A Tamil guide to explore millet magic
In a world that leans towards fast food, millets, which were cultivated 4,000 years ago, lost their prominence. But this year being crowned the Year of Millets, the spotlight is slowly shifting
In a world that leans towards fast food, millets, which were cultivated 4,000 years ago, lost their prominence. But this year being crowned the Year of Millets, the spotlight is slowly shifting. Aiding people in making this switch is Indra Narayan. Popularly called the ‘Millet Queen’, the chef and author of The Millets Kitchen, launched the Tamil version of the book, titled Sirudhaniya Samayal, in two volumes, on Wednesday at Hotel Savera. Dr Sivaraman, chief Siddha physician, and writer Amirtham Surya graced the event.
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Tradition with a twist
Just like technology, food evolution and trends are also important. However, retaining the nutritious traditional ingredients, and cooking methods while adding a modern twist, is a challenge. “Kids nowadays are very smart; if you cook ragi dosa, they would ask why the dosa is in ‘dirty’ colour. So preparing recipes with grains, and cereals in a stylish manner captures their attention,” says Dr Sivaraman.
Sirudhaniya Samayal consists of multiple millet recipes that don’t compromise on flavour. They elevate your healthy lifestyle as well as satisfy your taste buds. Ragi banana cake, Ragi walnut ladoos, Millet halwa, and Sprouted green gram tiki are some of the contemporary recipes ones can find in the book. “My kitchen is a science lab. I experiment with every possible way to include grains in the food,” says Indra. Parents, according to their children’s food preferences, should incorporate cereals and grains in their regular cooking for longevity, she adds.
“I always wanted to publish this book in my mother tongue Tamil,” she says. The book is loaded with a variety of recipes made with millet. Recipes like Maharashtra Murukku, and Bombay Chutney can diversify your plate with a touch of a different culture.
Make way for millet
Millets have a long-term impact on the body. Yet, many are wary, or even unclear on including them in their diet. “Only a few tonnes of millets are being sold in Tamil Nadu markets. This affects the farmers, merchants who invest their energy and money into it,” says Dr Sivaraman.
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It was during the post-covid period that people started recognising millet as a great source of immunity. Improving cardiovascular health, controlling diabetes, aiding in weight loss, decreasing high blood pressure, and preventing celiac disease are some of its versatile roles. As it took several years to bring millet to public notice, it takes even longer to include them in our daily diet. “It is high time for this generation to understand the benefits of including millets in their diet to reap long-term rewards,” he says.