During the hot summers when water was scarce, farmers in India took to cultivating millets because they were a hardy drought resistant crop. Millets disappeared from the Indian diet for a decade before making a comeback sometime after 2010. People who wanted to jump on the gluten free bandwagon began to use millets as a staple substitute for rice and wheat. But millets are a hardy grain and must be cooked in a specific manner to be digested and absorbed easily.
Eating millets without adding ghee, either in a non-stick pan or air fryer will put a lot of stress on the digestive system and have an adverse effect on health. Most heirloom recipes with millets contain ghee because it is a vital aid to carry the nutrients into the body. Pre-soaking the millets for a few hours (preferably in hot water) and discarding the water will help remove some anti nutrients like phytic acid.
Recipe for Millet Kichdi with fresh Moringa leaves
Foxtail Millet (Sabut Kakum / Kang / Tenai) - 1 Cup - wash well and soak for 1 hour
Tur Dal -½ Cup - soak for 1 hour
Moringa greens - 1 Cup chopped fine
Onion - 1 chopped fine
Tomatoes - 3 chopped fine
Green chillies - 4-5
Ginger - 1 tsp chopped fine
Garlic - 4 cloves - chopped fine
Desi Ghee - 3-4 Tbsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Turmeric powder -1/2tsp
Red chilli powder -1 tsp
Salt to taste
Cumin seeds -1 Tbsp
Water - 2 Cups
Heat ghee in a pressure cooker.
Add the asafoetida and cumin.
Once the aroma arises, add the green chillies, onion, ginger and garlic and saute.
Add the tomatoes and saute.
Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and mix.
After the tomatoes cook well add the greens. Saute well.
Drain and add the millets and the tur dal.
Mix well and let cook for a few minutes.
Add water and salt and let it come to a boil.
Cover the lid, add the weight and let it come to two whistles.
Take off the fire and let it cool.
Once the pressure comes down, remove the lid and transfer to a serving plate.
Add a dollop of ghee on top and serve warm.
To shop ingredients used in this recipe, check out the links below -
For Foxtail Millet - https://twobrothersindiashop.com/products/foxtail-millets-1kg