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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Finger Millet Balls/Dumplings "Ragi Balls/Kezhvaragu Kali" in Spinach Sauce

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Day1 of BM9: For this edition of Blogging Marathon, I will be focusing on authentic "South Indian" Farmer's fare. My great-grandpa on my mother's side and my grandpa on my father's side were all agriculturists and I can safely say I know what I am talking about. With India being one of the largest Millet producers I can understand why this grain is a Farmer's favorite and keep gracing the country table frequently. My recent obsession is with Ragi "Finger Millet" and Kambu "Pearl millet".

The protein content in millet is very close to that of wheat; both provide about 11% protein by weight.

People with Celiac disease who are keen on gluten-free recipes, take note:  Millets are rich in B vitamins, especially niacin, B6 and folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Millets contain no gluten, so they are not suitable for raised bread.As none of the millets are closely related to wheat, they are appropriate foods for those with c┼ôliac disease or other forms of allergies/intolerance of wheat. Well, that is accurate info but double check with a nutrionist anyways.

Ragi Balls or Ragi Dumplings are made with Ragi Flour,a little bit of boiled rice and water.Healthy cause no salt or oil is added. I like this version taught to me by MIL cause of the ease and taste. It very easy cause it doesn't involve too much stirring and is quickly cooked in a pressure cooker and much tastier cause of the boiled rice that is added to it.Dumplings can be made into any size. It all depends on how much one likes it. As for me I like them bigger. For folks who want to try for the first time, be warned that its an acquired taste. The secret to liking this dish really depends on the side-dish. Cause one needs to dunk into enormous amounts of saucy side to override the bland, muddy taste of the Ragi Dumplings.
Dumplings in Spinach and Lentil Curry.
Ingredients:
  • 1 + 1/2 Cups Red Millet Flour "Ragi Flour", Scooped
  • 1/2 Cup Cooked "Short-grain" White Raw Rice ( I used Ponni. Sona Masuri can be used too)
  • 2-1/2 Cups Water
Procedure:
  • In a deep pressure cooker "container"(or any pan that can fit into a pressure cooker), dump the cooked rice in 1-1/2 Cups water. Bring it to a boil.
  • Take half a cup Ragi flour and dilute it in 1 Cup of water.Pour this mixture into the boiling pot of rice and water.
  • Continuously stir so no lumps are formed. Stirring is key. Let it slightly thicken which happens in about 2-3 minutes of stirring. This creamy mixture forms a proper "lump-free" base for the remaining flour.
  • Add the remaining flour and continue to stir.
  • After 3-4 minutes of stirring in medium heat it should look thick and goopy but lump-free.
  • Move the container into the pressure cooker.Pressure cooker folks should know that water must be added to the bottom of the pressure pan.
  • Cook this soon-to-be-dumplings for "one" whistle or so.
  • Open the pressure pan once its safe to open.The mixture is thoroughly cooked and ready to be made into dumplings.
  • Take a flat steel plate, drop a little bit of goopy mixture. Sprinkle few drops of water over and around the mixture. Note: Keep a bowl with plenty of cold water handy.
  • Using clean and wet hands shape this goopy mixture(while its hot enough for the hands to handle) into round dumplings. The size of balls/dumplings depends on how much one wants to eat.
  • The dumpling is ready.
  • Repeat the same for the remaining mixture.
String Hoppers can be made using this flour as well. Remember this??
Note:
  • If you want the dumpling to be much harder, reduce the amount of water.
  • The dumplings should be shaped while the mixture is still relatively hot. 
Enjoy!
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13 comments:

  1. My grandma and mom used to prepare this. I just love it. Yours has come out perfectly...

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  2. its new to me..Sounds healthy nd delicious...

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  3. Wow CL looks really interesting, pictures really look very pretty.

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  4. I haven't attempted this yet but I think I should !!

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  5. Step by step pictures are really good! And like the nice and healthy recipe!

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  6. Wat a nutritious and healthy dish,makes me nostalgic, coz both my grandparents are agriculturists too..

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  7. Healthy dish ,new to me..looks delicious.

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  8. Awesome CL, looking fwd to all your delicious regional dishes..love those ragi idiappams..

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  9. never pressure cooked this one..I love ragi mudde very much n those tiny mudde looks superb

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  10. this is a new recipe to me...looks good!...

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