Also known as
Finger millet, African millet, Red millet, Nachani, Nachni.
Ragi is an annual plant widely grown as a cereal in the arid areas of Africa and Asia. In India, ragi is mostly grown and consumed in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Goa. As a crop and after harvesting, ragi keeps extremely well and is seldom attacked by pests. This eliminates the need for chemical fertilisers and pesticides making it a safe food. It is also a cost-effective source of protein, iron, calcium and fibre, which makes it the preferred food of many communities. Notably, it is a rare source of the amino acid methionine.
The whole grain of ragi may be ground into flour or decorticated before grinding to produce either a fine particle product or flour, which is then used in various traditional foods. The flour may be ground coarsely or finely, depending on individual preference and recipe requirement.
How to select
• Ragi flour is commonly available in grocery stores in various pack sizes.
• The ragi flour should be clean, dust free and without any infestations or foul odour.
• Ragi flour is usually made into chappatis or rotis and served with vegetables. It is the favoured food of those with gluten sensitivity.
• Porridge is perhaps the most common way of consuming ragi flour. A past of ragi flour in water is cooked till done, and then enhanced with buttermilk and salt, or milk and sugar.
• Ragi porridge or a thick consistency can be had with fruits, dry fruits and nuts as a healthy breakfast.
• Ragi flour can be made into delicious dosas that can be served with coconut chutney, sambhar etc., or just eaten plain with a dollop of butter or ghee. You can add chopped onions, grated carrot, green chillies, ginger, coriander, etc. to the roti to enhance its flavour.
• Ragi flour is made into flatbreads, including thick, leavened dosa and thinner, unleavened pancakes.
• You can make kheer by combing cooked ragi flour with milk and sugar or jaggery, and garnishing with elaichi, almond slivers and chopped cashews.
• Flour from malted ragi grains can be mixed with milk or yoghurt and had with sugar or salt.
• In Karnataka, ragi flour is generally consumed in the form of ragi balls (ragi mudde). The mudde, which is prepared by cooking the ragi flour with water to achieve dough like consistency, is rolled into balls of desired size and served with ghee, rasam, sambhar, dal or other accompaniments.
• In Maharashtra, bhakri, a type of flat bread is prepared using finger millet (ragi) flour.
• In Goa, ragi is very popular and satva, pole (dosa), bhakri, ambil (a sour porridge) made of ragi are very common.
How to store
• Store ragi flour in an airtight container and keep it in a cool and dry place.
Nutritional Information for 1 cup Ragi Flour
One cup of Ragi Flour is 144 grams, which makes 6 rotis.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
10.5 grams of Protein
103 grams of Carbs
1.87 grams of Fat
407 mg of Phosphorus : 67.9% of RDA (about 600 mg for adult)
Full nutritional information of Ragi Flour here.
11 Health benefits of Ragi Flour
1. High in Protein: One cup of whole Ragi Flour (144grams) gives about 10.3 grams of protein. Very good source for Vegetarian.
2. High in Fiber : One cup of whole Ragi Flour gives about 16.1 grams of fibre. This fibre will keep you fuller for a longer time and avoid you from binge eating.
3. Gluten Free : Great healthy option for those who are intolerant to Gluten. Ragi flour, is far more healthier to use in Indian Breads like Whole Wheat Roti. Try Ragi Roti
4. Good for Diabetics : Ragi flour creates a much lower surge in sugar levels compared to wheat. Ragi is rich in Magnesium which improves insulin response by lowering insulin resistance. Having very low magnesium will result in the pancreas not secrete enough insulin to control our blood sugar.
Complete health benefits of Ragi Flour here.