Ragi is a healthy grain and nutritious food for babies. It’s known as finger millet in English, ragi in kannada, nachni in Marathi & Gujarati, mandika in Hindi, panji pullu in Malayalam, ragulu in Telugu, marwa in Bengali & Nepali and kelvaragu or Keppai in Tamil.
- It is rich in calcium hence strengthen the bones.
- Rich in dietary fiber so helps in healthy weight gain.
- Cures anemia as rich in iron.
- It has proteins & minerals, easily digestible for babies.
Though soaking and sprouting the ragi takes lot of time, its highly recommended for babies and toddlers. Here is the advantage of the same: Soaking and sprouting helps to absorb iron content as the level of Vitamin C increased during the process. Also sprouted ragi is easily digestible for babies and increase the nutritional values.
Ragi can be given to babies of age six months plus after introduced with few veg or fruit purees and rice. Please check this how to make ragi porridge for babies. When you start begin with 1 tbsp of cooked ragi porridge and check whether the baby shows any allergic reaction. Check it for 3 days and if the baby is not allergic to it, you can increase the amount gradually. For toddlers, ragi porridge can be made with milk. You can also make ragi dosa for toddlers.
- Ragi seeds - 1.5 cups
- Measure the ragi seeds using a measuring cup as mentioned in the ingredients table & keep it ready.
- Take ragi in a vessel and wash it by rubbing well with your hands. It has lots of mud so repeat the process 2 to 3 times unless it is clean and get rid of all mud.
- Then soak the ragi in clean water for 12 hours. Keep it covered (with provision to some air to enter) while soaking. After 12 hours, open. The color of the ragi will be changed after soaking.
- Then drain the water completely. Transfer the drained ragi to a clean white cloth or cheese cloth for sprouting. Place the cheese cloth with ragi in a colander.
- Tie it up with all four corners and keep it undisturbed for another 12 hours for sprouting. After 12 hours, open the cloth carefully. You could see the tiny sprouts in ragi. Transfer the sprouted ragi to a plate and sun dry it for 12 hours.
- After sun drying the ragi, dry roast the ragi in a pan in low flame for 5 minutes or until it's toasted. Remove from the pan and cool it down.
- Take the roasted ragi to a dry mixer jar and blend it to a smooth powder. Sieve the powder well. Cool it down and store in a air tight container.
- You can store this sprouted ragi powder in airtight container and keep it in refrigerator. It stays well 2 to 3 months.
- Sprouted ragi would have tiny sprouts. If you can’t see the tiny sprouts, sprinkle little water and sprout it for another couple of hours or more.
- Make sure you cool down completely after roasting & blending. Otherwise it will let out moisture.
- You can also grind the ragi in mill if you’re preparing larger quantities.
- If grinding at home, do it in intervals in order to avoid overheating of the blender.
- Always check with your pediatrician before introducing any new food.