Many years ago with the introduction of TV and advertisements to India, many people started buying the energy powders and brand named health drinks and started believing that it was their favorite hero's energy secret:) It would be surprising to see even the mothers from typical villages which grow these Ragi (African finger millet), appreciating the store bought health mixes. In my house too we had started naming one favorite drink for each person and used to buy a bottle per month. But then one of our elderly relative from our village (Annapazham achi) while visiting us, told my mom how much government officers were stressing the noon meal schemers to provide sathu mavu urundai (power packed home made sweet balls) for pregnant women and explained the benefits of age-old homemade drinks. She would always make us love our traditional foods than buying something from supermarket:) Her smiling face, fairy tales and folk tales could make any kid sleep tight:) She brought us the recipe to make that urundai and this energy drink and reminded my mom to stick to the older recipes than buying something made commercially. Even though at that age I preferred telling my friends that we all drink the expensive one, I secretly started liking this home made Indian ragi malt better and now I don't hesitate to tell it to the world:) Here I have given one recipe for ragi malt directly from a readymade ragi flour and one recipe from scratch.
Ragi malt, Indian ragi drink, Finger millet drink, keppai kool, keppai koozh, kelvaragu sahu mavu kanji
|Ragi malt and one of my favorite coffee mugs, we bought during Christmas.|
Ingredients: (2 cups)
Ragi flour - 2 tbsp
water - 1 cup
fat free milk - 1 cup
brown sugar - 3 tsp
cardamom - a pinch
As soon as we buy the ragi flour or powdered the whole ragi from a dry grinding mill, we should dry roast it till it smells good. Do the roasting in small batches, as it is easy. Spread the roasted flour over a large sheet of paper (I use a sheet of news paper) and let it cool completely. Then store it in an airtight container for longevity. This keeps the flour fresh. Some people keep raw flour inside fridge. Both are good ways to store the ragi flour.
Do this recipe in stove top only for better taste.
Take 2 tbsp ragi flour in a stove top vessel and add 1/4 cup water. Mix well without any lumps. Break the lumps at this stage to get a smooth drink.
Then add the remaining water and start heating.
Add the milk and bring it to a boil. Simmer till it gets little thick (but drinkable).
Then add brown sugar or karuppatti (palm sugar), cardamom powder and mix well.
Serve medium hot just like coffee and tea.
Homemade Ragi malt flour recipe from scratch:
Ragi - 1 kg
almond - 10
cashew - 10
cardamom - 10
Wash the whole ragi millet multiple times and keep it in water.
Finger millet may have some small stones. Gently hold the top of the vessel and shake it many times, so that the stones settle in bottom. Soak in water for an hour.
wash a clean thin cotton or muslin cloth and place the millet on the cloth and tie , so that it looks like a pouch. Place it in a container and cover it. Let it remain for 12 hours.
In this time it would have germinated.
Sundry the germinated millet and let it dry completely.
Then dry roast it till it smells good.
Dry roast the almonds, cashew too.
Put the roasted items together along with cardamom.
Send them to a dry grinding flour mill or powder it at home.
Keep in a cool dry place and use within 2 months.
Prepare the ragi malt drink as suggested above.
In the simple version , we can add soaked almond made into a paste to the drink too.
This is a recipe for ragi malt only.
For the Tamilnadu version of sathumavu (energy powder) we should germinate green gram, whole wheat, red channa also. While powdering we would add corn (makka cholam), almond, cahsew, cardamom, cloves, sprouted dry roasted green gram - wheat - ragi. This powder stays good for 2-3 months in room temperature / inside fridge .It can also be made into a drink like ragi or into laddu.