11 Apr 2023

Uttarakhand Resident Prepares Sweets From New Superfoods Millets In International Year of Millets But Do People Relish Them?

Dehradun: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promoted millets not only in India but also on the world stage and this year has been declared as the International Year of Millets.

Amidst all this an innovative experiment has come to the fore in Uttarakhand. This innovative experiment is about making sweets from millets. This has been started by Dayal Singh Kotwal of Nagathali Mani village of Uttarkashi district.

Kotwal has created a new history in the whole world by making sweets from mountain coarse cereals like Koda, Jhangora, Maduwa, Kumaoni and Marsha. He also makes Beetroot (Chukandar) and Gourd (Lauki) Burfi and other sweets.

The slogan 'Koda Jhangora Khaayenge, Uttarakhand Banayenge' was on the lips of the people during the mass movements that started to make this Himalayan state a separate state. That dream of forming a separate state came true. Koda, Jhangora got not only national but also international recognition.

People were seen relishing sweets made of millets

Social worker Lokendra Singh Bisht said that recently, while going from Uttarkashi to Dehradun, he came across a shop at Nagathali Mani, a small station on Chinyalisaur-Kumrada Marg. Bisht is the state convener of Ganga Vichar Manch, which is associated with Prime Minister's dream project Namami Gange. 

He stopped to have a cup of tea. There on the sweets counter he was bewildered to see signboards with names like Koda ki Barfi, Jhangora ki Barfi, Lauki ki Barfi, Chukandar ki Barfi written on them.

Bisht tells that the shop was selling sweets made of nutritious coarse grains. People were also coming and buying sweets made from these millets and were also relishing them. He said that out of curiosity he talked to the owner of the shop Dayal Singh Kotwal. He explained Bisht in detail about these sweets made from coarse grains.

Kotwal made millet sweets during lockdown but did people like them?

Kotwal told Bisht that  his shop was closed during the Corona period. At that time he thought that till date the people of the mountain are limited to eating coarse grains only. Why not make a sweet out of them. As an experiment, he first made sweets of coarse grains at home and gave them to the people at home and in the village. As people liked the sweets made of millets, Kotwal was encouraged. After the lockdown was over, he started selling coarse grain sweets in his sweet shop.

Millet sweets are made like any other sweet

Kotwal clearly told that there is no separate formula for making Barfi of Millets i.e. Koda, Jhangora, Maduwa etc. It is made like other sweets. It is completely free from chemicals. If there is any chemical in sugar, it will also be there in the sweet made using sugar. According to Kotwal, the cost of coarse grain sweets made from pure desi ghee is high, so he uses refined oil. Desi ghee sweets are also made on order

Even in the G-20 meetings being held across the country, now-a-days delicacies of coarse grains of Uttarakhand are being served specially to the guests. These sweets made by Dayal Singh Kotwal of Nagathali Mani village are expected to find a place even at the international level.

Jhangora kheer reached 5 star hotels

It is noteworthy that in Uttarakhand it was customary to eat Jhangora like normal rice. Later its kheer became popular. The Kheer made of Jhangora even reached Five Star hotels. Dishes made from millets gained popularity at wedding ceremonies and parties. Kandali's vegetable, Kode's roti, Gahat's soup, Gahat's Phanu have become a status symbol in many functions. Millet from the plate of a poor hill villager reached Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plate today.

There was abundance of coarse grains in mountains

Significantly, Jowar, Bajra, Ragi (Madua), Barley, Kodo, Jhangora, Kaun, Marsha, Cheena, Sama, Sawa, Kutki and Kangni are known as coarse grains in the country. Since ancient times, there used to be abundance of coarse grains in the mountains. But then those who ate coarse grains were considered second class. At that time people were not much aware of the usefulness of coarse grains and its properties. There was also a lack of information.

With the passage of time, the yield of coarse grains also started decreasing, because people started giving attention to other crops instead of coarse grains and according to the perception of the society, people moved towards rice paddy crop.

Again there is a huge demand for these hill coarse grains

Millets are the new superfoods. It is ironical that after throwing them out in favour of imported cereals and other breakfast foods, Indians have discovered millets anew, thanks to western research and endorsement about their nutritious value and health benefits, forgetting that we have used them for millennia in our daily diet. 

The time has come again and people have become aware of the rich properties of millets for good health. That's why again there is a huge demand for these hill coarse grains in the market.

When the demand for coarse grains started increasing in the market, the coarse grains started returning to the fields again. Villagers have also started showing interest in growing coarse grain crops. Today, the demand of millets has increased and the production will have to be increased to meet the rising demand.

No comments:

Post a Comment