Weight loss is the most important reason people visit a dietician or nutritionist. People want to lose weight for many reasons. Some of them could include - to look good, be able to carry off several outfits, to feel more energetic and several other reasons too. It is not advisable, however, to attempt weight loss in an unhealthy, unscientific or haphazard manner. Many people adopt extreme measures to lose weight. We would have heard of several restrictive diets such as all fluid diets, cabbage diet, only fruit diet, only vegetable diet, only milk diet, and several other ‘only diets’. Pause for a moment and think: are these really nourishing, sustaining, or even feasible in the long term?
The big goal and focus should be on achieving good health and fitness. Weight loss should only be a part of the journey to fitness and better health. Weight loss and weight management should also be approached with common sense, moderation and with a long term goal in mind. Changes in diet should be made gradually and systematically. Including healthy grains, increasing fluid and fruit intake, keeping an eye on what one eats/drinks through the day are all important points to be kept in mind when attempting weight loss.
In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on Glycemic Index and Obesity, scientists found a strong correlation between the type of grains consumed, its glycemic index and the ability to lose weight and keep it off too. This means, by choosing grains intelligently, it is possible to feed the body maximum nutrition while keeping weight in check too. Millets are a valuable group of grains which most of us in India have forgotten in the last century or so. Millets pack complex carbohydrates,(hence low glycemic index), more fibre than polished rice/wheat, are high in several minerals like Calcium, Iron, Magnesium. They are easy to cook too and flavours are quite mild and palatable. It is time we undo this damage of ignoring such nutrient powerhouses and allow ourselves their benefits.
This recipe is part of my effort to include millets in my family’s meals in delicious and acceptable ways. Little millet, also called Saama rice, Saame, Koda, is slightly bigger than semolina in size. It cooks very quickly, has an unobtrusive flavour and lends itself to several dishes easily. I cooked up this delicious khichdi several times in the past few months altering the spices and vegetables used each time. It is now a family favourite. Do use the recipe below as a broad guideline and feel free to make your own favourite version.
- Saama millet – 1 heaped cup
- Mung dal – scant 3/4 cup
- Potato – diced, 1/4 cup
- Carrot – diced, 1 cup
- Fresh green peas – 1/4 cup
- Bay leaf – 1 large
- Cinnamon – 2 thin sticks
- Cloves – 3
- Black pepper corns – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds ( Jeera) – 1 heaped tsp
- Butter – 1 tbsp + Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
- Salt – 1 heaped tsp + 1/2 tsp
- Fresh water – 4 1/2 cups
- Rinse the millet and mung dal together.Place them in a suitable large vessel along with the potato, carrot, green peas and bay leaf. Add measured water,( read notes) place inside pressure cooker and pressure cook as you would normally cook rice. I reduce the flame after the first whistle and let it simmer for 5 minutes before switching off and letting it cool naturally.
- To a small frying pan, add the butter + oil, heat and add all the other spices mentioned in ingredients. Do not burn the spices, let them sizzle gently until it just releases its aroma.
- Pour over the khichdi when aromatic, add salt, mix well.
- Serve steaming hot with plain curd and a salad or kadhi and salad.
- Water - Add 3 times the volume of grain+dal if you want a creamy mushy khichdi, or add lesser for a less gooey version. I prefer the former for ease of spooning and swallowing!
- Add spices such as cardamom, saunf( fennel seeds) or omit bay leaf if you feel so.
- Any combination of vegetables can be used. Or you can make it with no vegetables at all too.
Sending this recipe to the following event started by Pari and co-hosted by Shruti. I am so excited to participate in such a useful event where all can use the archives for several healthy recipes. Do check out the spaces of both these awesome bloggers.