Although the isn’t over, the nip in the air is enough to make us feel festive. And more than anything, it is the food menu that changes with the weather. I have been exploring so much in the world of millets that I feel great about trying out different millets in different seasons.
While Navratras depict a remarkable change in season, it also allows us to relook at our pantry. It is this time of the year when we need to stock up diversity, because this change of season brings many interesting millets like barnyard (samak) and other pseudo grains like buckwheat (kuttu), amaranth (rajgira) in most grocery stores. The sight of ‘vrat ka khana’ in itself is satisfying. But let me tell you a secret: these superfoods are not meant for only those who observe fasts. This is for all of us to understand that when seasons change, our nutritional needs have to change, too. It is only with diverse nutrition that we are able to give our gut a much-required makeover. I do not observe fasts, but I would love to continue to reap the benefits of seasonal superfoods even when Navratras are over.
Today I would like to share something for your sweet tooth. We all love coconut laddoos, don’t we? Here’s my little attempt to make them wholesome with barnyard millet. Read more for the step-by-step recipe and amazing health benefits.
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Coconut laddoos with barnyard millet
Ingredients: (Makes 20 laddoos)
· ½ cup barnyard millet (soaked for 6-8 hours)
· 2 cups water to boil
· A few strands of saffron mixed with 2 tbsp warm milk
· ½ tsp salt (optional)
· 1 cup grated fresh coconut
· 1/2 cup organic powdered jaggery
· 2 tbsp sliced almonds (optional)
· 2 tbsp sliced pistachios (optional)
· ½ tsp cardamom powder
· 2 tbsp cow ghee
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1. Wash the soaked millet thoroughly.
2. In a deep pan, allow 2 cups of water to boil. Add salt, ghee (or oil) and wash millet grains. Cover it and boil till millet soaks up all the water.
3. Once boiled and tender, allow it cool down a bit. Add saffron and milk mixture. Keep it aside.
4. Now in a separate pan, heat 2 tbsp cow ghee.
5. Add grated coconut and let it cook till it starts to get crispier. Add nuts, followed by jaggery powder.
6. To help jaggery mix well, add a little more ghee. You can even avoid this step.
7. Add cardamom powder and allow the mixture to cook for 2-3 minutes with continuous stirring.
8. Now add the rested boiled millet and saffron mixture. Mix it well till the consistency is a bit dry and dough-like.
9. Allow the mixture to rest and completely cool down.
10. With the help of your greased palms, start making ball sized laddoos.
11. Garnish with sliced almonds and silver leaves (vark).
12. Try eating them on the same day. Do not refrigerate, as we shouldn’t be refrigerating cooked millets. To know more, you can attend my webinar on “mistakes we do while cooking with millets”. I promise there will be a lot that you would like to hear about millets.
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Health benefits of barnyard millet
Nutritionally, barnyard millet is a superior grain with good amounts of macronutrients and dietary fiber. This tiny wonder grain is a good source of B-complex vitamins, which is good for elders, especially diabetic patients.
The other names of barnyard millet are shyama in Bengali, moraiyo in Gujarati, sanwa of samak in Hindi, oodalu in Kannada, kuthiraivolly in Tamil, and udalu in Telugu.
(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and as a Millet Coach, she holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups)
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