Nowadays Millets / Siru Dhanyam are getting popular because of their many health benefits. Back home amma and MIL used to make a few dishes, but never really paid attention as these millets were not easily available here in USA. But now due to health concerns it has almost become staple at my mom’s place and during my recent India visit had a chance to try quite a few varieties. Sid too enjoyed them a lot and never complained. Thats good news and now I have a reason to pack as much as I can. These millets are very easily available in most of the grocery stores/ departmental stores in India. Got mine from Waitrose Supermarket which even carried organic produce.
Millets can be used to make upma, dosa, idli, vada, bajjis/pakoras, murrukus/chakkli, nipatlu, pongal, mudda (dumpling), khichdi, pulav/biriyani, kheer/payasam, baked products such as bread and biscuits, or just boiled as rice. It can be easily substituted for rice and wheat. Cooking them plain will be the easiest of all preparations … to make it a little appetizing Khichdi/Pongal would be a good start and here is my attempt making KODO Millet Pongal…..
Why Kodo Millet / Varagu arisi ?
Varagu rice is gluten-free and packed with vitamins and minerals, high fiber content, helps in controlling blood sugar and Cholesterol, digestion friendly, ease constipation, helps in reduction of cancer risks.
Where to buy Kodo Millet / Varagu Arisi?
You can find this millet in most of the grocery stores in India, Nilgiris Supermarket / Waitrose Supermarket / Any Departmental Store / Organic Stores -Dhanyam Supermarket / even ordinary maligai stores carry these millets. I have not seen this in USA so far, if you happen to see this variety pls share the info. Finger millet, Foxtail millet, Pearl Millet and Sorghum are available in Indian Stores (Patel Bros), USA and some online stores like http://www.bobsredmill.com/
How to cook Plain Kodo Millet / Varagu Arisi ?
You can cook Varagu either by pressure cooking or over stove top.
For 1 cup Kodo/Varagu its 2 & 3/4 cups of water for slightly grainy consistency.
For 1 cup Kodo/ Varagu its 3 cups of water for mushy texture.
Stove top method: Soaking not necessary for Kodo /Varagu Millet. Wash & rinse the millet in cold water and clean all the dirt. Keep aside. Bring water to a boil, reduce the flame to sim, add the millet, cover and cook for 10 minutes over low flame. Once done switch off. Let it rest for 5 minutes to cook additional in that steam. Now fluff up the cooked millet using a fork and its all ready for serving. Serve warm with sambar / rasam/ curd.
Pressure cooker method: Soaking not necessary for Kodo /Varagu Millet. Wash & rinse the millet in cold water and clean all the dirt. Using the above measure cook the millet with water upto to 2 whistles.
How to cook Millets / Kodo Millet Pongal / Siru Dhanyam/ Siru Dhaniyam / Varagu Ven Pongal / Pongal recipes / Millet Recipes / Saamai Thinai Varagu Kuthiraivali Kambu recipes / Cooking Millets / Healthy Millets / Diabetic Recipes /
Lets make Ven Pongal using Kodo Millet / Varagu Arisi
|Kodo Millet / Varagu Arisi||1 cup|
|Split Yellow Moong dal||1/2 cup|
|Water||5 cups (mushy consistency)|
|Asafoetida powder||1/4 teaspoon|
|Fresh ginger||1 teaspoon minced|
|Cumin seeds||3/4 teaspoon|
|Black peppercorns||1 teaspoon|
|Cashew nut||8 count (broken into half)|
|Curry leaves||10 leaves|
Kodo millet & Moong dal doesn’t require soaking. Moong dal when soaked or dry roasted for added flavor and good texture. . I usually soak moong dal for 20 minutes to get a mushy texture. Add both dal and millet to a pressure cooker pan.
Add desired amount of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Usually with millets a little salt can go a long way… so add 3/4 teaspoon of salt now and adjust the remaining later.
Pressure cook upto 3 whistles and switch off. Let the pressure release and then open the pan.
Meanwhile heat a small kadai or fry pan and heat the ghee, roast the cashews first to golden and then followed by cumin seeds, black peppercorns, ginger, asafoetida powder and curry leaves.
Add this to the cooked pongal and mix.
Serve hot topped with ghee along with sambar, chutney and vadai.
Yield- 4 to 5 adult servings
Better when served warm. Cooked millet tend to thicken or turn little hard if kept for long time. If reheating sprinkle little water and then mix.
Millets can be dry roasted if necessary to bring out the flavor but not really necessary.