As a source of vitamin D, ragi (finger millet) improves vitality, improves skin tissues and reduces wrinkles. (Photo: Shalini Rajani)
Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colours there are only so many flavours – it’s how you combine them that sets you apart. ~Wolfgang Puck
There is one place in every home that can get your creative juices flowing. Often overlooked, the kitchen is the activity centre of your imagination, waiting for you to experiment, explore and discover new flavours and recipes.
I can’t think of a better space to express myself on a daily basis. There are days when I am in no mood to cook and there are days when I cook up a storm. The kitchen is always there, stocked with tools, ingredients and a whole lot of fresh ideas.
As I cook, I learn too. The fun is when a crucial ingredient goes missing, and I have to walk the fine line between flavours and good health without compromising on taste.
A few days ago, I conducted a workshop on Baking with Millets. And while there were seven to eight recipes to be covered including breads, rusks and cookies, I decided to serve the participants something which was not on the menu. I love creating a surprise for my students, who end up learning a new dish while relishing it together.
This is inspired from the ‘Mandua Rotis’ (Finger Millet Pancakes) I talked about in my last recipe. As I had very limited or no time to prepare a main course dish that could go with these pancakes, I quickly decided to treat them as pizza bases and covered them with exotic toppings. It was quick and easy. And it was appreciated so well that it turned out to be a must-have in my next workshop.
That’s the beauty of getting creative in your kitchen. Read more for the step by step Finger Millet Pancake Pizza Recipe and its numerous health benefits.
FINGER MILLET PANCAKE PIZZA
(For 10 Pancakes)
· 2 cups Finger Millet Flour
· 3 cups Water
· A pinch of Salt
· 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(For Pizza Toppings)
· 100 gram grated Mozarella Cheese
· 2 finely chopped Jalapenos
· 1 cup finely chopped yellow and red Bell Peppers
· ½ cup finely chopped fresh Coriander and Mint Leaves
· 1 tsp Pizza Seasonings
· Rock salt to taste
This lip-smacking dish is great for the health. (Photo: Shalini Rajani)
- Take 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. As it boils, add a teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Turn off the flame.
- Now in that water-oil-salt mixture, start dissolving Millet Flour is small batches. Keep stirring till you attain a homogenous batter consistency.
- Now onto a hot seasoned griddle, spread the batter to form a roti (flatbread) size pancake and cover it till it is cooked from one side.
- Uncover and flip the pancake to be cooked from the other side.
- Once cooked nicely from both sides, keep it aside and make pancakes from the rest of the batter.
(For pancake pizza)
- Preheat oven for 180 C for 10 minutes on grill mode.
- In a deep bowl, mix all the toppings ingredients.
- Take one pancake and spread the toppings mixture, followed by a little more sprinkling of grated cheese and seasonings on top.
- Grill the pancake pizzas till they turn crisp or the cheese is melted.
- Serve hot.
Health Benefits of Ragi (Finger Millet)
Skin: As a source of vitamin D, it improves vitality, improves skin tissues and reduces wrinkles.
Diabetes: Ragi has a low glycemic index and hence reduces food cravings. Helps in keeping blood sugar in check.
Anemia: Ragi is a good source of iron and helps improve haemoglobin levels.
Insomnia: Ragi is a source of antioxidants like tryptophan and amino acids. This helps to reduce anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Weight loss: Ragi is high in dietary fibre. It reduces unnecessary food cravings thus helps in weight loss.
Red and Yellow Bell Peppers are full of great health benefits—they're packed with vitamins and low in calories. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Bell Peppers also contain a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and iron.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups.