Ragi Dumpling / Ragi Kolukattai is a healthy after school snack that requires 5 minutes prep time and 15 minutes to steam the dumplings. And our kids will be eating a very healthy snack that is rich in Calcium, Iron and dietary fiber. Ragi has very low gluten and is ideal for those looking for grains with low gluten.
Ragi also helps with weight loss because it is very filling and reduces the urge for unhealthy snacking. Ragi is also called Pearl Millet or finger millet. It is called kezhvaragu or Kambu in Tamil.
A porridge made with ragi called Kamman koozh or kezhvaragu koozh is very cooling for the body and is consumed during Summer in India.
I have included the recipe and also a video about this porridge also at the end.
Protein rich Ragi is good for those suffering from
Anemia – high iron
Indigestion – high fiber
Bone porosity – has more calcium than other grains
Diabetics – low Glycemic index.
Lactating mothers are advised to consume Ragi regularly to increase milk production.
Recipe for Ragi kolukattai or Ragi Dumpling
1. Ragi Flour – 2 cups
2. Hot water – 2 cups
3. Salt – 1 pinch
4. Sugar or jaggery – 1 table spoon (can be varied according to taste)
5. Shredded coconut – 1 cup
6. Cardamom – 1 or 2 powdered
Take Ragi flour in a bowl and add cardamom powder.
Boil 2 cups of water and add little by little to the flour. Stir continuously with a fork. The mixture will be hot so it is better to use a fork or spoon. Mix just enough water so that the dough resembles cookie dough or play dough.
Hot water is preferred because it will precook the flour which will reduce steaming time.
It will cool down in about 2 minutes and you will be able to mix it with hand.
Then add sugar (or jaggery) little by little. I added 2 teaspoons of powdered raw sugar because I want to keep sugar consumption to a minimum and also because shredded coconut that will be added later will increase the sweetness. You may also make a sugar syrup and add it instead of boiling water.
Add a pinch of salt. When added to desserts, salt balances the sweetness. I also added a spoon of ghee which is optional.
Now add shredded coconut to the bowl and mix everything together well.
Divide the dough into balls. I steam them in idli plates in my idli cooker. They can also be steamed in a pressure cooker without the weight or in an electric rice cooker. Simply arrange these on a plate and steam them using any vessel.
If you are going to steam more than one plate (idli plate) at a time which makes more sense because you will be saving energy, make them flat like cookies rather than balls or they will be squished when the plates are stacked.
Steam them for 15 minutes and the dumplings are ready to be consumed. They will become darker in color
This has to be refrigerated because coconut has a very short shelf life. Consume it within 2 days. The need to refrigerate did not arise because my family gobbled the dumplings and I had to stop them from eating the few that I had saved to take this picture. .
Other ways to include Finger millet / Ragi in our diet
Ragi porridge / Ragi Malt– This is a good weaning food and is given to children when they are introduced to solids. A teaspoon of ragi flour is mixed with 2 cups of water. Make sure there are no lumps. This mixture is brought to a boil. It has to be constantly stirred to avoid forming lumps because the mixture will thicken almost immediately. This will also get burnt fast. When it has cooled down, milk can be added to get the desired consistency and fed to babies. Some people add sugar and salt. I prefer that babies learn different tastes so I avoided sugar and salt as much as possible when DD was a baby.
This porridge, called keppai Koozhl or Keppai kanji in Tamil, can also be consumed by adults and is a very filling breakfast. It is a staple for people who do manual work in India especially farmers, construction laborers and maids. They make this porridge without sugar and add buttermilk to dilute the cooked porridge instead of milk. They take a sip of this porridge and bite a shallot (சின்ன வெங்காயம் /small onions or sambar onions).
Even today in some villages in India, you can see mobile stalls selling this ragi kanji. My maid in India used to drink this ragi kanji before showing up for work and she used to frown at my habit of skipping breakfast and used to ask why I was lazy to make a kanji that hardly takes 10 minutes to make. If only I knew the answer for that. But some of us learn lessons the hard way after experiencing dizzy spells and shelling out a few thousand rupees @ the doctor’s office. Then we learn that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 😉
If you have consumed this before, tell us when was the last time you had this. If this is the first time you have heard about this, do try it and let us know your comments.
Do share this healthy recipe with your friends.
Here is a video of a lady selling kambu / Ragi Kanji