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Go with the grain
It has long been the staple meal of farmers in rural Andhra Pradesh, especially those who can't afford rice, and is relished with a spicy, watery pulusu (curry). Now, foxtail millet, which is called kakumor korraluin India, is gaining popularity as a health food in Europe and North America.
The oldest cultivated millet, foxtail grain looks like couscous and has a mild sweet and nutty taste. Till recently, it was mostly grown for cattle and birdfeed abroad, but has now gained acceptance as a gluten-free alternative to rice as it has double the protein content. Conscious Foods is among the few companies that sell foxtail millet in India. These grains are rich in B vitamins, iron, calcium and various minerals. Experts say they help control cholesterol level, gastric problems, reduce risk of heart attack and help in development of body tissue. And, they are especially beneficial for diabetics.
Laddus, parathasand tikkismade of Amaranth (called Rajgira in Maharashtra) are relished by women who fast during the nine-day Navratri festival or on Maha Shivratri. But there's much more to this millet than the fact that it is not forbidden during fasts. And, that's why it has made its way to the shelves of health food stores in India and abroad. Nutritionists say amaranth is as good as quinoa and, in fact, has higher calcium levels. The amaranth seed contains 6-10 per cent oil, primarily unsaturated oil which is high in linoleic acid and lysine, essential amino acids that are necessary for overall health maintenance and tissue repair. It's a 'nutritional powerhouse'.
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