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September 19, 2016

How To Cook Millets – Thinai, Varagu, Samai, Kuthiraivali, Kambu

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How to cook millets 
After a long time, I am making a post about Millets (Sirudhaniyam in Tamil). As we all know, Millets are a super healthy grain with loads of fiber, calcium, minerals & iron.People have started switching to millets and include it in their regular cooking as a replacement of rice for breakfast, dinner and lunch as well. Millet rice can be cooked on stove top( In a open pan), in a rice cooker, pressure cooker and even in microwave just like normal rice. But most of us are not sure about how to cook millet  perfectly in a fluffy way like pulao, biryani or for making Indian style recipes like Pongal, upma, porridge, koozh with a mushy texture. Its always confusing about the water ratio for different types of millet like Varagu arisi (Kodo millet), Samai (Little millet), Kuthiraivali (Barnyard millet), Thinai rice (Foxtail millet) and Kambu (Pearl millet). I have not discussed about Quinoa in this post. Quinoa and thinai are different millets.I will make a post on that separately. So in this post, I have shared how to cook Indian millet in 3 different ways i.e Open pan method, In a pressure cooker and in an electric rice cooker. Water quantity may vary based on the quality of millet. Some millet may need less water and some may need more. So please keep this post as a reference and do the trial and errorHappy .
Warning about millets
I would like to emphasize this point before going to this post. Even though, Millet is a super healthy food, one should consume it moderately based on their body. Over consumption may lead to indigestion, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, imbalanced thyroid levels. So please include different types of millet in your diet thrice or 4 times in a week. Do not consume the same millet repeatedly. Try to include varieties of millet in your cooking. I have heard people consuming millet for all the 3 times in their daily food just for weight loss by completely avoiding rice. Recently I read in an article that Millets would slow down the thyroid activity. So moderate consumption is advised for people with thyroid problems. In general ” Too much of anything is good for nothing”. So please consume it in moderate quantity and reap all it benefits. Maintain a healthy life style. This is my kind advice based on my own experience Happy.
For people who are new to millet, please check my “All about millet” post for a better understanding. 
How to cook millets in pressure cooker

Millets names in different languages

ENGLISH – Finger millet, Kodo millet, Pearl millet, Barnyard millet, Little millet, Foxtail millet
HINDI - Nachani /mundua, Koden/Kodra, Bajra, Jhangora, Kutki, Kangni/Rala 
TAMIL – Ragi, Varagu, Kambu, Kuthiraivali, Samai, Thinai
KANNADA – Ragi, Harka, Sajje, Oodalu, Saame, Navane
TELUGU – Ragula, Arikelu, Sajjalu, Odalu, Sama, Korra
MALAYALAM – Panjipullu, Koovaragu, Kambam, Kavada pullul, Chama, Thina

How to cook millets in different ways

How to cook millets in different ways

How to cook Millet


How to cook Millet How to cook different types of millet - Thinai rice, varagu rice,samai, kuthiravali and kambu
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Millet Recipes
Serves: Serves 2
Prep time: 5-30 Minutes
Cook time: 10 Minutes
Total time: 15-40 Minutes


INGREDIENTS
1 cup - 200ml
  • Varagu arisi (Kodo millet), Samai arisi (Little millet), Kuthiraivali ( Barnyard millet) - 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1.25 cups to 1.5 cups ( 1:2.5 to 1:3 ratio)
  • Cooking oil - few drops (optional)
For thinai & kambu, water quantity may vary. Soaking is needed.
  • Thinai rice( Foxtail millet) - 1/2 cup
  • Water - 1.5 cups
  • Kambu / Pearl millet – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 2 cups
For making pongal, bisibelebath, thick porridge : use 1: 5 ratio of millet & water and use pressure cooker.
For making pulao, biryani : use 1:2 or 1: 2.5 ratio of millet and water. It is better to cook in open pan to get fluffy rice.
METHOD

  • Try to buy unpolished millet because its healthier than polished ones. Wash the millet at least twice or thrice.Use a strainer or metal sieve with fine holes to filter it. Some millet may contain husk, dust particles or even small stones. So wash it well.
    HOW TO COOK VARAGU, SAMAI AND KUTHIRAVALI 
  • In Open pan : For 1/2 cup of varagu arisi, measure 1.25 cups of water ( 1:2.5 ratio). No need to soak in water. Heat water in a pan. When it starts to roll boil, simmer the flame completely.
 
  • Add the washed and drained millet to the  boiling water. Lower the flame completely. Cover with a lid & cook for 5-7 minutes. Fluff it gently once in the middle using a fork. Cook till all the water is absorbed. Switch off the flame and keep it covered for 10 minutes.
  • It will get cooked in the resting time and becomes fluffy.After 10 minutes, you can remove it and serve with any sambar or any kuzhambu OR use it for making variety rice. Enjoy !
How to cook in rice cooker : Wash 1/2 cup of millet and drain the excess water. Boil 1.5 cups of water and add the millet ( 1:3 ratio). Cook it till the lights turn to warm mode. Open the cooker & check if its cooked well. If not, add 1/2 cup more water and cook for some more time.
How to cook in Pressure cooker : For cooking in pressure cooker, wash the millet and drain the excess water. Heat a cooker base with 3 cups of water. In a cooker vessel, take 1/2 cup of varagu/ kodo millet, Kuthiravali/ barnyard millet and add 1.25 cups of water (1:2.5 ratio) . For Samai/ Little millet, add 1 cup of water ( 1:2 ratio). Add few drops of cooking oil if you need fluffy rice. Cover with the lid and pressure cook in very low flame for 2 whistles. Make sure flame should be the minimum. It takes nearly 5-7 minutes to cook. If not, cook for 5 minutes in low flame and switch off the flame. DO NOT COOK the millet directly in a cooker base. It may lead to burnt bottom layer. So its better and safe to cook millets by placing them inside a vessel.
If you are making pulao or biryani, you can directly cook it with spices and vegetables. In that case, add 1:2.5 water and keep an eye. Switch off after cooking for 6-7 minutes in very low flame. Open the cooker after the steam is released.
HOW TO COOK THINAI/ FOXTAIL MILLET
  • In a open pan : Wash the foxtail millet twice to remove the dust. Soak it for minimum 30 minutes. For 1/2 cup of thinai/ foxtail millet, heat 1.5 cups of water. When the water starts to roll boil, add the soaked thinai. Mix well and add a few drops of cooking oil. Cover and cook till all the water is absorbed. Toss it once or twice in the middle. Actually thinai takes long time to cook than other millets. So keep checking for the water content and add 1/4 cup more only if needed.
  • In a rice cooker : Wash 1/2 cup of foxtail millet and drain the excess water.Soak it for an hour. Boil 1.5 cups of water and add the millet. Cook it till the lights turn to warm mode. Open the cooker & check if its cooked well. If not, add 1/2 cup more water and cook for some more time. How to cook in Pressure cooker : For cooking in pressure cooker, wash the millet and drain the excess water. Heat a cooker base with 1.5 cups of water for 1/2 cup of thinai. Let the water roll boil. Add the washed millet, few drops of cooking oil and mix well. Cover with the lid and pressure cook in very low flame just for one whistle. Make sure flame should be the minimum. It takes nearly 5-7 minutes to cook. If not, cook for 5 minutes in low flame and switch off the flame. Cooking for longer time burns the bottom layer. So keep an eye.
How to cook thinai
How to cook thinai
  • HOW TO COOK KAMBU/ PEARL MILLET : Wash the kambu well. Soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain the excess water and spread in a cloth. Let it dry for 5 minutes. Grind it coarsely in a mixie to remove the husk. Sieve it well. Boil 2 cups of water for 1 cup of kambu. When the water starts to roll boil, add the kambu, mix well without lumps and cook till all the water is absorbed. Cover & cook it. Kambu cannot be cooked fluffy. It comes out mushy in texture.
  • In pressure cooker : Take 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 1 cup of kambu. Cook for one whistle in low flame or 3 whistles in medium flame.
Enjoy with sambar, kootu and poriyal !
How to cook millet


Note
  • The quantity of water may vary. +/- 1/2 cup difference may be there.
  • Cooking time may vary for the cooker and open pan method. So keep an eye if you are cooking for the first time.

MILLET RECIPES




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