Little millet is called Samai in Tamil and Kutki in Hindi. Millets are basically seeds of various types of grass. They are gluten-free and packed with nutrition. I tend to use a lot of millets in my food. Not just to provide variety to my grains, but because I really like millets.
While on the topic of variety in grains, I see numerous ‘multi-grain’ products in the market. And multinational companies extol the virtues of multi-grain products. But, as explained to me by a WFPB expert, multi-grain does not mean adding different types of grains into a product. It is about having a different grain for each meal.
Upma is traditionally prepared with semolina (suji, rawa). I tend to avoid semolina as it is a refined product. Millets are an excellent substitute – or should it be the other way around? Is semolina a poor substitute for millets?
I used Little millet for this upma, but you can substitute it with any other millet.
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 green chilli, slit
1″ piece ginger
1 cup mixed vegetables
1/2 cup Little Millet
1 1/2 cups water
Salt to taste
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1 tsp split black gram (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
1 dried red chilli
1 sprig curry leaves
Chop fine onions, ginger and vegetables (you can use a mixture of peas, carrots, French beans and potatoes)
Wash the millet, drain water and set aside
Roast mustard seeds in a pan
When it starts spluttering, add urad dal, asafoetida and dried red chilli
When dal turns golden brown, add onions, ginger, green chilli and curry leaves
Sauté till onions turn translucent
Add the vegetables and sauté for a few minutes
Add the water and salt
When water starts boiling, lower flame and add the millet, stirring continuously
Cover and cook on low flame, stirring from time to time
Once done (you will know when you press the millet between your fingers and it is just like cooked rice), turn off flame
Serve hot with chutney of your choice