‘Little’ ways to live it up

Its virtues of being highly nutritious, gluten-free and non-acid-forming betray the insignificant size that it’s born with.

Published: 26th May 2021 06:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th May 2021 06:09 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: How many times have we heard optimists tell us that the joy of life is in experiencing the little things around us? While it may be a tired cliche, it seems to offer a great deal of wisdom to savour good health. Assuring us of the weight in this belief is the little millet.

Its virtues of being highly nutritious, gluten-free and non-acid-forming betray the insignificant size that it’s born with. Besides, this bright pop of yellow is the beauty that many Indian kitchens behold to turn it into steamy idlis or a gloopy porridge or a wholesome pongal.

Called kutki in Hindi, sava in Marathi, gajro in Gujarati, same in Kannada, samai in Tamil and samalu in Telugu, “the little millet is the most easily digestible millet. It is a traditional crop grown throughout India. In Tamil Nadu, it’s grown in Dharmapuri, Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Salem, Namakkal, Coimbatore, Madurai, Dindigul, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi,” says Indra Narayan, author of e-cookbook,

While millet farmers, according to a few news reports, have claimed that millets may be unsuitable for summers, Indra clarifies that millets do not possess heat-generating traits. “It depends on your body type.

Ayurveda recommends that before switching to millets, a body check-up to identify the levels of vatta, pitta and kapha is important. If you have a body that generates heat, then yes, a glass of buttermilk after having a millet meal is advisable,” she explains.


Energy: 341 kcal
Protein: 7.7g
Carbohydrates: 67g
Fat: 4.7g
Fibre: 7.6 g
Minerals: 1.5g
Calcium: 17mg
Phosphorus: 220mg
Iron: 9.3 mg,
Sodium: 8.1 mg
Potassium: 122 mg
Copper: 1.0 mg,
Vit B1: 0.3 mg, Vit B2: 0.09 mg
Niacin: 3.2 mg,
Folic acid: 9.0 mg

— Dr Lakshmi, Chief Dietician, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai

Suitable for all age groups
High in iron and protein
It is fibrous, helps in digestion and satiates hunger quickly
Acts as an antioxidant and helps in building the body’s immunity
Good source of phosphorous, which helps fat metabolism, tissue repair and energy production
Helps in controlling diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cataract, inflammation and gastrointestinal problems
Contains vitamin B3, which helps lower cholesterol
Contains magnesium, which can aid heart health

Little Millet soup

Little Millet: 1/2 cup
Beetroot: 1 small, finely grated
Green beans: 5 nos., finely chopped
Any other veggies of your choice
Onion: 1 small, finely chopped
Garlic: 1 pod, finely chopped
Mixed herbs
Vegetable stock: 1.5 cups
Milk/coconut milk: 1/4 cup
Salt and pepper: as per taste

Soak the millet for 30 minutes in two cups of water.

In a pressure cooker, add oil. Once it heats up, add onion and garlic; saute.

Add beetroot and other veggies. Sauté well.

Add the herbs, salt and pepper.

Add the drained millet and then add the vegetable stock.

Close and pressure-cook for three whistles in low flame.

Switch off the gas. Once it cools down, mash with a hand blender and add milk/coconut milk.

Boil it for a couple of minutes and then turn off the gas.

Serve this healthy soup with a starter.

For details on millets and the author, visit Instagram: @Indra Narayan


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