Other common names of Ragi are African Millet, Coracan, Natcheny, Bavato in Gujarati, Mandwa in Hindi, Madhulika and Nrutyakundala in Sanskrit. Botanical name is Eleusine coracana and belongs to Poaceae (Grass) family. Ragi or Finger Millet is a native of Ethiopia. This cereal is an annual crop of Africa and Asia.
Picture above: Ragi crop near Markonahalli Dam
Ragi is the staple diet of South Karnataka people. It is grown widely in South Karnataka.
Though this region is known for growing Rice, it is also equally known for growing Ragi. In India almost all regions grow Ragi,
The plant grows to a height of 1.2 meters tall. The flowers are a whorl of 2 to 8 spikes. The flowers are 12 to 15 cm long and 1.3 cm broad. The seeds are tiny, brownish red, and round. The seeds are harvested.
Ragi is extremely nutritious and healthy and is consumed by all age groups. Gentle on the stomach and yet very tasty. It is ground into flour, or popped, or sprouted before consuming.
It is used to prepare many types of dishes all over the world.
Recipes using Ragi: