Kodo Millet or Varagu is indigenous millet cultivated in Tamil Nadu since ancient times. The botanical name of Kodo millet is called Paspalum Scrobiculatom and it is called Koden in Hindi, Varagu in Tamil, Arikelu in Telugu, Koovaragu in Malayalam and Arka in Kannada.
Why is Varagu Healthy Millet?
It is a nutrient-rich grain and 100 grams of Varagu has around 8.3 g protein, 65 g carbohydrates, 1.4 g fat, 5.2 g fiber, 35 mg calcium, 188 mg phosphorus, 1.7 mg iron, 15 mg thiamin and 2 mg niacin.
The millet is very rich in dietary fiber and some varieties of Kodo Millet contain nearly 37-38 percent dietary fiber which is the highest among all the cereals. It is superior to rice and closely resembles rice.
Varagu or Kodo Millet is gluten-free, with low glycemic index, rich in minerals and vitamins. This millet contains a high amount of lecithin that helps strengthen the nervous system. It controls blood sugar and cholesterol, thus making it an ideal food for diabetics.
It shows high anti-oxidant activity due to the presence of bioactive compounds – phenolic and flavonoid. Bioactive compounds are powerful antioxidants that protect our body from cancer, premature aging and oxidative stress.
Kodo Millet is rich in Folate and intake of Folate is required for the production of red blood cells in the body. When consumed through a planned diet or as a supplement, it has shown decreased instances of heart disease and stroke.
Varagu for your daily diet
Varagu or Kodo Millet can be cooked just like rice or ground into flour. You can incorporate Kodo Millet in your daily diet. Kodo millet can be a natural substitute to other major cereals like rice and wheat as it provides a balanced nutrition with 11% Protein, low in fat 4.2%, very high fiber content 14.3%.
You can use Kodo Millet to prepare various delicious dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Upma with vegetables, idly, Dosa, Pongal can be made using Kodo Millet. Kodo Millet Coriander Rice, Kodo Millet Mint Rice, Kodo Millet Vegetable Pulao, Mixed Millet Roti, Kodo Millet Payasam, Kodo Millet Murrukus, and Cookies can be made using this wonder food.
How to make Spicy Vegetable Varagu (Kodo Millet) Rice?
§ Varagu (Kodo Millet) – I cup
§ Water – 2 cups
§ Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
§ Onion – 1 sliced
§ Green Chilies – 3
§ Vegetables – ¼ cup diced
§ Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
§ Cinnamon – 1 stick
§ Cloves – 2
§ Mint leaves – a few
§ Ghee – 1 Tsp
- Wash and soak varagu (Kodo Millet) rice in water for 10 minutes.
- Heat coconut oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and when they splutter, add the cinnamon and cloves.
- Once they release an aroma, add the onions and fry till golden in color. Then add the diced vegetables and green chilies.Saute. Then add mint leaves.
- To this add water and let it boil. The ratio of rice to water is 1:2. Add salt.
- Once it starts to boil, add the soaked and drained varagu (Kodo Millet) rice to it. Add few drops of ghee. Close the lid and cook till done.
- Once the tasty hot varagu rice is ready, you can serve hot with Raita.