Millets are ancient grains very widely used in our grand mothers and probably even in our mothers kitchen. My mom used to include millets in everyday cooking and she would make varieties of dishes. There is an ancient saying in Tamil “Unave marundhu, marundhe unavu”, meaning food is medicine, medicine is food. The dishes they cooked were absolutely healthy. The ingredients consists mostly of healthy herbs, spices, sprouts millets, and vegetables.
Over the last 50 years, diet and preference of dishes have changed drastically – yes, in just that short period. This is due to the changing pace of life. I still prefer my idli’s, dosas, upmas, chapathis for my breakfast just the way mom would do it. But When I ask my daughter what do you prefer for your breakfast, she would instantly say – ‘bread and jam’, ‘Chocos’. Less said the better about greens, or dishes made with greens – ‘Eugh’ is the first reaction of kids.
Having a healthy eating habit right from the early age is very important. I cook a healthy meal with veggies, millets, dal and I make sure I cook only one meal for the whole family. I do not cook separately for each one of us. I know hubby and daughter would cry and complain they don’t like to eat this stuff, I just keep quite and then later they would eat. It started of like this and now they eat the veggies, greens and millets.
Millets are very commonly used in South Indian kitchen in ancient days, but now it’s totally forgotten, if not be all but by many. But slowly there is a realization of the benefits of millets and ancient recipes and many are falling back to the roots which is a good thing. Since my daughter was born I have always been looking for healthier options and try to make my day to day recipes a bit more healthier using veggies or millets or greens..Today’s post is about one such forgotten millet – Ragi as we call and name in english is finger millet.
I used a organic ragi semiya and cooked it according to the packet instructions. Then prepared a upma using the cooked ragi vermicelli and cooked veggies. This is a very healthy and filling breakfast dish. Serve it with spicy coconut chutney, it’s so good!
Here’s Ragi semiya vegetable upma recipe –
Serves 3-4 person
Ragi semiya – 1 1/2 cups
Carrots – 1 large(finely chopped)
Beans – 4-5 nos(finely chopped)
Onions – 1 large(thin sliced)
Tomatoes – 1 large (finely chopped)
Mustard seeds – 1 tspn
Urad dal – 1 tbspn
Channa dal – 1 tbspn
Peanuts – 2 tbspns
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Green chillies – 2
Dried red chillies – 2 nos
Oil – 1 1/2 tbspn
Salt to taste
1. Cook ragi vermicelli as per packet instructions. Mine said to soak the vermicelli in 2 liter water for 1 minute, then drain water completely without pressing the vermicelli, then steam in idli steamer for 5 minutes. Remove from idli pans and very gently separate the vermicellies using your finger tips, keep aside.
2. Cook veggies and keep aside. I used carrots and beans, you any veggies of your choice.
3. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan. To hot oil add mustard seeds and wait till they crackle. Add urad dhal, channa dal and saute for a minute or till they turn golden brown.
4. Next add thin slices of onions, green chillies, ginger pieces and curry leaves and saute till onions turn translucent.
5. Add tomatoes and cook till they are soft. Add salt to taste mix well, fry for 20 seconds.
6. Now add the cooked veggies stir and cook for about a minute.
7. Now add the steamed vermicelli and toss it very gently. Do not over mix and break the vermicelli.
8. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves if you like. Serve hot with spicy coconut chutney. Healthy and filling breakfast dish is ready!