Millets are better preferred than rice as these days we get to eat the most unhealthy part of the rice. To be more specific polished rice has nothing to offer as all of its nutritive part is polished off and removed and then packed for us. Aware of all this and here at home we have switched to the pink Kerala matta rice insead of the regular ones and also we have added millets to the menu once in a while. Millets are too tasty and samai or varagu tastes much better than normal rice itself. Instead of cooking them plain you can try variety rice recipes, biryanis, pulaos to enjoy the benefits in a tastier way and to the fullest. You won't believe how delicious these tiny beads are until you yourself try a mouthful of these. Here's a delicious and completely healthy biryani recipe for you to try with little millet. I've made this recipe using country chicken as I wanted it to be healthier. You can even try with broiler it is in fact quicker than this version. I will post that version soon with another millet, meanwhile check this recipe and do give a try next time you fetch samai from the store. And this biryani is mild and can be served to pregnant women in their last trimester as this is super healthy. Instead of giving them white rice, these millets are preferable as it will not increase blood sugar level and will also provide vital nutrients for the mother and baby. Have provided this recipe too in the September month Aval Kitchen issue in the pregnancy series :) Diabetics can also switch over to millets to control their blood sugar level.
INGREDIENTSMakes biryani for 2 people
Total Preparation Time - 40 minutes
- Naatukozhi / Country Chicken - 200 grams
- Samai / Little millet - 1 cup
- Onion - 1
- Mint leaves - 1/4 cup
- Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup
- Ginger garlic paste - 2 teaspoons
- Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
- Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
- Fennel powder - 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Lemon juice - From half of a lemon
- Cashews - Few (optional)
- Cardmom pods - 2
- Cinnamon stick - 1/2 inch stick
- Kalpasi - one small piece
- Peppercorns - 1/2 teaspoon
- Fennel - 1/2 teaspoon
- Ghee - 1 tablespoon
- Salt - As required
- Wash little millet / samai well in water and keep aside.
- Wash chicken pieces well in water and add it into a cooker. Pour 3 cups water and add 1 teaspoon salt, turmeric powder, peppercorns, turmeric powder and stir well. Pressure cook for 25 minutes on low flame. Then remove from flame and open the lid after pressure drops down. Now check if the chicken has got cooked. If not, cook for a few more minutes. Some young chicks will get cooked sooner than older birds. Remove the pieces and keep aside both soup and pieces.
- Now place a wide pan on flame and pour ghee, after it warms up add cinnamon stick, kalpasi, cardamom pods, fennel seeds and saute for a few seconds.
- Then add sliced onions and saute.
- Add ginger garlic paste and stir well. Saute until the raw smell leaves.
- Now add the spice powders, red chilli powder, cumin powder, fennel seeds powder and stir.
- Add the coriander and mint leaves and saute until leaves shrink.
- Now add the chicken pieces alone and saute for a few minutes so that it gets coated with the masala well.
- Then add the millet samai and give a stir.
- Now add 2.5 cups of the stock water or soup that we have got from cooking chicken. If there isn't enough stock water add normal water to make it up to 2.5 cups. (we will need 2.5 cups of water or soup for 1 cup of saamai)
- After adding stock water give a good stir.
- Cook on low flame until samai gets cooked well and there's no water content left.
- Sprinkle some coriander and mint leaves. Remove from flame and keep covered for 10 minutes. Then serve.
TIP 1: You can make the same with varagu also, but for thinai the proportion of water will differ, Thinai will take a longer time to get cooked than samai or varagu. So soak thinai before using.
TIP 2: You can add 2 cups of water or stock water if you want samai to be very grainy.