Species: Pennisetum glaucum
Other names: Kambu, Sajjalu, Sajje, Kambam, Bajri, Bajra
Appearance: Small, round, light brown.
Typically used: Whole, cooked
Origin: Originally from West Africa and Northern China; Although today, India is the largest producer, with Africa being the second-largest.
Flavor: Mild corn-like or nutty flavor with light texture and bitter aftertaste.
- Cooked whole as a porridge (kitchari)
- Grind into a flour and use in roti
- Cook in milk or non-dairy alternative; add honey, nuts and Indian Dessert Ghee or Digestive Ghee
- Serve millet in place of rice; it’s great as side dish to fish, poultry, beef, lamb or wild game.
- Cook with legumes for a complete-protein, delicious vegetarian meal
- Add millet flour to breads, pancakes, muffins, cookies and more
Do I need to roast or grind the bajra?
Pearl millet does not need to be roasted, but we recommend soaking it for at least an hour before cooking. It can also be sprouted. (How to Sprout Bajra) We recommend coarsely grinding bajra before cooking to reduce the chewiness and cook time. Although, if you prefer the texture of whole bajra, it can be cooked whole, but it just takes a bit longer.
Before cooking, please rinse well. The water to millet ratio is 4:1. Add salt to the water, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes covered. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom, stirring once every 5 minutes or so.
Instant Pot Bajra Kitchari
This recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free.
- 2/3 cup bajra pearl millet soaked
- 1/3 cup moong daal
- 2 TBSP Pure Indian Foods Ghee
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 TBSP kitchari spice mix
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing) optional
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 4 cups filtered water
Rinse and soak bajra overnight, for at least 12 hours.
Rinse the moong daal and drain the bajra. In the Instant Pot, heat ghee on saute setting, and add cumin seeds. Cook until they pop or become very aromatic. About 2 minutes. Add bajra, moong dal, spices, and water in the Instant Pot, and set to pressure cook on HIGH for 30 minutes. If you want to add vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, to your kitchari, chop in 2cm chunks, and add at this time. After pressure is released, remove lid and stir. If kitchari has too much liquid still, turn on saute setting and simmer for a few minutes, stirring continuously, until liquid is reduced and kitchari is thick like a porridge. Serve hot and garnish with one or more of the following: a spoonful of ghee, yogurt, lime, cilantro, and/or fenugreek leaves. Serve with avocado, tomato, and/or cucumber, if desired.