“Ragi is a rich source of calcium, good for development of children’s bones. Try this recipe of kid-friendly ragi khichu for your li’l ones.”
Finger millet, that is nachni or ragi as we call it, provides us several health benefits. Ragi is a rich source of calcium which is good for development of children’s bones. It is good for us women too as we are more prone to osteoporosis. Ragi is also rich in proteins, fiber, iron and minerals. And not just finger millets other types of millets such as jowar, bajra, and rajgira too are extremely nutritious. They were the staple diet of our ancestors but now-a-days we seem to be fixated with just wheat flour.
Worse still we refine wheat flour, bleach it to make maida and strip it of valuable nutrients. And this refined flour (maida) is omnipresent— instand noodles, pizzas, pastas, breads—the list is never ending. Maida extracts more nutrients from our body for digestion than what it provides in the first place. When we eat out we have limited options of food that don’t contain maida. But at home we can cook food that doesn’t leave our body in negative balance in terms of nutrients.
Although I must admit that cooking food made with ragi is easy; getting our kids to actually eat it is a challenge. This challenge becomes manageable if we introduce such food in their diet early on so they acquire the taste for it.
I had started feeding Devansh ragi porridge quite early so luckily he eats it without too much fuss. Read between the lines—he does occasionally make a fuss and I have to take help of cartoons to make him eat. Bless you creators of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Shaun the Sheep, and Chuggington—he’s quite small to understand Chota Bheem yet. :-) I thought of looking up more ragi recipes since ragi porridge was the only ragi recipe I knew.
That’s when I came across this Ragi Khichu recipe. The word “khichu” caught my attention—it is a Gujarati dish. I’ve eaten khichu made with rice flour prepared by my mom-in-law and husband—who by the way is a good cook :-) —and have loved it. So when I saw this recipe I thought I must make this for Devansh because ragi besides being nutritious is great for summer because it’s easy to digest. Usually khichu has soft dough-like consistency but since I was making this for Devansh, I made it to have porridge-like consistency. Luckily Devansh liked this khichu and I have one more ragi recipe in my repertoire. ;-)
Ragi Khichu Recipe
- 4-5 tbsp ragi/nachni red millet flour
- 4-5 tbsp curds
- 1/4 th tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 th tsp grated ginger
- 1/5 th tsp hing asafoetida
- Pinch of chili powder
- 1/4 th tsp chopped corriander
- Salt to taste
- Heat a tadka pan and add ghee.
- Add cumin seeds and when they splutter add grated ginger and hing, and then turn off heat. (If you are making this khichu for smaller babies, use jeera powder instead of cumin seeds. Also, use less or no ginger.)
- Take a pan, add curds and 3 cups of water, and then beat curds or churn it properly to ensure that there are no lumps in the mixture.
- Keep the curds mixture on the stove and heat it on medium flame for 3-4 minutes while stirring it continuously.
- Meanwhile take a bowl, add ragi flour, salt, chili powder and 4-5 tbsp of water, and mix it properly to ensure there are no lumps formed in the mixture. (Again if you are making this for smaller babies, use less or no chili powder.)
- Add ragi mixture to the pan and start stirring.
- Add tadka and keep stirring till the khichu reaches desired consistency. This should take about 5 minutes. You need to ensure that the ragi flour gets cooked properly. (While making khichu usually we cover the pan and cook the mixture but that makes the mixture hard. Since I was making this khichu for Devansh I chose to not cover the mixture while cooking it.)
- Add coriander, mix it well, and then turn off heat. (If you are making this khichu for smaller babies,add coriander juice instead of chopped coriander.)