here is this crop which looks like a horse’s tail. So it gets its name as Kuthiravali. ‘Kuthiravali’ is a Tamil term for horse tail. But as they say, looks can be deceptive, it falls true in this crop’s case too. The grain that arises from this horse tail like plant is one of the nutritional millets. A Millet that is recommended during times of fasting is essentially vegan as well as gluten free. Does the term ‘Sama ke Chawal’ ring any bell? You got it, this Barnyard Millet is that famous Sama Ke Chawal that has been used since time immemorial during every fasting season. Not just rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins, it is also anti-oxidant and has a protein content equivalent to that of Wheat and Maize. The following recipes are something that can be made with Barnyard Millets and eaten almost everyday and ofcourse on every fasting day:
Barnyard Millet pongal, Barnyard Millet upma, Barnyard Millet Dosai, Barnyard Millet rice idli, Barnyard Millet adai, Barnyard Millet curd rice, Barnyard Millet Neeragaaram, Samak / Swang / Barnyard Millet Pulav, etc. A regular diet of Barnyard Millet reduces and eradicates the risks of Diabetes and controls obesity as it has lowest carbohydrates content and energy values.
A common question that arise is ‘why Barnyard Millet during fasting days?’ Or why is Barnyard Millet ‘allowed’ in fasting and not Rice or Wheat? A simple answer to this query is that cereal grains are not to be consumed during fasting days. It is believed that Paap Purush (demonic character created by Lord Vishnu) in its personified form resides in the grain of rice with all its inherent sins and hence it should not be consumed on a pious day of fasting when the devotee tries to keep him/herself chaste and undefiled. There are other scientific reasons for this too which also support the same. Usually fasting days like Ekadashi, Ambubachi, Navaratras, etc. fall close to a full moon day or a new moon day respectively. A Purnima day and an Amavasya day bring about many changes in air pressure due to the position of moon in relation to earth. It is on Ekadashi day that there is an equilibrium or balance in nature with less gravitational force which is conducive for any human body to detoxify itself by remaining empty stomach throughout the day without consuming any heavy calorie rich food like rice or a non-vegetarian fare. This was fine till ancient times. But the kind of hectic and stressful life that we lead in modern times working extra long hours, it becomes necessary for the body to get regular food supplement so that it can successfully complete the burden of extra mental and physical work per day. As most of us still want to cleanse our body from all toxins by either following the age old rituals of fasting or as a result of sudden health consciousness fad, we need food supplement which will help by not diminishing our energy for the day’s work but also aid in completing the ritual successfully fulfilling the intended purpose as well. That’s how Barnyard Millet came in for rescue and became the ‘Vrat Ka Chawal’ or the popular fasting grain.