Kambu / Bajra – Multitude of Possibilities
It is easy for me to say Ragi( finger millet) porridge is not boring as it is my favourite food and I love the flavour of it. To say that about pearl millet porridge, made of sprouted pearl millet (aka bajra, kambu) is coming a long way from where I began. Somehow I had never taken to the taste of pearl millet, always loved the bhakris (which our Marathi cook in Mumbai made, taking some of our dinners to a diff level). After moving to Tamil Nadu I fell in love with curd rice made with pearl millet (Kambu thairu sadam) a preferred offering nowadays at many feasts and Kambu koozhu ( a porridge with pearl millet and buttermilk).
How healthy is Bajra?
Pearl millet is completely gluten-free, high in fibre content, thereby digesting slowly, high in proteins, iron, folic acid, and high in minerals like phosphorous and zinc. It has fairly high starch content. Interestingly, pearl millet is eaten in winter and summer. It is a warming food eaten as bhakri during winter and had along with buttermilk in summer is a cooling food. The malt or sprouted and roasted flour is an easily digestible food, therefore suitable for all age groups.
The making of Pearl Millet Porridge
This sprouted pearl millet flour and pearl millet comes to Bio Basics from an arid tribal area in Tamil Nadu, the farmers grow it and the farmer group processes it. It is of excellent quality and consistency is even. The pearl millet porridge I am recommending is made from sprouted and roasted pearl millet flour. This is prepared by first soaking the pearl millet in vats, removing the water, leaving it overnight to sprout. Once sprouted it is dried and roasted and then powdered. This is alternately called pearl millet malt.
The key to cooking the pearl millet porridge without lumps is to stir in the sprouted & roasted pearl millet flour into the water at room temperature and then set the mix on the stove and stir continuously until cooked. Two tablespoons mixed in 2 cups of water will give a thick porridge for two. It can be had either with a sweetener (raw cane sugar/palm jaggery), added while cooking or with salt and buttermilk (to be added after cooking). Add a pinch of cardamom powder to give the porridge the flavour. The same sprouted and roasted (malt) flour can be used for making bhakri, laddus, puttu or other snacks. Try this wholesome, delicious, easy to prepare porridge.
Check out sprouted pearl millet flour at the Bio Basics online store : https://shop.biobasics.org/category/17915/millet-flour/