Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Saamai Murukku, Saamai Aravanai - Little Millet Murukku, Little Millet Sweet Rice - A Sweet and a Savory food using Little Millet

                       The Agriculture ministry's proposal to include millets in noon meal scheme sounds like 'water to the parched millet farming and the farmers', as it means more demand, more production and a better income. But unless it is implemented by the states, this health food initiative which will not only benefit the farmers but also the people health wise,  might fade away like a mirage and cripple the millet farming and the lives of the hungry farmers will never be revived. Alas!

                       I know the past few posts have been an overdose of millets recipe, but I hope it is helpful to many out there.
                      Apart from cooking millets as rice, it can also be used to make sweets and savories, just like rice flour is used. In order to give an idea of how millets can be used other than just eating as rice with curry or mixed rice or uppuma or pongal ( if you haven't tried any of these, you must at least try making bisibelebath with little millet, it's too good! ), I have given two sample recipes that best describes the versatility of millets. Again, once you understand how it works, you can use the knowledge to apply in various other recipes that you know, where rice is used.

               Every time you pick that packet of chips, think a little about the preservatives, food colours, taste enhancers, fats and the excess salt that comes packed along with. Instead, choose to make a healthy food  at home, which is far more healthier and safer than the store bought food. My 15 year old son loves these murukku made using saamai. The best part is, people will not even know what it is made of instead they might even ask you for the recipe!

Saamai Murukku/ little millet murukku
Little millet flour           1 1/4 cup
Bengal gram flour          1/2 cup
Salt                                   3/4 tsp
Black Sesame seeds       1 tsp
Cumin                              1 1/2 tsp
Oil                                    2 tsp
Asafoetida                       1/4 tsp
Water                               3/4 cup
More oil to deep fry

Preparing Millet flour
              Prepare millet flour by soaking the millet for about 3 hours, drain the millet, spread on a cloth and let it dry. Grind in a processor to a fine powder. Sieve the flour and transfer the flour to a pan and roast on low heat until you are able to draw a line (without any break in the line) using the roasted flour( This is the roasting consistency for any type of flour)
Combine the above given ingredients and knead to a soft dough. Using the Murukku making device and the star shaped nozzle, press the dough into the medium hot oil and fry until golden brown.
The oil that is added to the flour need not be hot, just plain cooking oil will do, as the murukku will still be very crisp.
The prepared millet flour can also be used to make puttu, kozhukattai or any recipe where rice flour is used, just substitute it.

Saamai Aravanai/Little millet sweet rice

                  Give me a box of milk sweets, it will remain untouched for ever. When it comes to sweets, I am a hard core south indian, as I love jaggery based sweets  and the words "portion control" will lose its meaning when I make jaggery based sweets like adhirasam, kozhukattai, sarkarai pongal or payasam. The following is one utterly decadent food that, it's a pleasure to eat in one go and if you find the quantity I have given to make Aravanai funny, then this is the reason; by making less, I can eat less. Aravanai is a popular sarkarai pongal kind of food that is given in most of the south indian temples as prasadham, to be more precise, this is one of the prasadham that pilgrims from sabarimala temple will bring back home. But I find that always a little hard to chew and I guess it is intended to be so, for a reason.

                    If you want to impress someone by cooking millets, then these two recipes are a perfect choice and I can assure you that, this Aravanai made using saamai/little millet will surely tempt you to make again and again. Follow the instructions given carefully, including the timings, for a fail proof recipe and enjoy this food, that is more delicious than sarkarai pongal and chances are, you may not even make a sarkarai pongal anymore, once you have tasted this aravanai! Just three ingredients, but it melts in the mouth and  leaves an everlasting taste.

Saamai Aravanai/Little millet sweet rice
Saamai/Little millet        1/4 cup
Water                                 3/4 cup
Jaggery                              1 cup
Water                                 2 Tbsp
Ghee                                   1 1/2 tsp

Use only paagu vellum (jaggery that is soft and brown in colour - see glossary), don't use mandai vellam ( which is yellow in colour and hard)
Cook millet by combining rinsed millet with 3/4 cup of water as instructed in the previous post and keep it ready.

Melt jaggery with 2 tbsp of water on low heat and strain the syrup to remove grit. ( The strained syrup will measure to about 3/4 cup)
Take the syrup in a pan and on low-medium heat, boil the syrup for exactly two minutes, now add the cooked saamai rice/little millet rice and stir continuously on low-medium heat. When it begins to thicken add the ghee and stir until it thickens further, turn off the heat. (This takes exactly five minutes from the time the cooked rice is added) Serve warm.

I have  used chopped coconut pieces fried in 1/2 tsp of ghee, which is optional, if not, just stir in the 1/2 tsp of ghee when the Aravanai is done.
There is no need to use cardamom at all because the Aravanai tastes extremely delicious and aromatic with ghee flavour. If desired you can add cardamom, but that won't be necessary.( Cardamom in the picture was used only for contrast purpose and not in the food)
Another way to enhance its taste is to drench the Aravanai lightly, with a little coconut milk and if desired you can add more coconut milk and fried cashews to make it a payasam. Either way, you will love it!


  1. Am absolutely delighted to have found your website. Though I am passionate about cooking and eating healthy food ESP using millers have not been able to find proper guidance. Thank you so much for all ur inputs. And may your good work go on and on.

  2. Gayathri, thanks for letting me know your thoughts. Millets are like rice only but with a nutty taste you will love it when you get used to it. Try and let me know.

  3. I made your samai aravanai for my son today. It tastes heavenly. I didn't have vellam at home so instead I used karupatti and reduced the amount a little bit. It's too good but because of my prediabetic condition I had to restrict myself to a couple of spoons (large heaped spoons). Also I tried your Iyengar vatral kulambu for lunch today which too turned out great. Thank you so much for the recipes.

    1. I am pleased that you enjoyed the recipes and thanks for letting me know that.


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"

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