Friday, 20 July 2012

Ragi Kali, Ragi Koozh, Kambangoozh - Finger Millet And Pearl Millet Porridge

                                My hands are itching to type about the pleasant weather and the food, but my mind with disturbing thoughts is not correlating, my beautiful memories of these foods are bursting to be poured out in words, but my thoughts are withheld for some reason. I never thought I would say this, but I hope this post is not my 'swan song' and I certainly don’t intend to draw the curtain so early, but I guess it’s going to be a while, before I write here again. For now, enjoy this village fare.

Ragi Kali / Keppa kali/Kezhvaragu kali
Ragi flour                      1/2 cup
Broken Matta Rice      1/2 cup
Water                            1 1/2 cup + 4 cups
Salt                                1tsp

Wash the broken matta rice well, add 1 1/2 cup of water and pressure cook for 20 minutes on low heat.
( If you don’t want to pressure cook, cook the rice in a heavy bottomed vessel until soft)
Add 4 cups of water and salt to the cooked rice and bring to a boil.
Add in the ragi flour and stir. Constantly stirring, cook on medium heat till the ragi is cooked.
( Wet your hands and press slightly, if the ragi is cooked it will not stick to your wet hands). This will take approximately 20 minutes. To make kali, continue to stir for another 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
When the mixture cools down, shape into balls and serve with karuvattu kuzhambu or fish curry.
Note: When adding the ragi flour to the boiling rice + water, initially you will find lumps, but as you stir and continue to cook, the lumps will disappear. If still apprehensive, ragi flour can be mixed with a little water to form a thin batter and then added to the boiling water + rice mixture.

                      Ragi koozh/Keppa koozh is traditionally prepared by fermentation method, as it was convenient to have it as breakfast or carry it for lunch to work. But at times when we forget to ferment, the following method comes handy, which is quick to make,  but taste wise, it definitely differs.

To make Ragi Koozh/Keppangoozh/Kezhvaragu koozh Finger millet Porridge, Method I
Cooked Ragi kali       2 cups
Curd                            1 cup ( 200g)
Water                          1 1/2 cup
Shallots                       3/4 cup
Salt                              1 tsp

Combine water, salt and whipped curd.
Add the liquid to the cooked rice and stir to get a pouring consistency.
Add chopped shallots, stir and serve with spicy fish curry or dried fish curry or any spicy curry and sautéed greens.

Ragi Koozh/ keppa koozh - Fermentation Method - Method II
Ragi flour         1/2 cup
Rice                   1/2 cup

Mix ragi flour with water to make a thin paste.
Cover with a muslin cloth or with a plate slightly ajar and leave it by the sunlight for about 8 -10 hours to ferment.
Cook rice with enough water and add the fermented ragi flour and stir. Continue to cook, stirring constantly until the right consistency ( as mentioned in method I) has reached and leave it to cool.
The next morning add whipped curd mixed with water and salt to the prepared koozh to a pouring consistency and serve with chopped pearl onions.

Instead of matta rice, any rice, like broken rice ( arisi noi) or  broken samba wheat ( udaitha samba kodumai)or Bansi rava or even previously cooked rice can be used to make koozh.

Kambangoozh - Pearl Millet Porridge
Broken Matta Rice                     1/2 cup (see glossary for picture)
Broken Kambu (pearl millet)   1/2cup or 3/4 cup
Water                                            5 cups

Rinse rice and kambu well, add water and pressure cook for about 20 minutes on low heat.
When cool, add whipped curd mixed with water and salt to the cooked rice and kambu mixture.
Add chopped shallots and serve with sautéed vegetabes, greens or spicy thuvaiyal and crisp vadaams.

I have pressure cooked because it saves a lot of time, which other wise would take at least an hour to cook. But you make the choise of how you prefer to cook.
Following the Ragi Koozh method, add curd, salt and shallots to taste.
You can increase or decrease the amount of rice used, as desired. Sometimes I would use just 1/4 cup of rice and use 3/4 cup of Kambu to make the Koozh for better health benefits. As kambu generates heat, depending upon the weather and body condition, I adjust the amount of rice I add.
To make kambu saadham, follow the method given for Chola Saadham or you can pressure cook by adding 3 parts of water to 1 part of the millet for about 20 minutes.
I always prefer to pressure cook millets not only because it saves cooking time, but it is also the best way to cook the millets retaining all its nutrients. But I would not suggest to pressure cook polished white rice( raw rice, par boiled rice ) because it will only add calories and some extra inches to our waistline, which I don’t think is a good idea.


  1. Hi,
    I am over the moon to see traditional recipes with the millets especially saamai,varagu,kudiraivaali.My long search has ended here as I am trying to incorporate all these in our daily food..Kudos! to your incredible work

  2. Thanks. I would love to get a feedback when you try them.

  3. Hi,
    Very Good and wonderfully explained and nice to see old cook pots. In your writing you mentioned that you make flour at home. How are you making RAGI FLOUR. If possible do reply.

    Thank you

    1. To make ragi flour, rinse the ragi well to remove dirt, spread on a cotton cloth and sun dry for a couple of days. Then get it ground to a fine flour in a flour mill. If the ragi has any grits, then you will have to use a winnow ( Muram ) and hand pick the grits first, before rinsing. Rinsing the millet well, will remove the sand particles. The same process is followed to make kambu flour, cholam flour and wheat flour.


Tell me what you think
Hiya all,
Finally on this day of october the 1st, 2012, I have decided to include the comment form, after a long gap of two years. But, I am going to be a bit selfish here and keep all those nice and lovely things that is said for me and only me to cherish and will be sharing any queries that requires clarifications and your experience about the food if you have tried my recipes. So, drop in a word if you have anything to say and thanks a lot for stopping by.
"Have a nice day"

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...