People who have been following my blog, will notice that while I am quick to update my travel posts and pictures, I am quite laid back when it comes to taking the trouble to post recipes 😀 This is because I like to explain in great detail and am always afraid that if I write in a hurry, I will not do sufficient justice to the narration.
Having said that however, I have come to a point where people are pointing weapons at me 😀 and hence I am going to hurriedly but hopefully clearly put forth one of the recipes that has been pending for a while.
A recipe to create an ingredient, which I then use in many other recipes and therefore it is important to get it done with.
So here I present to you the plant based Milk of Eleusine coracana, better known as Ragi or Finger Millet.
My love for local grains is legendary and I derive great pleasure working with millets. Apart from appealing to me aesthetically with their tiny and uniform shapes, their versatility also tempts me to experiment with them and use them in novel ways.
While ragi milk and its extraction are not unknown, I will nevertheless describe the process here which I use and hence guaranteed to be simple and quick … well as quick as possible 😀
Before I proceed, let me also enlighten you on some of the general benefits of this grain. Called Finger Millet due to its claw like panicles, this grain like all its millet cousins, is rich in fibre, protein and minerals and is a good source of Calcium and Iron. Regular intake of ragi helps to reduce the risk of diabetes and cardio vascular diseases.
Ragi Milk –
Prep time – 15 min (plus initial soaking and sprouting time of 16 hours)
Produces – 1 cup thick and 1 cup thin milk
Ragi (finger millet) grains – 1/2 cup
Water – 1 cup (plus 1 cup)
- Wash the ragi grains well 2-3 times or till the water runs clear. Use a strainer while draining because the grains are very tiny and easy to lose.
- Soak the ragi in sufficient water and leave overnight or for 8 hours.
- Drain out all the water by passing through a strainer.
- Keep it in a covered container for 8 hours until tiny white sprouts appear. This step is optional but sprouting enhances the nutritive properties of the grain.
- Grind the ragi to a paste using a mixer. Use 1 cup (standard baking cup measure) of water while grinding.
- When a fine paste is obtained, pass the mass through a muslin cloth or nylon sieve and squeeze out the milk well. You will obtain approximately 1 cup of thick milk.
- Return the residue to the mixer and use 1 more cup of water to grind and follow the same process. You will obtain another cup of thin milk.
- The milk is best used fresh. But I have even stored it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before using it. The thick milk in certain recipes like breads, cakes etc and I combine both the thick and thin and use as one single milk in other recipes like desserts which I will be updating the blog with (hopefully in this lifetime !!!)
- The residue can be sun dried or frozen and used while baking breads, crackers etc. This is my idea and while I am happy to use this, you may discard it or use it as plant manure, if you are not happy consuming extra healthy fiber 😀