An inspired gourmet millet dish: Millet Pancakes with Pumpkin Pineapple Dip

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millet pancake, benefits of millet, benefits of pineapple. healthy recipe, delicious recipe, indian express news Read more for the step by step recipe and health benefits of Sorghum Millet and various other superfoods. (Photo: Shalini Rajani)

I love the preschool I send my daughter to, where during their ‘show and tell’ activities even the parents get to research some really interesting subjects. I was supposed to dress and prepare her as a community helper — a fire-fighter, guard, postman or doctor.

I decided to dress my little one as one of the school ‘didis’ (women helpers who take care of kids at school). The idea was simple. What are we without our helpers? At least in India, where we have this luxury, I strongly believe that it is they who allow us to focus on our work, home, family while keeping our lives sane.

And now, I want to talk about my helper from Jharkhand and how she inspired me for today’s recipe. A humble woman in her forties, she’s simple, no fuss, minimal and always ready to smile. On Day one, when I tried asking her about what she likes to eat and cook, we faced a language barrier and she found it difficult to communicate. However, I learnt that the chapati (flat Indian bread) we eat is alien to her. But thankfully, due to my research on millets, when she mentioned ‘Mandua Roti’, I quickly understood that she was talking about Ragi (the highly nutritious finger millet).

More than being worried, I was silently jumping with joy as I could foresee more variety in my everyday menu. And if it had something to do with millets and that too in the most traditional way, I couldn’t be happier.

Incidentally, her Mandua Rotis (finger millet flatbread) resembled pancakes or dosas or more precisely, a cheela. She spreads the finger millet and water batter with a slight drizzling of mustard oil onto the cast iron griddle, cooks it covered for a few seconds, flips it and waits till it is crispy and perfectly roasted from both sides. This has become my quick fix for when I don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen.

This ‘mandua roti’ inspired me to make this Sorghum Millet Pancake (cheela) where I followed her technique of spreading the batter, but improvised by adding grated zucchini, finely chopped spinach, grated raw turmeric and complemented it with my favourite Pumpkin Pineapple Basil Seeds Dip to give it a complete gourmet feel without compromising on health and taste.

Since she knows the technique so well, I had her ghee roast them for me for today’s breakfast. And right after capturing a good picture, I am enjoying them hot.

Read more for the step by step recipe and health benefits of Sorghum Millet and various other superfoods.

Sorghum Millet Pancakes with Pumpkin Pineapple Dip

Ingredients: (For 8 Chapati Size Pancakes)

· 1 cup – Organic Sorghum Millet Flour

· 1/2 cup – Grated Zucchini

· 1/2 cup – Finely chopped spinach

· 1 tbsp – Grated raw turmeric

· 1 – Finely chopped green chilly

· 1/2 inch – Grated ginger piece

1 tsp – White sesame seeds

· A pinch of dried oregano

· 1/4 tsp – Roasted cumin powder

· Rock salt to taste

· Water to mix

· 1/4 cup – Cow ghee to roast

Method:

1. Dry roast the Sorghum Millet Flour in a heated pan for 1-2 minutes on a low to medium flame and keep it aside to cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, add the grated Zucchini, finely chopped Spinach, grated raw Turmeric, Sorghum Millet flour, White Sesame seeds, Oregano, Cumin Powder, Green Chilly, Ginger and Rock Salt.

3. Using water as required, mix all the ingredients together to make a batter.

4. Now take a portion of the batter in a ladle, spread the batter to a round pancake onto a preheated iron griddle seasoned with a few drops of Cow Ghee.

5. Cover it on low flame till the edges separate the griddle easily.

6. Once it is easy to remove, cook it from both sides on a low to medium flame until brown in colour. You can add a few more drops of cow ghee in the process.

7. Serve hot with homemade Pumpkin Pineapple Dip or any chutney of your choice.

Read more for the step by step recipe of Pumpkin Pineapple Dip and numerous health benefits of trying this recipe:

For Pumpkin Pineapple Dip:

Ingredients:

·3/4 cup – Pumpkin (peeled and diced),

·1/2 cup – Pineapple (peeled and diced)

·1/2 tsp – Basil seeds

·1 tsp – Lemon juice

·1/4 tsp – Turmeric powder

·1 tsp – Red chilli powder

·1 tsp – Brown sugar

·Rock salt to taste

Method:

1. In a heated pan add pumpkin pieces and pineapple pieces with enough water to cover the contents.

2. Add turmeric powder and rock salt and cook till it becomes soft.

3. Now coarsely liquefy leaving some small bits of pumpkin and pineapple.

4. Again transfer in the pan and add sugar till it dissolves. Add red chilli and check for salt.

5. Let it cool, add lemon juice and garnish with basil seeds. Serve chilled.

Health benefits of Sorghum Millet, Spinach, Zucchini, Pumpkin and Pineapple

Sorghum Millet (Jowar) is a powerhouse of essential vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. It is loaded with good amounts of calcium, copper, zinc, phosphorous, potassium and cell-building B vitamins. The presence of these essential nutrients help keep the body healthy and keep ailments at bay.

Zucchini is a versatile squash rich in vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. It may offer several health benefits, ranging from improved digestion to a lower risk of heart disease. Zucchini may benefit your bones, thyroid, and prostate.

Spinach is a nutritious, leafy green. This vegetable has been shown to improve health in several ways. Spinach may decrease oxidative stress, improve eye health, and help prevent heart disease and cancer.

Pumpkin is a nutrient-dense food, rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants. It boosts immune system, protects eyesight, lowers risk of certain cancers and promotes heart and skin health.

Pineapple improves immunity and is a great source of healthy carbs. It lowers the risk of cancer, heals wounds, improves gut health, strengthens bones and gums, improves eye and skin health and helps in alleviating common cold too.

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

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