Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ragi ( finger millet) Porridge; Diabetes Friendly Thursday.

Ragi( finger millet) porridge prepared with almond milk

Hypoglycemia ( decreased blood sugar level) is a major problem in diabetics. Anyone who is a diabetic, or anyone who lives in close proximity with a diabetic is familiar with this problem. One might wonder that if diabetes is a condition where the blood sugar levels are high, when does the blood sugar level drop and why is decreased blood sugar level a problem?? A certain level of blood sugar is essential for the human body to function. Just like money is the currency that makes the world function, glucose is the primary source of the energy currency called ATP ( Adenosine triphosphate) in the body. When glucose levels in the blood drop below a certain level, the body slows down and stops functioning. Signs of hypoglycemia include headache, increased sweating, dizziness.When hypoglycemia persists, individuals can become unconscious and on occasion death can also occur.
Why does this happen in diabetics?? This is primarily because of the inequality between the anti-diabetic medication consumed and the food in the body at that time. Treatment of diabetes is a multi-tiered approach. The type of anti-diabetic medication the individual takes,whether oral anti-diabetic medication or insulin is used, plays an important role. Kindly read more here if interested. Bottom-line, the type of food consumed, how much of it is consumed and how frequently it is consumed are all important factors that determine the blood sugar level. So,what does one do when one is getting hypoglycemic?? One has to eat something immediately, preferably something that gives instantaneous energy like a little glucose powder, candy etc.

This week the DFT team is bringing you "oil free food". So go ahead and binge on "oil free food". My conrtibution to this event is Ragi ( finger millet) porridge.

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My mother-in-law is a diabetic. She believes in eating healthy and in exercising. She makes this Ragi ( finger millet) porridge whenever she feels hypoglycemic , may be in between two meals when she has not yet finished cooking lunch and is hungry or when she has just come back from her walk and is hungry and there is nothing readily available for her to eat that is healthy. This Ragi porridge takes literally less than 5 mins to make from start to finish and is amazingly healthy. There are only three ingredients in this porridge: Ragi, salt and water. Apart from being gluten-free and almost fat-free, Ragi is a great source of protein making it perfect for vegetarians. Ragi has a low glycemic index.Amongst cereals, Ragi has the highest amount of calcium and potassium. It is a great source of iron making it a perfect food for individuals who tend to be anemic. 100 gms of ragi contains 7.6g protein,1.5 g fat, 88 g carbohydrate and 370 mg calcium!!Read more about the nutritional benefits of Ragi in the footnotes( tip for healthy living). Therefore, this Ragi porridge makes for a nutritious meal that could be fed to infants,kids, elderly and the very sick and debilitated.

Ragi porridge without milk

Servings: 1 ( makes one small bowl)


Ragi flour: 3 tbsp
Water: 2 cups
Salt: a pinch
Regular milk/ almond milk:1/4 cup ( optional)


In a pot, mix Ragi flour in cold water thoroughly so that there are no lumps. 

Heat this mixture on low heat until it thickens to desired consistency. It will bubble and then start to thicken.

The whole process takes 2-3 minutes. Make sure you stir continuously as otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pot. Add salt and mix thoroughly.

Ragi porridge without milk

If desired, add regular milk or almond milk at this point and mix thoroughly. I have used almond milk. Heat it  until it warms. 

Turn off the heat. Serve hot and eat intermediately.

Remember, Ragi  tends to thicken upon cooling.

Enjoy. I am bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday so that more people with diabetes may benefit.

Cooking made easy:

When the mixture of Ragi,water & salt begins to thicken, you can cover the pot and let it cook until it begins to leave the sides of the pot. Turn off the flame. Once it cools down , you can shape it into a ball and serve it as ragi mudde with spicy vegetarian or chicken curry.  This is a traditional meal served in northern Karnataka in India.

Footnotes ( Tip for healthy living):

Ragi has been known to be cultivated in Karnataka State,  India, since the iron age. Ragi is a nutrient-powerhouse and is a perfect food for diabetics. Ragi can be grown at high-altitudes and in drought-prone areas and is very insect resistant. Ragi is inexpensive, gluten-free, low glycemic whole grain cereal that provides instantaneous energy. Ragi is rich in methionine, an amino acid that is lacking in the diets of poor-people. It is also rich in dietary fiber and therefore gives a sense of fullness. Ragi is also rich in B-group vitamins and magnesium.Overall, everyone regardless of their age, sex, health condition can benefit by eating ragi on a regular basis.

I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.

Binge with DFT this time in OIL FREE Madness with all these other recipes from our team!

Sonal's methi tofu paneer.

Prachi's thai corn salad tacos

Chahat's peas pilaf

Anu's kothimbir vadi

Shailja's egg masala curry

Sri's quinoa stew

Swati's lauki koftas

Apsara's cornmeal upma

Food for thought:

If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door. Milton Berle.


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