Bajri or pearl millet is an excellent source of iron, fiber, proteins and folic acid which makes it healthy. This grain is a fantastic protein source, especially for vegetarians and it is gluten-free. It is rich magnesium content is imperative for bone formation. Magnesium and calcium regulate blood pressure levels and provide an overall improvement in one's health. Folic acid, the synthetic version of vitamin B9, is a powerful tool for women struggling with anemia and it is also a great aid during pregnancy. It is used as a regular meal in places like Rajasthan, Gujarat.
If talking about healthy foods, then whole grains should be an essential part of your diet. Whole grains are naturally rich in fiber and make one feel fuller for longer periods. This helps maintain healthy body weight. Whole grains are also believed to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancers, and other health issues.
Today, we talk about Bajra, also known as pearl millet. It is densely packed with nutrients.
What is Bajra?
Bajra or pearl millet is a whole grain that was considered a staple in poor households. But, health freaks have realized the potential health benefits of this wonder grain, thus making it one of the most sought-after crops today.
In modern times, doctors and nutritionists recommend including Bajra in your dietary regime. Today it is a common sight to find Bajra on the breakfast menu of the elite and famous.
Let’s take a quick look at why Bajra is becoming popular with health-conscious people around the world-
- Bajra is a high-energy food and an excellent source of fiber, iron, proteins, and folic acid.
- It helps control coeliac diseases, diabetes, and constipation.
- This grain is a good source of protein for vegetarians. It is also gluten-free.
- The rich magnesium content of Bajra is good for bone health.
- Bajra is a good source of Magnesium and calcium. Therefore, it helps regulate blood pressure levels.
- Bajra is a fantastic source of Folic acid. It is good for anemic women as it helps elevate hemoglobin levels. It also makes for an excellent diet during pregnancy.
How to use Bajra?
Bajra is most commonly used in the form of Bajra flour. One can knead the Bajra flour dough to prepare the Bajra roti. Many people add Bajra flour to wheat flour to prepare chapatis. Methi-Bajra poori is another popular recipe with Bajra flour.
Bajra can also be consumed as a whole in many recipes. The most common recipe using the whole Bajra is Bajra khichdi where one can replace rice with Bajra grains.
How to prepare Bajra Khichdi
- Bajra- ½ cup
- Moong dal- ½ cup
- Water- 4 cups
- Cumin seeds- 2 tsp.
- Asafetida- 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric- 4 cups
- Ghee- 2 tbsp.
- Salt- as per taste
- Wash Bajra and soak it overnight. Once soaked, drain the water the next day. Add moong dal to it.
- Wash it well and add salt. Pressure cook for 4 whistles in low-medium flame.
- Once the pressure is released naturally, open the cooker and mash well to make the dal mixture smooth.
- It may look watery but as it cools down, the mixture will thicken and come to a semi-solid khichdi-like consistency.
- Heat ghee in a pan and temper with cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add turmeric and switch off the flame.
- Stir it and mix it with the khichdi. Serve warm with a pickle and papad.
How to store Bajra?
Clean the Bajra grains to remove any stones or debris. Place the clean Bajra grains in an air-tight container in a cool and dry place.
It is best to use the Bajra flour within 20 days. One has to also store Bajra flour in an air-tight container in a cool and dry place.