Ragi malt is a traditional Indian beverage highly nutritious and can be made delicious either sweet or salt. Ragi is known as the Finger millet or Ragulu in telugu. It is a type of millet grain cultivated in India from ancient times and is well known to be rich in protein, calcium, iron and it is a gluten free grain.
In most of the houses in India, ragi grains are washed thoroughly, sprouted and gently roasted and ground to a fine powder. It is stored in air tight box and used when required. Ragimalt is delicious and healthy rejuvenating drink popularly called as Ragimalt or ragiganji.
Fingermillet is especially valuable as it contains the amino acid methionine, which is lacking in the diets of hundreds of millions of the poor who live on starchy staples such as polishedrice, or maizemeal. Finger millet can be ground and cooked into cakes, puddings or porridge.
The grain is made into a fermenteddrink (or beer) in Nepal and in many parts of Africa. Finger millet is commonly consumed in the form porridge. It is one of the healthiest breakfast and nutritious too. You can also prepare a nice malt or beverage by cooking the ragi flour in water, adding jaggery and nuts, milk and drink.
It is popular as a poor’s man or farmer’s health drink. To prepare the ragi malt, first take the ragi flour in a cup. Add water slowly and combine to form a smooth, lump free paste. Do not add the flour directly to boiling water, it will clump into lumps. In a vessel, add water and allow boiling. Heat till the water reaches boiling stage.
Then add the dissolved ragi flour solution slowly to the boiling water, continuously stirring with a spoon. This will prevent the formation of lumps. If you add the flour mix to water before the boiling stage, the flour will separate and it won’t be suitable to drinking.
You have to throw it away, so wait for water to start boiling, and then add the flour mix. This step is very important for preparing good raagi malt. Get it to the right consistency and put off the flame. Take some cooked ragi mixture in a bowl; add brown sugar or jaggery as per your taste and add nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashewnuts and raisins, mix and serve it as porridge.
You can also add milk to this mixture. If you require additional flavor you can also add little cardamom powder. Another method is you can take some ragi mixture mix it with yoghurt or buttermilk, add salt mix and serve. It’s a very delicious and healthy drink.
Ragi can also be prepared in many other ways. In Karnataka, Ragi flour is boiled in water and the resultant preparation, called Ragi Mudde is eaten with Sambar. In India, finger millet (locally called ragi) is mostly grown and consumed in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu Maharashtra and Goa. Ragi flour is made into flatbreads, including thick, leavened dosa and thinner, unleavened roti.
Ragi flour is also mixed with jowar flour and make into fine rotis. In Andhra Pradesh Ragi Sankati (Telugu), which are ragi balls are eaten in the morning with a chilli, onions, sambar (lentil based stew) or meat curry and helps them sustain throughout the whole day. In Kerala, Puttu is a traditional breakfast and usually made with Rice powder together with coconut grating and steamed, but this is also made with Ragi powder as its very nutritive. A traditional food plant in Africa, millet has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, and foster rural development and support sustainable landcare. It is rich in calcium and protein and also has good amount of iron and other minerals.
It is low in fat most of which are unsaturated fats. Major portion of Ragi is carbohydrate, followed by protein and fibre. It has the least amount of fat in them. Ragi is a very good to be included as a part of staple diet as it lot of essential nutrients, amino acids and minerals.