sanwa millet
Last Updated : Jan 25,2024

What is Sanwa Millet? Glossary |Uses, Benefits, Recipes of Sama
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Also known as
Barnyard Millet, Sama

What is Sanwa Millet, Sama, Barnyard Millet?

Sanwa millet (Echinochloa frumantacea) is a tiny, white grain which is bigger in size than semolina but smaller than sago (sabudana). It is often called as ‘sanwa rice’ as it is similar to broken rice after cooking. However after cooking it’s a bit sticky and the grains are not as separate as cooked rice. This is one of the fastest growing crop which under optimal weather conditions takes approximately only 45 days to give ripe grains.

In India sanwa has great importance during fasting days, especially in Navratri, when most other cereals are a part of ‘NO’ list. It’s quite economical and available at most grocery stores under different names. Here’s what sanwa is termed as in different languages across India….
Bengali – Shamula
Gujarati – Sama
Hindi – Shama
Marathi – Shamul
Tamil – Kudirai Valu
Telugu – Bonta Chamalu
Other names – Barnyard Millet / Samvat ke Chawal.

In many parts of the world, sanwa millet has traditionally been used in food products and various food items like porridge, unleavened bread, cookies, cakes, couscous, and malted beverages.

Boiled sanwa millet is commonly used to make porridge.

How to select Sanwa Millet, Sama Barnyard Millet
• The 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 Sanwa Millet, Sama Barnyard Millet

Sanwa millet or sama is great option to use for breakfast in India. Given below are some super recipes to try. Lots of Indians fast on Tuesdays and Thursday and cook dishes using sama as they don't eat grains like wheat, dals and rice on those days.

Sanwa Panki: Panki is an authentic Gujarati dish made by cooking batter between banana leaves. While pankis made with rice flour batter are the most common, we have made a fasting variant using Sanwa millet.

Faarali Idli Sambhar: A faraali version of your fluffy rice cake is all you need during your next Faraal. The accompanied sambhar is also a healthy variant made using vegetable puree.

Sanwa Dosa: Sanwa dosa is a thin, crispy and tasty variant of dosa that can be savored during fasting days.

Sweet Faraali Pancakes: Make these delicious, coconut flavored pancakes. Theses pancakes are soft, light and just with a hint of sweetness.

Here are some sama recipes which you can enjoy on your fasting days and festivals like NavratriMaha Shivratri and Janmashtami

Sama Pulao: Rice being a staple food of India, it is almost consumed in one meal of the day. Missing rice during your fasts? Try making this Pulao and enjoy it with Rajgira Kadhi!

Sanwa flour is usually made into chappatis or rotis and served with vegetables.
• Sanwa 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 well adapted to a variety of dishes, because, like tofu, sanwa absorbs flavours well.
• It can also be eaten plain.
• Sanwa millet is also used to prepare pancakes or vadas, which can be served with green chutney or curd.

How to store Sanwa Millet, Sama Barnyard Millet
Store sanwa grains in an airtight container and keep it in a cool and dry place.

Health benefits of Sanwa Millet, Sama Barnyard Millet
1. Brimming with Protein : Like most millets, sanwa millet is also high in protein. This protein is used by the body to maintain the health of cells and their maintenance. With 4.3 g of protein from ½ cup, sanwa millet is sure to give you a sense of fullness. Moreover, sanwa millet has the least calories and carbs as compared to other millets like jowar, bajra, ragi etc. Sanwa can be included by those on high protein diets.

2. Rich in Fiber : Sanwa has a whopping 6.9 g of fiber in ½ cup. Consumption of sanwa is sure to give you a high satiety value and help you cut back on calories from junk food thus helping in weight loss. But remember the fact, that though it has less carbs than most other millets, however those carbs are also quite substantial. Thus this grain cannot be included on a low carb diet. To balance its carbs, pair it with high fiber veggies like broccoli, green peas, carrot etc.

Click here to know more about the Health benefits of Sanwa Millet, Sama Barnyard Millet.

Nutritive Information for Sanwa Millet, Sama, Barnyard Millet:
½ Cup of raw sanwa millet is about 70 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

Energy – 215 calories
Protein – 4.3 g
Carbohydrate – 45.9 g
Fat – 1.5 g
Fiber – 6.9 g

0.23 mg of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) = 20% of RDA ( (about 1.2 to 1.6 mg for men)
0.07 mg of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) = 7.3% of RDA (about 1.4 to 1.9 mg for men)
2.9 mg of Vitamin B3 = 31.5 % of RDA (about 12 mg)

14 mg of Calcium = 1.4% of RDA (about 1000 mg)
3.5 mg of Iron = 17.5% of RDA (about 20 mg)
57.4 mg of Magnesium = 16.4% of RDA (about 350 mg)
196 mg of Phosphorus = 32.6% of RDA (about 600 mg)
2.1 mg of Zinc = 17.5% of RDA (about 10 to 12 mg)

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