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
Steps to Prepare The Millet Kichdi
- 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.
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