Pearl millet, popularly known as bajra is a small pearl-shaped grain of light brownish and white colour.
This belongs to a millet family. Millet's are a group of small-seeded grasses and majorly grown as a cereal crop for human consumption, fodder dries grass for roof making and grass carpets.
It's hardy crop and required less water to grow. It can even grow in drought conditions, hot temperatures and less fertile soil. This made it perfect loved crop of Rajasthan.
Bajra is used as a staple food in the western region of India. It's majorly grown in those areas as well. It's loved in Rajasthan and used in most recipes or food on a daily basis.
It is rich in complex carbs, protein, calcium and insoluble fibre.
It's rich in phosphorus and iron and per 100 gm contains 296mg and 8mg respectively.
Some benefits of bajra:
It helps in weight management as it contains complex carbohydrate which gets slowly absorbed. This gives a series of feeling for a longer time and reduces binge eating.
It's gluten-free. The protein content is much higher than other grains and a good substitute to include on a daily basis in meals.
It helps with diabetes management. As it contains lots of fibre which is slowly digestible, it gives energy on a sustained basis for the diabetics. Also, magnesium content makes it helpful to lower the risk associated with diabetes.
It's a heart-healthy food. Magnesium helps to aid in a healthy heart and decrease the effect if a cardiovascular disease like hypertension and diabetes. Also, it is beneficial in lowering cholesterol.
It contains antitumour agents such as tricin and acacetin. These help to reduce the cancer cells in the breast.
It's is rich in omega-3 which lowers BP and maintain heart rhythm.
Iron and phosphorus are required for cognitive thinking and mental growth.
Uses of bajra in daily food:
Can be made into roti or khichdi
Can be used as breakfast cereal or porridge
Utthapams and salted pancakes can be made with it.
It can be used as a staple recipe ( roti) and accompanied by lahsun chutney or gatte ki sabji for a proper Rajasthani meal.