Story by Uma, Bangalore
Hailing from a farming family, I spent my childhood running amidst open, green fields. I remember the farmlands surrounding us. Different varieties of cereals, pulses and many other things were cultivated in the long stretches of farmlands. Amongst all the other crops cultivated by my father and grandfather, millets was the most important. Everyone in my family has grown up on a strict millet diet.
My earliest memories of childhood take me back to the delicious delicacies my mother and grandmother used to make with millets. And not just one variety of millet but all kinds.
My grandmother had special fondness for ragi and foxtail millets. Almost everyday she would make ragi roti. It was an absolute necessity for us. But the best thing that she loved to make were ragi balls. She would make those every weekend and both adults and children would feast upon them.
Millets were a huge part of our lives and it was our staple diet. Unlike now, we did not eat white rice for lunch or dinner. In fact, it was only when I was in Standard IV that I was first introduced to white rice. Come to think of it, my diet was very healthy and organic before organic diet became a thing.
Navane, that is, foxtail millet was another favorite of my grandmother. It was used more often than ragi. All our lunches and dinners were made from foxtail millets. My granny used to tell us how beneficial foxtail millet was. She would often say a cup of foxtail millet can keep hunger at bay for at least 8 hours, even under strenuous physical activity. Also, it is very healthy and rich in calcium and potassium. One of the dishes that she prepared most often was Foxtail millet khichdi. It is a very easy and fuss-free dish that is a complete meal in itself. Foxtail millet khichdi remains my comfort food even after all these years. And this is the recipe that I am going to share today.
Recipe for Foxtail Millet Khichdi
- 1 cup of foxtail millet
- 1 cup of moong dal
- 1-2 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon pepper powder
- 2 green chillies
- Salt as per taste
- Soak the millets and dal for about 1 hour. Drain the water after an hour and wash with fresh water.
- Heat a pressure cooker and add the ghee.
- Now add cumin powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder, salt and the green chillies. Saute them for about 30 seconds and add the drained foxtail millet and moong dal.
- Now fry the entire mixture for a couple of minutes and add 2-1/2 cups of water.
- Put on the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on a medium flame for 2-3 whistles.
- Serve it hot with your favourite pickle.