It was a wonderful change. His cholesterol level also improved thanks to the fiber content of millet.
She added that eating 100g of foxtail millet satisfies 25% of the daily magnesium requirement. It can prevent a few types of cancer, regulate asthma attacks and relieve high blood pressure.
Bird millet is gluten-free and can be eaten by anyone. It may also increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a disease that makes bones brittle.
Are you already convinced of the prowess of this millet? If so, here are some everyday foxtail millet recipes that you can cook easily.
Foxtail millet dosa
Foxtail millet – 200 g
Urad dal – 80g
Fenugreek seeds- 1.5 tsp
Salt – for taste
Oil as needed
Wash millet, dal and fenugreek seeds in cold water. Soak them in separate bowls for six hours or overnight. Then mix them into a smooth paste by adding the necessary amount of water. Add salt to taste. Leave the dough to ferment for another six hours. Next, take a dosa mold, grease it with oil, pour the dough and spread it with a ladle in the shape of a circle. Cook well and enjoy it fresh with sambar or coconut chutney.
Upma foxtail millet
Sesame oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
White Urad Dal – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs, finely chopped
Green chilli – 1
Dry red pepper – 1
Onion – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 inch, finely chopped
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Carrot – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Green beans – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Foxtail millet – 1 cup
Lemon – 1
Salt – to taste
Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
In a pressure cooker, add the mustard seeds and urad dal to the hot oil. Let it crackle and turn golden brown, then add green and red chiles. Then add the onion and ginger. Once they soften, add the curry leaves, turmeric powder, beans, carrot, foxtail millet, salt, and 2.5 cups of water. Let the cooker emit five or six whistles. Simmer for another five minutes and after the pressure subsides, squeeze the juice from one lemon and sprinkle with coriander leaves. Serve hot with tomato chutney. This recipe can serve up to two people.
Bird millet khichdi
Foxtail millet – ½ cup
Moong dal- ½ cup
Water – 2.5 cups
Carrot, beans, peas, bell pepper – 1 cup, finely chopped
Methi leaves – ¼ cup
Tomato – 1
Ghee – 1.3 tbsp
Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
Cumin – ½ tsp
Red chili powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Garam masala- ¼ tsp
Salt – for taste
Clean and soak millets and dal for one hour. Add ghee to a heated pressure cooker. Add cumin and ginger. Then add all the vegetables and sauté them for three minutes. Add turmeric, red chilli, garam masala powders and salt. Drain the dal and millet, add them and sauté for three minutes. Add water and let the cooker emit 2-3 whistles. Open the container and add some more ghee. Serve hot with spicy pickles and papad. The recipe serves two.
(Editing by Divya Sethu)