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Also Known As
Black Millet, Pearl Millet
Commonly known as pearl millet, bajra is one of the most widely grown varieties of millet. It is grown in bulk in Africa and India. It has been a staple diet for Indians since pre-historic times. Rajasthan is the largest producer of bajra in India.
These tiny brown grains have a nutty and bitter aftersweet taste.
How to select
• Ensure that the grains are free from dirt, stones and other forms of adulteraton.
• The grains should be small, brownish and resemble tiny pearls.
• It is commonly consumed as leavened or unleavened breads, porridge and khichdi.
• When using bajra for khichdi, soak overnight and then pressure cook with green moong dal till soft. Temper spices in ghee and add. This is a traditional Rajasthani food.
• When processed into flour, it is used to prepare bajra rotlis, khakras, bhakri, stuffed parathas, muthias, dhoklas, chaklis, etc.
• In South India, especially in farming communities, bajra is often pressure-cooked like rice, molded into balls when cool, and stored in a jar full of water. These balls can be had the next morning with curds, onions and green chillies as a refreshing and nutritious breakfast.
How to store
• Always store in airtight containers in a cool dry place.
• It is best to use fresh bajra, so purchase in smaller quantities.
• It is comparatively high in proteins and has a good balance of amino acids. Thus, it plays an important role in metabolism.
• It is a better source of iron than other grains. This ensures a good count of hemoglobin, avoiding symptoms of anemia etc.
• It is a moderate source of thiamine (vitamin B1), which helps improve blood circulation and general health of the nervous system.