Ragi or Finger millet has been a part of our -my siblings and mine childhood. Our Amma (as we call her) religiously made this drink for us almost every night. Amma got it as a culinary tradition from my grandmother or dodamma.
Ragi is very popular in Karnataka where it is used to make dosa, ragi rotti- thick pancake, ragi mudde or savory balls made out of ragi and served with curry, ragi malt and ragi ladoo. Traditionally, this drink is made with jaggery and ragi, but you can always replace jaggery with sugar. Ragi is also very rich in calcium and iron and hence good for bones. It is often used as a cereal to feed babies too. This drink is satiating enough to replace a meal and is an excellent in losing weight.
Ragi flour is easily available in stores now. Some stores also carry whole grain which can be soaked and ground to a batter with dal to make idli or kadubu- another steamed delicacy typical to coastal Karnataka.
Let’s start making this nutritious drink.
- 1 ½ tbsp ragi flour
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 tbsp jaggery or sugar
- ½ cup milk, optional
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 10 chopped almonds, optional
Toast ragi flour in a pan until nutty about 5-7 minutes. Add water little by little and make a homogenous mixture. Use a whisk to mix well and make it lump free.
Take a pan add this mixture and let it come to a boil. Add jaggery and milk and stir well. Let it cook for 5 minutes and add cardamom.
Pour into cups and top with chopped almonds and enjoy it warm.
Note: You can toast the ragi flour and keep in an airtight container and use as required.
The drink will thicken as it cools you can thin it out by adding milk or water depending on your preference.
If you want to make it vegan you can skip milk and just use water.
The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.
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