Ragi, also known as finger millet in English is a powerhouse of vital nutrients and has made it to the top essential list of groceries in my household because of its health benefits.

Ragi in Hindi known as Nachni and in Tamil known as Kezhvaragu or Keppai is one of the staples in many states of India.

Wondering how to include it in your day to day meal and reap all of the amazing benefits out of it? 

Here are some reasons why you must include Ragi in your meals :

  • Ragi has the highest content of Calcium and Potassium amongst all cereals and millets
  • It is rich in iron and fibre, has better energy content than other cereals
  • Finger millet has very low-fat content, most of which is unsaturated fat
  • It is highly affordable and thus can be easily included in your everyday meals
  • Ragi is rich in amino acids which in turn helps in the development of muscles
  • It is gluten-free and easily digestible

Ragi’s health benefits are often overlooked. So let’s take a step towards a healthier future by including these ragi recipes more often in our diets.

History of Ragi

Ragi or finger millet originated from and is native to East African highlands. It is then believed to have come to India at around 2000 BC.

The finger millet crop’s superior characteristics like the ability to withstand conditions like high altitude cultivation, tolerance to extreme climatic conditions like droughts, high heat, and high soil salinity make it a widely grown crop in areas of Asia and Africa. 

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ragi was widely consumed around the southern parts of India before the 1950s. Sadly, post this era, the benefits of this superfood millet have been highly ignored.

Thanks to the current health wave that has hit our generation, Ragi has made a comeback although still many of us are confused about it. 

Read on to know Ragi’s enormous health benefits and how it can be included in our meals for weight loss and overall wellbeing.

Ragi Nutrition Facts

So what does ragi contain that makes it so beneficial for our health? 

PrincipleNutritional Value per 100g
Energy328 KCal
Carbs72.6 g
Protein7.3 g
Total Fat1.3 g
Fibre3.6 g
Calcium344 mg
Phosphorous283 mg
Iron3.9 mg
Minerals2.7 g
Vitamin B1 – Thiamine0.42 mg
Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin0.19 mg
Vitamin B3 – Niacin1.1 mg
Vitamin A0.48 mg
Carotene42 ug

Health Benefits of Ragi

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ragi is a power source of energy as it provides almost 328 KCal of energy per 100g. And also it is highly cost-effective and accessible thus making it a staple for everyone including babies to the elderly. 

Here are some of the amazing benefits of ragi for your health :

1. Ragi for Weight Loss

You must have heard about suggestions to have ragi for weight loss. But is ragi really helpful for weight loss?

Ragi is rich in dietary fibre and we all know the benefits of having fibre-rich foods. These high fibre levels help all of us who are struggling with weight loss. 

Having Ragi as a staple in our meals will help us with losing weight as it keeps us full for longer periods. It also helps us with better bowel movements which reduce bloating especially in the stomach area.

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Valine, an essential amino acid present in ragi is known to increase our metabolism. An increase in our bodies’ metabolic rate leads to faster and more sustainable weight loss.

Also, the fat content in ragi is very low and mostly constitutes unsaturated fats. It also consists of an amino acid called Tryptophan which is known to reduce our appetites.

Hence people on a weight loss journey can reach their goals quicker by replacing rice and wheat with ragi at least a few times in a week. 

Why is ragi better than wheat or rice for weight loss? Below is a comparison chart: 

Ragi (100 g)Rice (100 g)Wheat Flour (100 g)
Carbohydrates (g)72.678.271.2
Protein (g)7.36.812.1
Fat (g)1.30.51.7
Energy (KCal)328345341
Calcium (mg)3441048
Iron (mg)3.90.74.9
Minerals (g)2.70.62.7
Fibre (g)3.60.21.9

2. Reduces Bad Cholesterol

Essential amino acids present in ragi help in reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL) content in our bodies.

Amino acids lecithin along with tryptophan help in achieving this by preventing fat formation on the walls of the liver. 

LDL concentrations are reduced by preventing oxidation of these bad cholesterol which in turn prevents inflammation of arteries.

Thus consuming ragi can help us prevent heart diseases and hypertension in the long run.

3. Ragi for Diabetes

Many type-2 diabetic patients in India are recommended to replace rice and wheat with ragi. 

Wonder why is that? Well, this is because ragi helps in maintaining blood sugar levels as compared to wheat or rice which may spike the blood sugar levels in our body. 

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ragi contains phytochemicals which delay the digestion process. Ragi also contains fibre which slows down the absorption of glucose in our bodies. Thus the chances of a spike in our blood sugar levels are significantly lowered.

Thanks to the small size of ragi, as this makes it difficult to process or polish. This is why most of the quantity of ragi we may consume will be in its raw and unprocessed form which makes it healthier and more nutritious than other processed grains.

4. Ragi for Digestion

Ragi’s high fibre content along with essential amino acid varieties makes it one of the best foods to be consumed for all of us suffering from digestive issues like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), etc. 

Recent studies have revealed that ragi contains properties to modify our gut bacteria. Gut bacteria as we all know, help us in breaking down our food and easy digestion and absorption of our food. Thus ragi is a must-have for someone who is looking to improve their gut health over time.

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ragi in its malted form is easily digestible and hence widely used as a food source for infants as it is easily digestible.    

Ragi atta or ragi flour is rich in insoluble fibre which is known to be highly beneficial for people with digestive disorders. 

Soluble fibres when ingested, dissolve in water and form a gel which tends to slow the digestion process. However, this is not the case with ragi as it constitutes mainly of insoluble fibre.

5. Ragi for Healthy Bones and Teeth

Ragi is one of the highest naturally occurring sources of calcium out there which makes it an excellent replacement for any of the store-bought calcium supplements. 

In fact, the daily recommended intake of Calcium for Indians is 600 mg for both genders and half of this amount is provided by 100g of ragi (contains 344 mg of Calcium).

Being rich in calcium, ragi strengthens our bones and may help us prevent conditions like hypocalcemia, brittle bones, frequent fractures, Osteoporosis and many more.

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ragi can aid in bone development in babies and can prevent erosion of bones for elderly people.

High calcium and phosphorous content also make it a good source for maintaining strong teeth.

Thus considering the facts, including ragi is our daily meals helps in maintaining overall bone and teeth health for people of all ages.             

6. Ragi – High in amino acids

Ragi is known to be a small grain with superpowers. One of the reasons why is the fact that it is packed with many beneficial amino acids like Cysteine, Methionine, Eleusinian, Valine and Tryptophan that are uncommon in other grains.

These amino acids have multiple benefits as they help with relaxation, slow down the appearance of wrinkles in our skin tissues, help with migraines, reducing appetite and many others.

7. Ragi is Gluten-free

According to recent studies by All India Institute of Medical Sciences, around 6 to 8 million Indians suffer from Celiac disease where consumption of gluten causes damage to our small intestines. 

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

A whole lot of us are also known to suffer from gluten allergy or gluten intolerance wherein our bodies are unable to breakdown gluten. 

In such cases, ragi comes to our rescue as an excellent replacement for wheat. North Indian households are known to consume wheat on a daily basis. Gluten intolerant or not, we can always switch our wheat rotis and parathas with ragi for a healthy twist to our everyday meals.

8. Ragi Helps Overcome Anaemia

Ragi is a good source of Thiamine or Vitamin B1 which helps in the production of Red blood cells (RBCs) in our bodies. This along with its high iron content makes it an excellent resource for all of us suffering from anaemia and lower Haemoglobin levels.

9. Ragi for For Healthy Skin and Hair

Ragi contains tannins and flavonoids that reduce free radicals in our bodies which may be harmful to our skin. Amino acids content in ragi gives it anti-ageing properties like reducing wrinkles, skin tightening, reducing effects of sun damage and reducing hyper-pigmentation. 

Ragi has anti-inflammatory properties and hence is used as an ingredient in face packs to reduce acne inflammations and scars. 

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Amino acids like lysine reduce sagging of skin and also help in building collagen that gives us healthy and glowing skin.

Protein-rich ragi as helps in promoting healthy hair growth and prevents premature greying. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce itchiness in the scalp and lessen dandruff and flaky scalp.

10. Ragi For Better Mental Health

Ragi, being rich in essential amino acids and antioxidants doubles as an excellent anti-depressant and thus ensuring better mental health for you and your family.

These antioxidants tend to reduce the effects of free radicals in our body which otherwise lead to anxiety, hypertension, insomnia, depression and similar conditions.

According to recent studies, ragi is also known to help people with migraines. This is due to Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids present in this wonder grain.

Ragi Weight Loss Recipes

Did you know that for generations, our ancestors have consumed ragi is different forms such as ragi bhakri in Maharashtra, ragi mudde in Karnataka, Keppai Kali and Keppai adai in Tamil Nadu, ambali in Telangana, ragi puttu in Kerala and as ragi rottis in central and north India?

But, after the 1950s, this grain has been largely forgotten especially in the urban areas. 

Already feeling bad about neglecting this wonder grain called ragi? But do not worry, it is never too late for including ragi in your diet so that you and your family can reap the maximum health benefits of ragi.

Here are a few easy and quick ragi recipes. This list mainly includes ragi flour recipes as ragi flour or ragi atta is relatively easy to find.

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Now where to find ragi flour or ragi atta? It is commonly available in supermarkets and grocery stores all across India. Outside India, you may find it in Indian stores.

Start by replacing a few of your staple breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert dished with these ragi dishes. And in no time ragi will become a must-buy in your shopping list as well!

Ragi Breakfast Recipes

1. Ragi Malt Sweet

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi flour – ½ cup
  • Milk – ¼ cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Jaggery powder – 1 tbsp

Procedure:

  • Mix Ragi flour and water and combine well so that no lumps are formed
  • Boil milk in a pan and add the ragi-water mixture to it after the milk comes to a boil
  • After that, add the jaggery powder and stir well till it melts
  • Keep stirring the mixture in low flame for 2 to 3 minutes
  • Let the drink cool down and ragi malt is now ready to indulge. This is an easy way to have ragi with milk.
  • Now, when to drink Ragi malt to lose weight? Ragi malt is an excellent breakfast option for people looking to lose weight.

2. Ragi Soup

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi flour – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Buttermilk – ¼ cup
  • Salt to taste

Procedure:

  • Add water to a pan and let it boil
  • Add the ragi flour to the boiling water and stir well so that no lumps are formed
  • Let the mixture cool down completely
  • Add buttermilk and salt to the mixture and serve

3. Ragi Semiya (Vermicelli) Upma

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi vermicelli upma – 1.5 cups
  • Onion – 1 sliced
  • Carrots grated – ⅓ cup
  • Peas – ⅓ cup
  • Green chillies chopped – 2
  • Curry leaves – 10
  • Urad dal – 1 tbsp
  • Hing – 1 pinch
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1tsp
  • Salt to taste

Procedure:

  • Start by steaming ragi vermicelli in a steamer for 5 mins or you may follow the package instructions to cook the vermicelli and then keep it aside.
  • Take oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add curry leaves, urad dal and hing and saute till dal turns golden brown.
  • Then, add the onions and saute for 2 mins. After that, add the carrots and peas and cover cook it for 3 to 4 mins until the veggies are cooked.
  • Add the cooked vermicelli and salt to taste and serve it hot with tomato or coconut chutney.

4. Ragi Puttu

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi flour – 1 cup
  • Sugar – ¼ cup
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp
  • Freshly grated coconut – ¼ cup
  • Salt – 1 pinch

Procedure:

  • Mix Ragi flour and salt together in a bowl. Then sprinkle some water so that when you press the flour with your hands, it takes form.
  • Bundle the flour in a clean wet cloth and place it in an idli steamer for about 10 mins.
  • Let it cool down a little bit, add ghee, sugar or jaggery and freshly grated coconut to this mixture and enjoy your delicious ragi puttu.

5. Ragi Idli

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi flour – 1 cup
  • Idli rice – 1 cup
  • Urad dal – ½ cup
  • Thick poha – ¼ cup
  • Methi seeds – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste

Procedure:

  • Rinse and soak rice and poha together. And rinse and soak urad dal and methi seeds together. Then, soak both these for at least 5 to 6 hours or overnight.
  • Grind rice and poha finely together in a mixer or grinder by adding about ¾ cup water gradually.
  • Similarly, grind urad dal and methi seeds together by adding ½ cup of water gradually till you get a smooth and fluffy consistency.
  • Then, mix both the batters together, add the ragi flour and around ½ cup water. Try to mix it well till all the lumps are removed.
  • Cover this and let it ferment for 8 hours or overnight.
  • After the batter ferments, add salt to taste and mix it well.
  • Grease idli plates with ghee and pour the batter in it and steam it on medium to high flame for about 12 to 15 minutes.
  • After steaming, keep it inside the cooker or steamer for 10 to 15 minutes before opening it.
  • Serve the idlis hot with sambhar and chutney.

6. Instant Ragi Dosa

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi flour – 1 cup
  • Rava/Semolina – 1 cup
  • Curd – ½ cup
  • Rice flour – ½ cup
  • Green chilli finely chopped – 1
  • Onion finely chopped – 1
  • Curry leaves finely chopped – 5 to 6
  • Corriander leaves finely chopped 
  • Salt to taste
  • Jeera or cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Black pepper crushed – ½ tsp
  • Oil or ghee for roasting the dosas

Procedure:

  • Mix ragi flour, rice flour and semolina or rava in a bowl. Then add all the other ingredients and 1 to 2 cups of water and mix well. Remove all the lumps.
  • Keep this batter aside for about 20 mins.
  • Then add water so that the batter comes to a flowing consistency. 
  • In a hot tawa, pour the ragi dosa batter and smear oil or ghee on top.
  • Flip it and cook on both sides till done.
  • Enjoy hot instant ragi dosa with sambhar and tomato chutney.

7. Ragi Uttappam

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi flour – ¾ cup
  • Rava (Semolina) – ½ cup
  • Curd (yoghurt) – 1 cup
  • Chopped onion – 1
  • Green chillies finely chopped – 2
  • Chopped ginger – 1 inch
  • Finely chopped carrot – ½
  • Finely chopped capsicum – ½ 
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil/Ghee as required

Procedure:

  • Mix Ragi flour, rava, curd, onion, carrots, capsicum, green chillies, ginger and salt and mix well. Add little water so that the batter is neither too thick and nor too runny.
  • Keep the mixture aside for 10 mins.
  • Heat a pan and add oil or ghee to it. Then pour 1 ladle full of batter and spread it into an uthappam. 
  • Cook it on both sides and serve it hot with sambhar or coconut chutney.

Ragi Lunch and Dinner Recipes

8. Ragi Rotis

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi flour – 2 cups
  • Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Ghee for roasting the rotis

Procedure:

  • Mix the flour, salt and oil in a large dish and knead it into a dough by adding water as required. Then close the dough and keep it aside for 20 mins.
  • Then prepare ragi rotis in the same way traditional wheat rotis are prepared.
  • You may add ghee while roasting the rotis in the pan to make these ragi rotis more nutritious and fulfilling.

9. Ragi puris

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi flour – 2 cups
  • Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Ghee for roasting the rotis

Procedure:

  • Mix the flour, salt and oil in a large dish and knead it into a stiff dough by adding water as required. Then close the dough and keep it aside for 20 mins.
  • Then roll out the dough into small round puris and deep fry them in hot oil similar to the way traditional puris are cooked.
  • Serve it hot with any sabzi and achaar (Indian pickle).

10. Ragi Mixed Vegetable Parathas

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Boiled mixed vegetables – 3/4 cup
  • Ragi flour – 1/2 cup
  • Wheat flour – 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Green chilli – 1 chopped (optional)
  • Dry mango powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Kasuri methi – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 1/2 tbsp
  • Ghee for roasting – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

Procedure:

  • Mash the boiled mixed vegetables well
  • Add wheat flour, ragi flour and all the spices and oil to the mixture and mix well
  • Sprinkle some water and start kneading the mixture into a dough
  • Gradually add water until you get a non-sticky dough
  • Divide the dough into medium-sized balls 
  • Flatten each ball, sprinkle some dry flour on it and roll it into a paratha
  • Heat a hot tawa and roast the paratha from both sides by applying ghee evenly
  • Cook on both sides until bubbles appear
  • Serve hot Ragi parathas with some pickle and curd

Ragi Dessert Recipes

11. Ragi vermicelli Kheer (payasam)

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi vermicelli – 1/4 cup
  • Boiled hot milk – 2 cups
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp
  • Jaggery powder – 3/4 cup
  • Cardamom powder – 1 pinch
  • Chopped cashews – 1tbsp
  • Chopped almonds – 1tbsp
  • Kismis – 4 to 5

Procedure:

  • Heat ghee in a pan. Lightly roast cashews, almonds and kismis and keep them aside
  • In the same pan with the leftover ghee, add the vermicelli and roast it for around 2 minutes
  • Now gradually add boiled hot milk to the pan and keep stirring
  • Let the milk come to a boil and then add sugar and let the kheer boil until the jaggery powder is completely dissolved
  • Add the roasted nuts and cardamom powder to the kheer and serve hot

12. Ragi Laddoo

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi flour – 1 ½ cup
  • Ghee – ⅓ cup
  • Powdered jaggery (gud) – ¾ cup
  • Cardamom powder – ½ tsp

Procedure:

  • Roast the ragi flour in low flame for about 6 to 8 minutes or till the flour changes colour and its aroma is released.
  • Then add ghee and keep roasting the mixture for about 5 minutes.
  • Then take the pan off the heat, add the powdered jaggery and cardamom powder to it and mix well.
  • After the mixture becomes warm, start making round balls or laddoos out of it. If you are not able to form laddoos, add ghee and then it will hold the form.
  • You may store this in an airtight container for 1 or 2 weeks.

Ragi Snack Recipes

13. Ragi Biscuits or Ragi Cookies

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi flour – ½ cup
  • Wheat flour – ½ cup
  • Powdered jaggery – ½ cup
  • Cold butter – ½ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  •  Vanilla essence – ½ tsp
  • Milk – 2tbsp

Procedure:

  • Roast ragi flour on low flames for 5 to 6 mins or till the aroma from the flour is released and its colour changes.
  • Then sieve roasted ragi flour, wheat flour and baking powder in a container. Add the vanilla essence and butter and mix well with your hands till you get a crumbly textured flour.
  • Then add the powdered jaggery and milk and knead it into a soft dough. Refrigerate the dough for 15 to 20 mins.
  • Grease a tray with butter and preheat the oven at 180-degree celsius. 
  • Roll the dough into a sheet which is neither too thin and nor too thick. Cut out cookie shapes with lids or cookie cutters. 
  • Then dust wheat flour on the tray and place the biscuits on the tray. Leave some space between the cookies as they may expand.
  • Place the ragi biscuits in the oven at 180-degree celsius for about 15 to mins till the biscuits are crisp and golden brown.
  • Enjoy these ragi biscuits as a healthy snack with tea.

14. Ragi pancakes

11 Ragi Health Benefits | Easy to make Ragi Recipes for Weight Loss

Ingredients:

  • Ragi flour – ½ cup
  • Whole wheat flour – ½ cup
  • Ripe bananas – 1 ½ 
  • Salt – 1 pinch
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Oil/Ghee as required

Procedure:

  • Mix Ragi flour, wheat flour, salt, baking powder and mashed bananas in a bowl. Then add water and whisk the batter so that it comes to pouring consistency.
  • Pour 1 ladle full of batter in a hot pan, add oil or ghee and let it cook on medium to low flame.
  • After it is cooked on one side, flip it and let it cook on the other side too.
  • Serve these yummy ragi pancakes with butter, chocolate syrup, honey or even fruits. They definitely feel like dessert for breakfast.

So, hope I have convinced you enough that ragi is one of the wonder grains that has been forgotten by our generation. So let’s bring it back as we pave our way towards a healthier life.

Do let us know if you have any other delicious ragi recipes to share!