7 Ways To Add New Food Grains In Your Diet

Posted: April 3, 2013

Include different types of food grains in your diet to increase health and nutrition. Check out these 7 whole grain recipes!

By Anne John

In India most of us are used to considering two types of grains as our staple food – rice and wheat. However, with the rising awareness of health and nutrition among consumers, many traditional food grains are being welcomed into households.

Diversifying your food grains is an easy way to add health and nutrition into your daily diet. Adding a greater variety of food grains in your diet can be a challenge for the modern cook whose repertoire rarely stretches to these. Here are 5 easy and tasty whole grain recipes, each made with a food grain that you may not have tried before: Jowar, Oat, Corn, Barley, Bajra, Ragi and Quinoa.

Whole grain recipe 1: Jowar raita

There is scarcely a simpler side-dish than the humble raita. Easy to make, raita is a versatile accompaniment to any meal. Why not give the modest raita a unique twist by making a jowar raita next time?

Health and nutrition boost: High in antioxidants, gluten-free and cholesterol-free. 1 cup serving of jowar is believed to supply 48% of the dietary fibre and approximately 47% of the iron recommended as our daily required allowance.

Whole grain recipe 2: Barley salad

Barley has several nutritional benefits including controlling blood sugar levels and bad cholesterol. Here is a refreshing way to incorporate it into your diet. And no, your weekly pint of beer does not count!

Health and nutrition boost: The high levels of fibre and selenium found in barley reduces the risk of colon cancer and helps promote friendly bacteria in our gut.

Whole grain recipe 3: Bajra idli & dosa

Reinvent the signature south Indian dishes of idli and dosa! Instead of using rice, just replace it with bajra. The lovely ladies at Show Me The Curry show us how.

Health and nutrition boost: Gluten-free and a good source of energy. Bajra tends to break down and get digested at a slower rate; hence it makes you feel fuller for longer and thus helps to control hunger.

Whole grain recipe 4: Ragi vada

Although Ragi is a relatively inexpensive food grain, it is packed with goodness. It can be used in a variety of dishes such as ragi dosa, ragi roti, ragi puttu and even ragi porridge. Check out this video for making ragi vada.

Health and nutrition boost: An excellent option for those suffering from diabetes as ragi helps in controlling blood sugar levels. It is also rich in calcium and iron – thus becoming vital for women.

Whole grain recipe 5: Oats granola bars

Oats has been around for some time now in the Indian market. They come in both sweet and savoury flavours, and are a cinch to make on busy mornings. How about making a portable version to carry along to work?

Health and nutrition boost: Oats are known to lower LDL or bad cholesterol while maintaining the levels of good cholesterol. Additionally, it also helps boost the body’s immune system defences.

Whole grain recipe 6: Corn casserole

Biting into a fire roasted corn on the cob, smeared with a generous helping of chilli powder + salt + lime is a spicy snack that most people in India would be quite familiar with! Of course, for the weaker palettes there is always steamed corn in a cup. But did you know that you can also make a decent meal with corn?

Health and nutrition boost: Filled with vitamins and minerals, corn is also a rich source of folic acid – the nutrient that aids foetal brain and spine development.

Whole grain recipe 7: Quinoa pulao

Let’s not forget Quinoa – the new culinary wonder that everyone is raving about. Quinoa is often thought to be a grain, when it is actually a seed and is classified as a pseudocereal. Having its origins in South America, quinoa is high in protein and is gluten-free – which makes it an ideal food grain for those with gluten intolerance. Quinoa lends itself well to Indian cuisine as the below video of quinoa pulao shows. While expensive in India, it makes a lot of sense for those living in the US.

Health and nutrition boost: Contains 9 essential amino acids. Quinoa also helps prevent constipation and bloating.

So what are you waiting for? I’m sure you’ll agree that now you have no excuses not to include different types of food grains in your diet!

*Photo credit: Jams_123 (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)

Anne John plays with words for a living and would probably do the same even

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3 Comments


  1. Very well compiled videos. Informative,,, Thanks,,,.

  2. Divorceddoodler
    Kalpana Misra -

    Wonderful! I’ve always wanted to eat those grains – in fact, they’re rotting in my cupboard, but I didn’t have any workable recipes. Till now 🙂
    Thank you so much.

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