The journey with millet is not just about making millet your everyday food, but also about finding the right portion and the right combination that makes it a balanced meal.
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Fortunately, we are becoming aware of portion control, and when people ask me, “How much millet is too much millet”, I often reply, “When you start observing how your gut behaves with different grains, you will will know for yourself. Give it a day.
Every organism is different and reacts differently to millets. Following a 10-day millet protocol is the best way to document your experiences and move on with what works for you.
Today I’m sharing a platter where I tried to limit the carbs, increasing the protein content of this vegetarian meal. Just to add more fun, I used beets and local greens, I chose proso millet – because it’s the highest in protein – and the green gram of lentil was made tangy with l addition of Indian gooseberry (amla).
Watch the video for a quick reference and read more for the step by step dal recipe.
Indian gooseberry green moong dal (amla)
Ingredients for 4 persons)
½ cup whole green gram
4 amla, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 inch of ginger
1 finely chopped green chilli
5-6 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 black cardamom
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
Rock salt to taste
2 tablespoons cold-pressed coconut oil
1. Wash thoroughly and soak the whole moong dal for 12 hours. Once soaked, drain the water and keep it aside. A well-soaked lentil would never require pressure cooking.
2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil and raw spices such as cinnamon, cumin and coriander seeds. When they start sputtering, add heeng, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Cook it until you see the ginger, garlic turn golden.
3. Add soaked dal, chopped amla followed by salt and turmeric. Cook it for a good 2 minutes over medium heat.
4. Add enough water depending on how thick or runny you want your dal to be. Cook covered over low heat for at least 10-15 minutes.
5. Once the dal is soft, using a potato masher, mash all the amla pieces and keep stirring until everything comes together.
6. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, make it piping hot with your steamed millet or you can make it part of the millet bowls like I did in the video.
7. Serve hot. Forget the idea of refrigerating food and cooking in bulk.
Health Benefits of Green Gram and Proso Millet
The highest protein content among millets, proso also contains a high content of lecithin, which promotes neural health. It is rich in vitamins (niacin, B-complex vitamins, folic acid), minerals (P, Ca, Zn, Fe) and essential amino acids (methionine and cysteine). It has a low glycemic index and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Green gram is high in fiber and protein, which may help reduce hunger by lowering levels of hunger hormones, such as ghrelin. In fact, whole moong dal protects against heatstroke, promotes digestive health, promotes weight loss, and lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
(Shalini Rajani is a millet coach. She is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and runs innovative millet cooking workshops and gluten-free sourdough baking workshops for all age groups.)
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