‘Holi hai’ with millets: Say cheers with Ragi Thandai

Shalini Rajani
Holi recipe, recipe, healthy drink., ragi thandai, millet, indian express news

When you are worrying about the viral attack, here’s something to cheer you up, keep calm and enjoy the festival of colours. (Photo: Shalini Rajani)

Yes, we have to be careful this Holi. We don’t have to greet by a hug, may have to avoid public places and maybe celebrate without getting drenched. But like a true Indian, I won’t let the virus take a toll on my spirits. I can always celebrate with precaution and, of course, with good food.

While the whole world is panicked about the spread of the coronavirus and there is more demand for hand-sanitisers than holi colours, remember nothing is lost if we follow a few hygiene measures.

Washing hands and staying safe with our loved ones is what defines the Holi of 2020 for me. And while I have my menu ready, I have something very nutritious and interesting to share today as a Holi treat.

Recently, I concluded a Holi special workshop where my participants learnt to prepare Holi delicacies with millets. The menu contained Baked Gluten-free Gujiyas, Zero Oil Millets Dahi Badas, Baked Millet Kachoris and some hung curd Parfaits as a dessert. But what emerged as a showstopper was the Ragi Thandai, a drink made with finger millet and loads of nuts and seeds.

It was vegan, had loads of good nuts and seeds and to top it all, was made with a millet that works wonders for our immunity and overall wellbeing. So, when you are worrying about the viral attack, here’s something to cheer you up, keep calm and enjoy the festival of colours. My online participants too loved this easy-peasy recipe and couldn’t stop appreciating it through messages.

Read more for the step by step recipe of homemade Ragi Thandai and its numerous health benefits.

Ragi Thandai with Chia Seeds

Ingredients: (6 glasses)

. 1/4 cup Almonds

· 2tbsp Poppy seeds

· 2 tbsp Fennel Seeds

· 1 tbsp Melon Seeds

· 1 tbsp Rose Petals (clean and dry)

· 20-22 Black (or white) Peppercorns

· 1/2 Cup Mishri Powder (or Powdered Sugar)

· 2 Cups lukewarm Water

· 4 tbsp pre-roasted Ragi Flour

· A few Saffron strands

· Cardamom Powder

· 1tsp Chia Seeds

· Ice cubes

Holi recipe, recipe, healthy drink., ragi thandai, millet, indian express news

Melon seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients like folate, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, potassium. (Photo: Shalini Rajani)

Method:

1. Soak almonds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds and melon seeds, clean and dry rose petals, black peppercorns in one cup lukewarm water for 1 hour.

2. Now in a deep pan, take add 4 tbsp pre-roasted finger millet (Ragi) flour and whisk it with 1 cup lukewarm water with continuous stirring. Bring this mixture to a boil and allow it to cool.

3. Blend the soaked seeds and nuts mixture to a fine paste and sieve it. Add saffron strands and allow it to chill in the refrigerator.

4. While serving, mix the nuts and seeds chilled paste with Ragi water mix and add powdered sugar or mishri powder.

5. Add some cardamom powder, chia seeds and ice cubes

Health benefits of Finger Millet, Poppy Seeds, Melon Seeds, Black Pepper

Ragi helps in keeping the blood sugar in check. Low in glycemic index, high in dietary fibre, antioxidants, it reduces unnecessary food cravings and helps in weight loss. It improves skin tissues and helps to reduce anxiety, depression and insomnia. A rich source of calcium and Iron, Ragi plays an important role in boosting immunity levels too.

Within the tiny poppy seed is found high levels of dietary fibre, B vitamins and several important minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and zinc, all of which have been linked to digestive, heart and immune health.

Melon seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients like folate, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, potassium. These seeds are considered to be highly nutritious, as they are also rich in amino acids, proteins and vitamin B complex. All these nutrients together help in boosting your body's metabolism.

Black Pepper improves cholesterol levels, blood sugar control and brain and gut health.

(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups)