Millet journey is just not about making millet your everyday food, but also about the right portion and combination that make it a balanced meal.
Thankfully, we are becoming aware about portion control, and when I am asked, ‘How much millet is too much millet’, I often answer, ‘When you start observing how your gut behaves to different grains, you will know it yourself. Give it sometime.’
Each body is different and reacts differently to millets. Going on a 10-day millet protocol is the best way to document your experiences and continue with whatever suits you.
Today, I share a platter where I have tried to limit carbohydrates, escalating the protein content of this vegetarian meal. Just to add more fun, I used homegrown beetroot and greens, chose proso millet — because that is the highest in protein — and the lentil green gram was made tangy with the addition of Indian gooseberry (amla).
Check out the video for a quick reference and read more for the step-by-step recipe of the dal.
Green moong dal with Indian gooseberry (amla)
Ingredients (serves 4)
· ½ cup green gram whole
· 4 amla, deseeded and roughly chopped
· 1-inch ginger
· 1 green chilli finely chopped
· 5-6 garlic cloves
· ½ tsp cumin seeds
· ½ tsp coriander seeds
· 1-inch cinnamon stick
· 1 black cardamom
· A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
· ¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
· Rock salt to taste
· 2 tbsp cold pressed coconut oil
1. Thoroughly wash and soak the whole moong dal for 12 hours. Once soaked, drain the water and keep it aside. A well-soaked lentil would never ask for pressure cooking.
2. In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil and raw spices like cinnamon, cumin and coriander seeds. As they start to splutter, add heeng, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Cook it till you see the ginger, garlic turning golden.
3. Add soaked dal, chopped amla followed by salt and turmeric. Cook it for a good 2 minutes on medium flame.
4. Add adequate water depending on how thick or how runny you want your dal to be. Cook it covered on low flame for a minimum of 10-15 minutes.
5. Once the dal is tender, with the help of a potato masher, mash all amla bits and keep stirring till everything comes together.
6. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, have it piping hot with your steamed millet or you can enjoy making it a part of millet bowls like I did in the video.
7. Serve hot. Skip the idea of refrigerating food and cooking in bulk.
Health benefits of green gram and proso millet
Highest in protein content among millets, proso also contains high lecithin, which supports neural health. It is rich in vitamins (niacin, B-complex vitamins, folic acid), minerals (P, Ca, Zn, Fe) and essential amino acids (methionine and cysteine). It has a low glycemic index and reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes.
Green gram is rich in fibre and protein, which can help curb hunger by lowering the levels of hunger hormones, such as ghrelin. In fact, whole moong dal protects against heat stroke, aids digestive health, promotes weight loss and lowers ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
(Shalini Rajani is a millet coach. She is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops and Gluten-free Sourdough Baking Workshops for all age groups.)