19 July 2007

Ragi - a natural coolant and a good source of Calcium

Last weekend I visited one of my relatives for a birthday party and diet freak that I am and much to my delight the dishes made there, unbeknowst to the host, were very healthy. One of the most nutritous and healthy drink we had there was raagi malt. That got me thinking about the virtues of raagi. Most of the people I talk to do do not like Raagi (Finger millet). It could be the colour or texture of raagi. People who have tasted it and learnt its benefits swear by it.

Raagi is the only cereal which has large amount of Calcium that is 344mg/ 100 gm of edible portion. Besides it also contains 3.9 mg of iron, 283 mg of phosphorus and it is also a good source of fiber and energy.

Raagi can be used regularly by all groups of people (of all ages) and did I tell you it is very cheap too. Things that can be prepared from ragi like Raagi Dosas, Pakkora, Rotis, Raagi balls, Raagi Malt and the list goes on.

Raagi is also used as an important ingredient in baby formulas especially in South India.

If you ever needed a quick refreshment and a healthy one at that for any unexpected guests. Raagi Malt is your answer.

Ragi Malt is quiet a popular drink in southern india besides coffee and tea. It can be easily prepared at home in matter of minutes by powdering raagi, badam(almonds), cashews, dates and sugar. This powder can be added either to hot milk or water and ragi malt is ready to serve. I always have some of the powder prepared and stored for such instances. In summer, there cannot be a better drink than raagi malt (ok, maybe after raw cocunut water :)

Another way to make ragi drink, albeit a little involved, is to buy raagi from the market, wash it and grind it into a fine paste and strain it. To the strained ragi water, add jaggery/sugar and drink it.

If you have never had raagi malt before, do try it and let me know what you think. If you have already been having it, share some of your experiences/suggestions with us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a4 month old baby & am planning to start semi solids for him.I've been told ragi's the best to start with but the doctor recommended rice(not knowing what ragi was)I was wondering which is easier to digest as I dont want to start my baby's first food wrongly.I was also told that ragi shd be mixed with water rather than milk for better iron absorption.Can u please advice?Being a GSB,u must be familiar with 'ekhand'(It's a type of tree bark,I'm not sure what it's called in English),do u have any idea how beneficial it is and when would it be best to give children??