The Raga of Rasam: Beat the heat with organic pearl millets

Sip on this healthy cooler and save the planet while eating organic, made with pearl millets.

Millets are one of the oldest human foods, and are believed to be the first domesticated cereal grain. Millets were first grown in the Stone Age by lake dwellers in Switzerland and eaten in Northern Europe at least since the Iron Age.

Where did this grain disappear in all these years? What is all the hype about it today? The millet ranks as the sixth most important cereal grain group in the world, sustaining more than one-third of the world’s population. The Hunza people living in the remote Himalayan foothills and known for their extraordinary health and longevity, enjoy millets as their staple grain. They use it to make whole grain chapatti flat bread, soups, and porridge.

Here’s a beverage I made using organic pearl millet (kambu in Tamil) to beat the summer strain.

Pic – Rakesh Raghunathan

Kambu/Pearl millet koozh/porridge

Serves: 2-3


• Organic pearl millet – 1 cup
• Water – 3 cups
• Green chilly – 1 small
• Ginger – 1/4 inch piece (peeled)
• Asafoetida / Hing – 1/2 tsp
• Salt – 1/2 tsp
• Coriander leaves -for garnish
• Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
• Fresh curds – 2 cups

Rinse 1 cup millet of your choice (fox tail, pearl) in water and pressure cook it, adding 3 cups of water for 3 whistles. Once done, set aside to cool. In a blender, add green chilly, ginger, curds, salt and water and blend together. Pour this through a strainer and separate the green chillies and ginger pieces. What you need is the spice from the chillies and flavour from the ginger. The spiced buttermilk is now ready.

Mix the cooked milletts with the spiced buttermilk in the consistency you wish. I prefer it slightly thick. Temper with mustard and some asafoetida /hing. Garnish with coriander leaves and maybe a few drops of vadu maanga (tender mango pickle in spice and brine) juice.

Tip: This can be substitute a heavy duty lunch because of the nutritional value. You can have a chilled carrot and raw mango salad and/or vadu maanga pickle to get that extra kick!

 This recipe was originally published on the blog Puliyogare Travels.

Rakesh sings for his supper. And cooks it himself. The Raga of Rasam is a meandering through traditional cuisines, gourmet cooking, organic food, and more, to brew a heady meal for the tongue and music for the soul.


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