So this one is being posted for WBB series started by Nandita of saffron trail,now hosted by Aparna under the title WBB-Grains in my breakfast [Since this is my lil angels breakfast,I hope Aparna will accept this one]and also to JFI-Whole grains hosted by Sukanya of Tasty palettes .
As a Dietitian , I have always insisted the new moms that they feed home made foods for their tiny tots, one main reason being the love and affection with which they cook for the little one which am sure will reflect on their little one's health.The second being lesser risk of over/under dilution,contamination etc.
The pediatrician asked me to start weaning foods from six months.I wanted to start off with homemade stuff for my lil angel instead the commercial products.
Ragi is a very nutritious cereal and if given in the right method, it is suitable for the little tummy.A little info on Ragi.It is also called finger millet ,African millet.It has a valuable amino acid -Methionine .100g of ragi gives 328kcal energy , 7.3 g protein ,1.3 g fat,72 g carbohydrate ,3.44g calcium and 3.6g fibre.The nutritive value increases when it is malted.
There are 2 methods of preparing this simple Ragi porridge.
- Soak 3 tablespoons of ragi overnight.
- The next morning,wash well and grind in a mixie using little water and squeeze out the 'milk'.
- Repeat this two or three times.
- Strain and leave aside for 3 hours.
- In this 3 hours, the ragi milk would have separated into a sediment and a little liquid above it.
- Gently pour out the liquid without disturbing the sediment.
- Reserve the liquid.
- Put the sediment into a thick bottomed pan and mix in a little of the reserved liquid and a little sugar[optional] .
- Switch on the stove and stir continuously for a few minutes.
- Keep adding the reserved liquid till you get the desired consistency.If the reserved liquid is not sufficient,use water.
- After 5 minutes of stirring ,reduce the flame and add a drop of ghee[clarified butter].
- Stir continuously till you get a glossy surface.This glossiness shows our porridge is ready.
- Stir for another minute or two and remove from heat.
Preparing the malt powder:
- Soak the required quantity of ragi [about 1/2 a kilo] overnight.
- Next morning drain and put it in a wet cloth bag and keep it in a warm place for it to sprout.
- When the sprouts are around an inch long,spread it on a clean cotton cloth and dry in shade.
- When dry ,crush the ragi lightly so that the sprouts and grains are separate.
- Discard the sprouts and dry roast the ragi till you get a nice aroma [on slow heat].
- Cool and powder finely.
- Sieve and store in an airtight container.
- When you want to make the porridge,take 2 teaspoons of this powder and mix with a little water to make a smooth paste and keep aside.
- Heat 150 ml water in heavy bottom vessel and when the water starts to boil, add this paste and stir continuously .Take care to avoid lumps.
- Add a little sugar[Optional]
- Simmer and keep stirring.
- After 5 minutes, add a drop of ghee and stir.
- When the surface appears glossy it means the porridge is done.
- Continue stirring for a few minutes and remove from heat.
- The first method is cumbersome because amidst all the work you should remember to soak the ragi and then the next day between all the cooking and cleaning you must grind and make the porridge but its worth all the effort.
- But in case you are really busy or forget to soak the ragi the night before,method 2 is very helpful.
- Be it method one or two,always begin with a couple of spoonfuls and then slowly increase the feeds for the little one.Never start off with a cupful of feeds.Check if the baby accepts the feed and then proceed.
- Initially,the porridge should be very watery and gradually thicken it after 15 days.Start with water,the next month make it Milk+water in the ratio 1:1 and later use only milk.Each time you vary the combination give a couple of spoonfuls only.