Finger millet is a staple food grain cultivated mainly in African and Asian countries. This tiny seed is nutrient dense and gluten-free. Finger millet is a rich source of iron, calcium and fibre; the cereal is easy to digest and is low-fat. In India, after 6 months, finger millet porridge is given to babies in addition to mother's milk to help with gaining weight, strengthening bones and teeth, and to help in overall growth.
Despite all its importance, finger millet is a highly neglected crop, both scientifically and internationally - most of the world has never heard of it. The countries which grow the crop also neglect it as 'poor man's food' or as 'birdseed'.
Recently, the world's attitude to this healthy seed is seen to change slightly. Many stores are now selling the millet flour.Here is an easy recipe to include this healthy nutritious grain into your diet. Always try the organic millet flour for safety purposes.
Ingredients 3 tablespoons organic millet flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
3 tablespoons jaggery powder
1/8 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
A pinch of salt
In a saucepan, mix together water, millet flour, jaggery powder, cumin seed, salt and coconut.
Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously. Cook until it becomes thick and smooth.
Remove from heat. Add cardamom powder and raisins.
Let it cool and serve while warm enough to take.
You can use milk instead of water. The recipe is for toddlers and elder ones - do not feed this recipe to infants. In the early stages, infants cannot digest the red millet-bran. So usually, we soak the flour in water for 5-10 minutes, then drain the water and discard the solid part, then cook the water with a little sugar or salt until a thick porridge is made. Every baby is different. So introduce it in small proportions to infants.