Beetroot Kodo Millet String-hoppers

I love string hoppers. I have written about it before. Traditionally, string hoppers are made with white rice. When I started making it at home some years ago, I switched to brown rice – and it was still superb. Last week, I was in the mood for string hoppers – but was wondering how I could make it healthier. I therefore decided to innovate with millet and a vegetable. So, I used kodo millet (you can use any millet) and beetroot. The end result was superb, to say the least. I was really delighted because millets are much, much healthier than rice. They also use very little of the planet’s resources. They are sturdy grasses which require no watering or special soil. Rice, on the other hand, requires a lot of water. And I do not have to explain the benefits of beetroot to my very knowledgeable audience. I am really excited that this experiment was a success. It points the way to several different types of string hoppers.

Beetroot Kodo Millet String Hoppers

2 cups kodo millet (or any other millet)
1 medium sized beetroot, washed and grated
3/4-1 cup water
Salt to taste
Soak the millet overnight
Drain the water and transfer to a blender (I use a contraption called wet grinder)
Add the grated beetroot and water
Blend to a loose paste
Transfer this to a pan
Add salt
Heat the paste till it thickens
Remove from flame and cool
Once cool, it would have become a thick dough
Make lime sized balls of the dough and transfer to a idiappam (string hopper) press
Press down to make the string hopper
Repeat for the remaining dough
Transfer to a steamer and steam for 8-10 minutes
Transfer to a casserole
Serve hot with sodhi (ishtew)

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