Barnyard millet also called Jhangora or 'Sama' is a millet that's found across India. It's popular during fasting and is eaten as a substitute for rice - my family loves it as an upma. We can have millet upma for breakfast, lunch, dinner or any time in between when hunger pangs strike! By the way, it's a very diabetic-friendly food, too. Because millets have a low glycemic index.
I love making it with loads of different coloured vegetables, peanuts or cashew nuts to add a bit of crunch.
NUTRITION HINT 1:
Please soak the barnyard millet for about 4 hours, if you have the time. Ayurveda recommends soaking. Millets ideally need soaking time to give you all the benefits of the low glycemic index qualities they possess. I soak it overnight like I would a rajma or a black channa.
1. Barnyard millet - about 2 cups - approximately 300 g
2. French beans - chopped fine - 1 tbsp
3. Carrots - chopped small - 1 tbsp
4. Onions chopped fine - 2 tbsps
5. Red bell pepper chopped small - 2 tbsps
6. Yellow bell pepper - chopped small - 2 tbsps
7. Peas - 2 tbsps
8. Cabbage chopped fine - 2 tbsps
9. Coriander leaves, chopped - 4 tbsps
10. Green chilli chopped fine - 2 (You can add more if you like it a bit more pungent)
11. Cashew nuts or groundnuts (with skins intact)
12. Mustard seeds - a quarter tsp
13. Curry leaves/kadhi patta - 2 tbsps
14. Asafoetida (hing) - a pinch
15. Grated ginger - 1 tbsp
16. Himalayan pink salt - to taste
17. Lemon juice - 1 whole largish lemon
18. Pomegranate seeds for garnishing - 1 tbsp
NUTRITION HINT 2:
Ayurveda recommends cooking all millets with oil to make the grain a beneficial tridoshic grain - ie. it balances all three doshas.
THE OIL TO USE
We usually make this upma in Gaon Fresh Groundnut oil or Gaon Fresh Sesame oil.
Gaon Fresh cold pressed, extra-virgin groundnut oil - 4 tbsps
*Cold pressed oils are light and flavourful and I use them generously in my cooking. Eating good quality oils keep your joints, skin and hair supple and your digestion smooth.
Keep water to boil in a utensil or the electric kettle. I prefer adding hot water to the upma for cooking.
Soak the barnyard millets ideally for 4-5 hours - overnight is also fine. Drain the soaked millets and keep aside for use. Millets can be washed in a mesh strainer to avoid losing them as you drain the water.
1. Put on a karahi (the Indian wok) to heat. Put in the groundnut/sesame oil.
2. Add cashews and /or groundnuts - stir fry for a minute till they turn golden or pink. Remove and keep aside.
3. Now add the grated ginger, curry leaves, chopped green chillies, mustard seeds and asafoetida to the hot oil. Don't let these burn.
4. Now, almost immediately, add the remaining vegetables except for the coriander leaves and pomegranates.
5. Stir fry for a minute and then add 2.5 cups of hot water per cup of millet used. For 2 cups you would need to add 5 cups of water.
6. Add salt to taste.
7. Once the vegetables are cooked - shouldn't take more than 2-3 minutes, add the soaked and drained millets
8. Cover karahi with lid and let cook. The millets will absorb the water and cook through. Stir in the coriander leaves a minute before you finish cooking.
9.Now serve in glass bowls or quarter plates... garnish with a dollop of Desi A2 cow Bilona ghee, lemon juice for an extra-special tang and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.
10. Finally, top with the cashew nuts or groundnuts that have been stir fried and kept aside in reserve.
11. EAT HOT!