Recipes from the native kitchen – series 1

Taking off from where we began last week (see previous post here), here is a compilation of some of my favourite millet recipes (mostly gluten-free) and ways to incorporate flaxseed (rich in Omega-3) into your diet.

I have a total of ten recipes to share, divided into two series of 5 recipes each. I hope you will find them useful, healthy, simple and easy to recreate.

The second series will feature more millet and flaxseed recipes so watch this space.

Thalipet – the millet roti

What it is – A mixed millet bread/roti made by hand that can be substituted for the usual wheat roti. It has many variations – it can be made with rice flour alone (specifically called akkirotti) or a mixture of different flours (sorghum, gram, finger millet, pearl millet etc). To add flavour, taste or nutrition, you can add chopped onions, grated carrots, beets, cucumbers or any other veggie of your choice.

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What you will need
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup rice flour
2 tsp. gram flour (besan, optional)
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 green chilly, finely diced
3-4 curry leaves, chopped
2-3 sprigs fresh coriander, chopped
Salt to taste
1/4th tsp. cumin seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
A pinch of turmeric
A pinch of red chilly powder
2 tbsp. natural yoghurt
Water, as required
Makes: 2 medium Thalipets

Method
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Add water, if required, to make a very soft dough. In a large non-stick skillet, add 2 tsp. oil (any flavourless oil), and spread evenly. Now, shape half the dough into a ball. Place it at the centre of the skillet, and with your palms and fingers spread it evenly (1 cm thickness). Mend the broken edges with your fingers. Dip fingers in water if the dough is sticking to the palms.

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Place skillet on a medium flame, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Turn around and cook on the other side for just a minute. Serve warm, with a dollop of ghee.

Roasted flaxseed

What it is – An easy and simple way to incorporate Omega-3 into your diet, this will help you find a tasty way to eat flaxseed everyday. Mix it with some fennel seeds (sauf) or eat it as it is. A super healthy, power-packed snack!

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What you will need
200g flaxseed
2 tsp. juice of lime
1 tsp. salt

Method
In a broad non-stick pan, dry roast the flaxseed on a low flame. They will begin to splutter after roasting for a while; continue to roast till the spluttering stops. Dissolve salt in the juice of lime and add it to the roasted flaxseed. Roast further till all the liquid evaporates – on a low flame, stirring continuously. Allow the roasted flaxseed to cool and store in an airtight container.

Make in small batches and consume within 10-15 days, as flaxseed tends to become rancid easily.

Finger millet (ragi/nachni) laddoos

What it is – Laddoos are famous Indian sweets, often made with wheat flour, gram flour, semolina, dry fruits or other similar ingredients. Rich in ghee and healthy fats, laddoos are a great pre-workout snack. A rich in Calcium, Omega-3 (in the walnuts) and fibre alternative to the usual laddoo, this one is a family favourite from grandma’s kitchen.

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What you will need
1 measure ragi flour
1 measure wheat flour
1 measure gram flour (besan)
Ghee, as mentioned in the recipe below
1 measure of nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts)
2 measures deseeded dates
1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
1 measure powdered brown sugar
Condensed milk, as required

Method
Roast 1 measure of ragi flour with 2 tsp. of ghee, on a medium flame, till the flour becomes light and fluffy and you get a chocolaty flavor from the roasted flour.

Roast 1 measure of wheat flour with 4 tsp. of ghee, on a medium flame, till it changes colour to a light pinkish brown.

Roast 1 measure of gram flour with ½ measure of ghee, on a medium flame, till the mixture changes colour to a light golden brown and the flour is well roasted.

Mix all the three roasted flours together and keep aside, allowing it to cool down.

Roast 1 measure of nuts and powder fine. Add it to the flour mixture.

Deseed 2 measures of dates. Grind to make a pulp. Add this to the flour mixture.

Add 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder.

Add 1 measure of powdered brown sugar.

Mix all the ingredients well.

Making the laddoos: While making the laddoos, divide the mixture into 4-5 portions. To each portion (one at a time), add some condensed milk (2-3 tsp.) to help bring the mixture together and shape laddoos immediately. Do the same with the rest of the portions, one at a time.

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Foxtail millet(navni) payasam/kheer

What it is – The Indian Kheer makes it’s appearance in almost every festival spread. It’s made with many different ingredients, but this recipe is a great gluten-free, sugar-free, fibre-rich alternative. It is also a personal favourite.

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What you will need
1 measure foxtail millet (all measurements for 2 tbsp of millet)
1 tbsp. ghee
Jaggery as per taste
2 tbsp. chopped nuts (almonds and cashew nuts)
1 tsp. raisins
2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
2 tbsp. desiccated coconut
Pinch of cardamom powder
2 tbsp. condensed milk (optional)

Method
Cook the millet in a pressure cooker with 3 measures of water for every 1 measure of millet. Allow it to cool.

In a non-stick pan, heat some ghee. Add the chopped nuts and the raisins. Roast for a minute. Add the cooked millet, some jaggery, fresh coconut, desiccated coconut, and a pinch of cardamom powder. Bring to a boil and turn off the flame. After 5 minutes, add 2 tbsp. of condensed milk (optional). Serve warm with some ghee.

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Little millet (samai akki) curd rice

What it is – South-Indians always end their meals with curd rice (rice mixed with natural yoghurt and seasoned with some spices). This recipe is a superb low carb, fibre rich alternative for those trying to cut out/reduce rice from their diet.

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What you will need
1 measure little millet (all measurements are for 2 tbsp. of millet)
2 tsp. ghee
1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. split black lentil (urad dal)
1/4 tsp. split chickpea lentil (chana dal)
1/4 tsp. pinch of asafoetida
½ tsp. chopped ginger
2 stuffed dry red chilies
1 chopped green chilly
1 sprig curry leaves, separated, washed and towel dried
Salt and sugar to taste
1 cup of fresh natural yoghurt
1/4th cup pomegranate seeds
Some fresh chopped coriander for garnish

Method
Cook the millet in the pressure cooker with 3 measures of water for every 1 measure of millet. Allow it to cool, use a fork to loosen and separate the millet grains.

Heat 2 tsp. of ghee in a non-stick pan. To this, add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chilly, some chopped ginger, and the stuffed dried chilly. Add the seasoning to the cooked millet. Add fresh natural yoghurt. Add salt to taste. Add a pinch of sugar. Add some pomegranate seeds, mix gently, and garnish with some chopped fresh coriander.

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So, now that you have these recipes pinned up on your refrigerator, get on the ‘locavore movement’ and give your body the love and nutrition it deserves. See you back here for series 2 coming in a few weeks. Until next time, XOXO

2 thoughts on “Recipes from the native kitchen – series 1

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