Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Millets . . . The Journey Continues

After, we moved on from NJH, we were quite at a loss to find out what we could do regarding the work we started with millets. At Kachhwa, we found out that there was no finger millet. However, there was quite a lot of pearl millet all around. And the interesting fact was that very similar to finger millet, the cultivation and use of pearl millet was also on the decline. 

On asking questions to the locals, we found out the following - 

1. It is easy to grow. It does not need much water. Which means that there is no additional investment for arranging irrigation facilities. 
2. Many knew that it was good for health. Very few knew that it was rich in Iron. 
3. Most of the traditional delicacies made out of pearl millet was long forgotten. Of note was the 'Bajri laddoo'. I'm still searching for someone who could make it for us. 

However, there were challenges - 

a. The cereal could not be kept for too long. One had to finish it within 6-8 months of harvest. 
b. If it was ground to flour, it could not be kept in the open for long.
c. There is a very negative feeling about the food item as it is commonly eaten by the poor. 

Well, it is harvest time now. It is not difficult to get the flour or the cereal. At 14 INR per kilogram, it is really cheap and like most of the other millets, it swells up as it is high in fibre and you need lesser volumes to quell your hunger. 

So, we tried out some recipes .. .. ..

Here are the snaps - - - 

Pearl Millet Cake

Bajra Idli

Bajra Dosai
Looking forward on how we can take this forward. Ideas are very much welcome . . . 

2 comments:

  1. Due to allergies my husband's best friend cannot eat wheat. He is frequently a guest in our house so I have been using millet and rice flours for a couple years now instead of wheat when I cook for him. My cooking style is mainly US southern/Cajun and millet flour is the best replacement in my recipes because it browns and gets a nice nutty aroma like wheat. One thing millet works nicely for is any recipe that needs a roux (usually thick soups and stews). Millet makes really good roux with a complex nutty flavor. Millet roux can take an inexpensive soup and make it more filling and flavorful.

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