Millets and the journey of the grain in Indian culinary history

Millets may be in the news today because of PM Modi’s suggestion that the grain should be used as a staple in mid-day meals. But just 50 years ago, millets were among the most widely grown crops in India. History of Millet on the Korean Peninsula 3500-2000 Ka In India, the history of the food traces the mention of millet to some of the oldest Yajurveda texts.

Various types of millet
The early history of Indian grain’s breeding history identifies three types of millets known as staples: foxtail millet, barnyard millet, and black finger. Sorghum, pearl, ragi, proso, kodo are all varieties of millet. The grain had its main place in various Indian cuisines, although it later fell out of favor and began to be treated as a coarse grain of inferior quality, unsuitable for the more sophisticated palate.

Why did millets disappear from the Indian kitchen?
Like many other customs, Indians also changed their eating habits according to western tastes. Local food supplies declined rapidly. Food grains such as millet eventually declined as it was considered a poor choice compared to wheat or rice. Before the Green Revolution, millet accounted for 40 percent of cultivated grains, contributing more than rice production.

How production declined over the years
Over the years, millet production dropped from 40 percent of grain production to around 10 percent with agricultural and environmental impacts. Rice and wheat have become staples of India. The movement towards millet in India started slowly in the last few years.

Indian millet data
According to Assocham, India is the largest millet producer in the world. In India, millet is grown in about 21 states. There is strong momentum in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat. In India, millets are cultivated in an area of ​​12.45 million hectares, producing 15.53 million tonnes with a yield of 1247 kg/ha. Sorghum is the most important food grain in India after rice, wheat and maize in terms of area (3.84 Mn. ha) and production (4.31 Mn. MT). Bajra 7.05 m ha) is yielding more than 50 percent of the country’s area with millet, with almost the same percentage of production. Interestingly, India is the largest producer of Barnyard (99.9 percent), Finger (53.3 percent), Kodo (100 percent), Small millet (100 percent) and Pearl millet (44.5 percent). It produces about 12.46 million metric tons from the area of ​​8.87 million.

Permanent option
Millets are not easily destroyed and sometimes last for more than a decade. Its nutritional value is high, and it plays an important role in controlling food wastage. Millet is high in fiber, magnesium, niacin (vitamin B3), gluten-free and high in protein.

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