Little Millet and its Huge Benefits
In a world where health and wellness have become a supreme lifestyle, nutrition-oriented foods like millets and other cereals are gaining popularity.
Indian kitchens have evolved a lot in the recent years, but at the same time, have proudly gone back to their roots!
Every dietician and nutritionist including me is vouching for the remarkable benefits that millets have on human health.
Little millet is one of the smallest millets and is also called as kutki in Hindi, sava (Marathi), garjro (Gujarati), same (Kannada) , Samai (Tamil) and samalu in Telugu.
LITTLE MILLET- NOT ‘LITTLE’ IN NUTRITION!
1. Rich in Potent Antioxidants
A recent research published in the proceedings of the Nutrition Society (2017) mentions that the millet grains are healthy and richer in polyphenol and antioxidant content compared to the millet flour and flakes.
Little Millet is also rich in tannins, flavonoids which helps against diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cataract, cancer, inflammation, Gastrointestinal problems and delay ageing too
2. Help treat Diabetes
It takes longer time for glucose to enter the bloodstream and hence blood sugar levels remain stable. This effect proves beneficial for diabetics who have to control rapid rise and decline of blood glucose.
3. Helps lower cholesterol
Little millet is rich in Magnesium which helps improve heart health. It is also rich in Niacin which helps lower cholesterol.
4. Weight loss
Little millet contains phosphorus which is great for weight loss, tissue repair and energy production after strenuous workout.
It also helps detoxify the body.
Due to high water-soluble fibre content, they provide satiety, prolonged gastric emptying and weight loss.
Hence, little millet is recommended for people with lifestyle disorders like obesity, diabetes and other cardiovascular conditions.
5. Respiratory conditions
Little millet is known to treat respiratory condition like Asthma.
6. Gluten free
Samai is gluten free. It is an excellent alternative for those opting for gluten free diet or those with celiac disease/ gluten sensitive enteropathy.
Little millets thus, make a perfect addition to the diet of people who do yoga, workouts, cardio, etc. Moreover, its high nutritional value makes it a must-eat in a balanced diet.
NUTRITION PROFILE OF LITTLE MILLET
Carbohydrates (g) : 67.0
Protein (g) : 7.7
Fat (g) : 4.7
Energy (KCal) : 341
Crude fiber (g) : 7.6
Calcium (mg) : 17
Phosphorous (mg) : 220
Iron (mg) : 9.3
HOW TO COOK LITTLE MILLET?
Before we talk about cooking, lets talk about storing the grains.
You can store them in airtight containers for up to 6 months. You can increase the longevity of these grains by keeping them in the freezer.
Pressure cook- Wash the millet rice. The ratio should be 1: 2 for millet: water. After the first whistle, reduce the flame. After the second whistle, take it off the flame.
The pressure cooker should be allowed to rest for a while and the millet should not be mixed using a spoon when hot.
You can consume this with Dal/ Sambar/ Rassam or curries.
Open vessel cooking- The millet should be soaked in water in 1:2 ratio for about half an hour.
Cook it in a medium flame with the lid covered. Reduce the flame after one boil. After 10 minutes, take it off the flame and firmly close the lid.
HOW TO USE LITTLE MILLET
1. Little millet serves as a healthy tweak for rice. Any recipe that demands staple rice can be prepared using little millet. It has the smallest grains, so it cooks faster than other millets.
2. Spruce it up with fresh veggies while making salad or even home-made chaas.
3. It can be dry roasted and mixed in wheat flour for adding crunch to your chapatis, breads and muffins
4. Little millet flour can be used in preparing baby food, as porridge or even as a stuffing in rolls/ wraps or parathas.
5. You can make upma by adding it after spices and other ingredients and cooking with twice the amount of water. Samai upma makes an excellent meal.
6. You can make Samai Dosa, Tomato rice, lemon rice, Biryani, halwa, kesari, or Payassam
7. The whole grains can be sprouted and used in salads.
8. You can even pop them and eat them like popcorns.
A SIMPLE RECIPE USING LITTLE MILLET
Little millet curd rice
1/2 cup little millet
1 cup water
3/4th cup curd
1/4th cup milk
3 tbsp carrots
Finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
1 tsp Oil
Half tsp Urad dal
Half tsp mustard seeds
1/4th piece ginger (finely chopped)
1 finely chopped green chilli
1. Boil water, add the little millet and cook until the millet becomes soft.
2. Then take the millet in a mixing bowl, mash it and add curd, milk and mix it up well.
3. Heat oil in a pan, add all the seasonings to temper, let it splutter.
4. Transfer this seasoning to rice along with grated carrot, coriander leaves and salt. Mix it well.
5. Serve chilled.
Little millet is an indigenous grain with a variety of health benefits.
The current situation where hidden hunger is on the rise, demands on the development of food products that are rich in nutrients and cost effective are rising.
The utilization of little millets for development of various value added, therapeutic and functional products apart from traditional food preparations can increase the demand for this grain in terms of production as it is currently declining due to less utilisation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sneha Jain, Dietician
Sneha is a Post graduate with specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a university topper and holds 5+ years of experience in Apollo hospitals, VLCC, slimsutra and first cry fit-kids .
She has successfully counselled clients all over India for weight loss, weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, PCOD, hypothyroid, Pregnancy and lactation and growth charts for children. She has her own diet consultation e-clinic (diet_diariez)
She believes in customized diets and eating local and seasonal foods. Her counselling not only involves diet planning, but also lifestyle modification and stress relief strategies.