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Ragi (Nachni) Porridge (Finger Millet Porridge)

Millets are small-seeded grasses or cereal-grains that have been grown for centuries. They are popular because they grow in many adverse conditions like in arid climates. There are a variety of millets grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Ragi or nachni (finger millet) is one of these ancient millets and is mostly grown and consumed in Karnataka, and to a limited extent in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Goa. It has different names in local languages. In India finger millet is commonly called by various names like ragi (in Kannada, Telugu and Hindi), also Mandua/Mangal in Hindi, Kodra (Himachal Pradesh), Mandia (Oriya), Taidalu (in Telangana region), Kezhvaragu in Tamil etc. It is used in a variety of dishes from porridges, rotis, sweet puddings and laddoos to name a few. More recently, it is being used in making puffed ragi grains which is then used as a breakfast cereal or in snacks like chivda, etc. Millets are gluten free, boasts high protein, fiber, and antioxidant contents and therefore have numerous health benefits, including helping to lower your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Ragi or nachni is an excellent source of natural calcium which especially helps in strengthening bones for growing children and aging people and in the maintenance of bone health in adults. Regular consumption of finger millet was part of the traditional Indian diet for centuries. It may help keep diseases such as osteoporosis at bay and could reduce the risk of fracture.

Recipe credit:

Serves 2

Ragi or Nachni (finger millet) is popularly known as the small seed with big benefits. Ragi milk is a very traditional drink that is used in many ways, especially in making sweet dishes or for breakfast porridges. You can use your own combinations of spices and sweetening to bring in more variety.


  • 4 tbsp ragi flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp date paste (jaggery is used traditionally)
  • 1 tsp dry ginger powder/cinnamon powder/cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or 1/4 cup grated coconut or 2 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut


  • Mix the ragi and water in a thick bottom steel saucepan until there are no lumps.
  • Cook for about five minutes over medium to low heat stirring briskly to prevent lumps from forming and to prevent it catching at the bottom. The cooked mixture will be chocolate colored.
  • Add the date paste, spice, mix well and turn off the heat.
  • Pour into a bowl, top with coconut milk, grated coconut or desiccated coconut and serve hot.

For the Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) version:

Use freshly grated coconut and not desiccated coconut. If using coconut milk make it fresh and use without straining it.


  • Replace ragi with cracked wheat/other millet flours.
  • Replace ginger with cinnamon and green cardamom powders.
  • A mix of different millet flours can be roasted and made into a porridge too.

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