For many, the concept of a millet-inclusive diet would mean adapting to a completely new kind of food habit. However, sticking to your original diet, with just smaller and healthier changes to the food regimen is possible, says Jayashree S, a homemaker who makes dishes out of millets like thinai, varagu and kambu at least thrice a week. “To begin with my breakfast, there is kambu koozhu, which is both healthy and refreshing. In just 15 minutes of preparation time, I fix a healthy breakfast,” she says. She shares her quick fix recipe. Grind kambu in a mixie till it becomes a smooth powder. Mix water and stir it in a heavy-bottom vessel till it becomes a glassy paste, keep stirring till it gets cooked and then add buttermilk after cooling it. Jayashree also makes thinai pongal every week for a light dinner. She says, “I realised that the regular pongal doesn’t reduce the intake of rice, as it is the same in another form. So, I cut the quantity of ghee and replaced the regular rice with thinai.”
For N Choodamani, every dinner is either idli, dosa or the routine pongal. But considering the heavy intake of carbohydrates, she occasionally adds a little amount of kezhvaragu.
She says, it doesn’t alter the taste altogether and at the same time, it is a healthier dinner.
“For my mother-in-law, who is in her 80s, it is the same idli or dosa and easily palatable. She doesn’t like any change in her routine, and this is the perfect way to ensure that,” adds Choodamani.
For Sandhya K, who fasts on a weekly basis, kezhavaragu adai with jaggery gives the necessary nourishment to keep her going all day. She says, “Adding kezhvaragu with moong dhaal and a little jaggery makes the dinner lot more wholesome. Just one adai is filling enough.”
Fenugreek Porridge or Venthaya Kanji
- Sprouts of fenugreek (mulaikatiya venthayam) - 50 grams
- Sprouted white jhovar (mulaikatiya vellai cholam) - 100 grams
- Ragi - 100 grams
- Raw rice - 100 grams
- Jaggery -250 grams
- Milk - 1 glass or 300 ml
Take the sprouted fenugreek, white jhovar, ragi and dry it in shade. Take the raw rice and pan fry before it turns golden brown and grind all ingredients in a mixie. Take two tablespoons of this mixture and required jaggery and 200ml of water in a pan and boil the content in slow flame till it gets cooked. Add milk and elaichi for extra flavour and taste. Serve hot. This porridge can also be prepared with same ingredients without being dried, with salt.
Recipe by Kanthimathi Alaguvel, Owner, Nimmathi Diet In restaurant, Vadapalani