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If you live in Southern part of India, your baby’s first food will be this Ragi porridge/Ragi malt. Yes I have grown up eating that, we call Panchapul in Malayalam (the language in Kerala, South India). It is commonly called as Ragi which is a red finger millet. Here in US I can get them as Ragi flour from Indian store, even Bob’s Red Mills sells them, but it is cheaper in Indian store. My son is allergic to milk so he is drinking Silk Half Gallon Almond Unsweetened Vanilla (lactose and diary free) after weaning from the breast milk. So lots of times for him I make this delicious hot ragi drink with cloves and cardamom with Silk Half Gallon Almond Unsweetened Vanilla
Eleusine coracana/ Ragi/Finger millet is an annual plant widely grown as a cereal in the arid areas of Africa and Asia. Earliest records of its cultivation in India show that it was cultivated in the Hallur region of Karnataka about 4000 years ago. Even though all the South Indian States uses ragi, it remains one of the main ingredients of the staple diet in Karnataka. If you look at Ragi closely, it is really small red color millet, but they are really healthy with lots of benefits. Ragi has high protein content, because of the presence of amino acid methionine. It also a very good source of minerals it is rich in, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron. It has better energy content than other cereals, and as a result it is ideal for feeding to infants and the elderly. Since I did not have the whole grain in hand, I checked with few friends and Parvathy, Subha and Kinjal were kind to share the pictures. Here is the Ragi millet picture from my friend Parvathy.
It also known to help in controlling the diabetics due to its high polyphenol content in the outer skin read this study. Ragi reduces “bad” cholesterol (LDL), prevents cardiovascular disease, it also has anti microbial and anti cancer properties etc.
Even though Ragi drink is a traditional drink, it uses regular milk and is not spiced up. Since my son is allergic to milk I make it with Silk Half Gallon Almond Unsweetened Vanilla. ( which you can get it from local Wal-Mart store)
and spice it up with cardamom and cloves both of which are really aromatic and increase the flavor of the hot drink. I lightly sweetened the drink with maple syrup. You can skip that part or add your favorite sweetener to it.
You can start your day with this delicious hot ragi drink with cloves and cardamom. The marriage with between Ragi flour and nutty Silk Half Gallon Almond Unsweetened Vanilla. is so perfect that you will make every day. Ragi flour is gluten free just like Silk unsweetened vanilla, so this one is ultimate health drink which is vegan, gluten free and also looks like hot chocolate drink. So kids will drink it without any problem.
I also buy strawberry flavored Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt for my son as he loves this yogurt. Here is list of Wal-Mart stores where there is a demonstration of Silk Half Gallon Almond Unsweetened Vanilla and Silk Yogurt a happening from 1/21 -1/24 please stop there to take a look.
This is Swathi ( Ambujom Saraswathy) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.