Last Updated : Apr 12,2024

What is jowar, sorghum, white millet? Glossary | Benefits, Uses, Recipes with jowar, sorghum, white millet |
Viewed 108896 times

Also known as
Sorghum, White Millet

What is jowar, sorghum, white millet?

Jowar is one of the five top cereal crops in the world, along with wheat, oats, corn and barley. It originates in Africa, which continues to be the largest cultivator of this crop. Over time, the crop has spread to southern Asia and the Americas as well.

In traditional form, jowar is a towering plant over six feet (two metres) tall, although many varieties designed for cultivation are dwarf breeds, specially designed for easy harvest. It is extremely drought tolerant, making it an excellent choice for arid and dry areas. It adapts well to extreme weathers, and as a result it is a very stable source of nutrition.

Jowar is usually red and hard when ripe, and is dried after harvesting for longevity, as the grains are stored whole. In many parts of the world, it has traditionally been used in preparing various foods like porridge, unleavened bread, cookies, cakes, couscous and malted beverages. The simplest way to use jowar seeds is in the boiled form, as porridge with water or milk. The small, corneous grains are normally desired for this type of food.

Powdered jowar
To make jowar powder, dry roast the cleaned jowar seeds till they turn crisp. Cool and blend in a mixer into a smooth powder and use as required.
Soaked and cooked whole jowar

How to select jowar, sorghum, white millet

• The jowar grains should be clean, dust free and without any infestations or foul odour.
• It is better to opt for organic grains, if possible.

Culinary Uses of jowar, sorghum, white millet in Indian Cooking

• Jowar flour is usually made into chapatis or rotis and served with vegetables.
• Jowar is favoured by the gluten intolerant and is often cooked as porridge to be eaten alongside other foods.
• The grain is fairly neutral in flavour, and sometimes slightly sweet. This makes it suitable for a variety of dishes, because, like tofu, jowar absorbs flavours well. It can also be eaten plain.
• Jowar is also used around the world to brew beer.

How to store jowar, sorghum, white millet

• Store jowar in an airtight container and keep it in a cool and dry place.

Health benefits of jowar, sorghum, white millet

1. Rich in Fiber : Jowar is a whole grain and is naturally high in Fibre. 100 grams of Jowar give 9.7 grams of Fibre. Being a whole grain, jowar retains most of the dietary fibre compared to refined grains.

2. Gluten Free : Being a whole grain and gluten free, it’s a healthy diet for all. Not only for those who are gluten intolerant but also those who want to live a healthy life style.

3. Good for Diabetics : Jowar is a complex carb and will be absorbed slowly in the blood stream and not cause a spike in insulin. Hence a good safe food for diabetics and also for those who want to live and eat healthy. Try

4. Reduces body Inflammation : Being high in phytochemical antioxidants which results in Jowar being anti inflammatory. Phytochemical are commonly found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and grains and offer protection against cancer and heart disease.

5. Protein
Rich : One cup of Jowar (160 grams) has 16.8 grams of protein. Good source of protein for vegetarians.

6. Reduces Cancer Risk: Phytochemical present in Jowar reduce the oxidative damage of our cells resulting the lessening risk of cancer.

7. High in Magnesium : Since Jowar is rich in Mg which results in better calcium absorption in your body resulting in stronger bones.

8. Rich in Iron : 100 grams of Jowar contains 4.1 mg of iron. You need to pair with a Vitamin C source to enjoy the benefits of the iron.

9. Lowers Blood Pressure : Jowar and all Millets are rich in Potassium. Potassium is critical for those with High Blood Pressure as it lessens the impact of sodium. Eating more Potassium Rich Foods will remove more sodium from your body through urine. So if you are suffering from High Blood Pressure and taking medication, then the medicine works by taking out the sodium and potassium from the kidneys. So you need to up your Potassium intake in this case. 

10. Lowers Cholesterol : Being high in Fibre, Jowar reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the effects of good cholesterol (HDL)

11. Alkaline : Jowar is alkaline in nature and combats acidity. Acidity is a form of indigestion in which there is accumulation of acid leading to a burning sensation in the stomach and the digestive tract. The stomach periodically produces acid to aid digestion. It is when we don't eat at regular intervals or are excessively stressed the stomach produces more acids which harms our body. 

11. Good for Endurance : Being high in fibre, protein, alkaline, lowering blood pressure means more RBC (red blood cells) to give energy. All these factors enhance performance of endurance athletes like runners, swimmers and bikers. Note that Jowar is a whole grain and they are always more healthier than its powdered form which is Jowar Flour.

Glycemic Index of Jowar

Jowar has a Glycemic Index which is low. Glycemic Index are for foods you eat, ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by how quickly they digest and raise your blood sugar or glucose levels. Foods rank from 0 to 50 are low GI, 51 to 69 are medium and 70 to 100 are high. Foods that are high in GI are not suitable for weight loss and diabetics. Foods like Jowar have a low GI and hence don't spike your glucose level as they are absorbed slowly. Great for weight loss and diabetics.

Related Links

Jowar flour
Subscribe to the free food mailer


Missed out on our mailers?
Our mailers are now online!

View Mailer Archive

Privacy Policy: We never give away your email

REGISTER NOW If you are a new user.
Or Sign In here, if you are an existing member.

Login Name

Forgot Login / Password?Click here

If your Gmail or Facebook email id is registered with, the accounts will be merged. If the respective id is not registered, a new account will be created.

Are you sure you want to delete this review ?

Click OK to sign out from tarladalal.
For security reasons (specially on shared computers), proceed to Google and sign out from your Google account.