Monthly Archives: June 2014

Vellai Chola Dosai/White Corn Pancakes (Whole Grain Dosai Series)

Vellai Cholam/White Corn is next on the list. This is a pancake using fresh corn.
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Now, with the title, whole grain dosais/pancakes, can fresh corn be included?

Is Corn a vegetable, grain or a fruit?

 

Corn seed is actually a vegetable, a grain, and a fruit. Corn seed is a vegetable because it is harvested for eating. (Usually sweet corn when grain is harvested at the milk stage.) Corn seed is a grain because it is a dry seed of a grass species. (Usually field corn when harvested after the grain is relatively dry.) Corn seed is a fruit because that is the botanical definition.http://www.extension.org/pages/36971/please-settle-a-dispute-is-sweet-corn-a-vegetable-or-a-grain-what-is-the-difference-how-about-field-#.U6LYm3bZU3A

 

According to the Whole Grains Council, fresh corn is usually classified as a vegetable and dried corn (including popcorn) as a grain.

Corn is a whole grain if the bran, germ, and endosperm are all left intact, just like whole wheat. If the corn is milled or degermed to remove the bran and germ, then it is a refined grain. http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/2013/07

 

Of course, if one has dried corn,  replace in place of fresh corn in this recipe and soak with the lentil for 4-6 hours, grind to a smooth batter and let it ferment overnight and make pancakes. (Target sort of justified isn’t it).

Still, I am courageous enough to post this under a whole grain dosai-  with two things in mind-

1. the very kind readers who don’t oppose

2. the goodness of fresh corn that gives equal nutrients to fit as a whole grain
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Interesting facts about white corn

 

White maize is biologically and genetically very similar to yellow maize, although there is a difference in appearance due to the absence of carotin oil pigments in the kernel which otherwise cause the yellow colour of the grain. Production conditions and cultivation methods are largely identical.

Among the individual geographical regions of the developing countries, white maize production is of paramount importance in Africa. In this region, which produces about one-third of the global white maize crop, it represents about 90 percent of the total regional maize output. The main producers include Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, countries in which white maize represents between two-thirds and 90 percent of total cereals production. Other important producers of the region include Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria, where white maize constitutes from 15-35 percent of total cereals production. In these latter countries, white maize rivals in importance other cereals, such as wheat, rice, millet and sorghum. http://www.fao.org/docrep/w2698e/w2698e03.htm#TopOfPage

 

Corns come in various colours – among them, the yellow corn, common on the cob; white corn is more chewy. But makes very good pancakes. I have already posted chola dosai/corn dosai with milled yellow corn – the powder version. see – https://dosaikal.com/2012/05/24/chola-dosaiyellow-corn-flour-pancake/

This one is with fresh white corn. Here in Cambodia, the markets are filled with yellow and white corns. Depending on the season, sometimes yellow and sometimes white is in bulk.

I like the yellow ones to be pressure cooked as a snack with salt and pepper, the yellow corn, the more chewy among the two is preferred as dosai/pancake.

White Corn Dosai can be made with white corn alone as the ingredient without black gram, blended with water and salt to make a batter. Dosai comes out good, but should administer caution while spreading in the pan.

The one I have made in this post is with the combination of dehusked black gram as in Idly or Plain dosai. Since I have used fresh white corn, I soaked the black gram alone with fenugreek seeds. After grinding the batter, fermentation is not needed. The batter might become sour or even go waste as the fresh white corn would get spoilt soon.
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A Few Health Benefits of Corn

Anti-oxidant
You can get health-supportive antioxidant benefits from all varieties of corn, including white, yellow, blue, purple and red corn. But recent research has shown the antioxidant benefits from different varieties of corn actually come from different combinations of phytonutrients.

Corn is actually a unique phytonutrient-rich food that provides us with well-documented antioxidant benefits. In terms of conventional antioxidant nutrients, corn is a good source of the mineral manganese. But it is corn’s phytonutrients that have taken center stage in the antioxidant research on corn. Different varieties of corn highlight different combinations of antioxidant phytonutrients.
Fibre
Corn is a food that gives us plenty of chewing satisfaction, and its high ratio of insoluble-to-soluble fiber is partly the reason.
Digestive properties
Recent research has shown that corn can support the growth of friendly bacteria in our large intestine and can also be transformed by these bacteria into short chain fatty acids, or SCFAs. These SCFAs can supply energy to our intestinal cells and thereby help lower our risk of intestinal problems, including our risk of colon cancer.
Tackles blood sugar
Given its good fiber content, its ability to provide many B-complex vitamins including vitamins B1, B5 and folic acid, and its notable protein content (about 5-6 grams per cup), corn is a food that would be expected to provide blood sugar benefits.
Sufficient fiber and protein content in a food helps prevent too rapid or too slow digestion of that food. protein and fiber also help prevent too rapid or too slow uptake of sugar from the digestive tract up into the bloodstream. Once the uptake of sugar is steadied, it is easier to avoid sudden spikes or drops in blood sugar. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=90
Vellai Chola Dosai/White Corn Pancake

 

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Ingredients (makes approximately 10-12 dosais)

  • vellai cholam/white corn – fresh kernels- when removed – 2 cups
  • ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram – 1/2 cup
  • vendhayam/fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • uppu/salt – to taste
  • yennai/oil – to make dosais

 

white corn – soaked them for 15 mins. as I had refrigerated them the previous night

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Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and soak dehusked black gram and fenugreek seeds in enough water for 2-3 hrs or if the weather is not too hot, can soak overnight
  2. Grind the black gram-fenugreek with fresh white corn kernels together in a grinder/blender to a smooth and fine paste
  3. Mix  enough salt and the batter is ready to make dosais
  4. The extra batter should be kept refrigerated for further use
  5. Make hot Dosais and serve with vengaya thuvayal /onion chutney or any chutney of choice
  6. After the dosais, more/buttermilk which is the diluted version of yoghurt with salt is served as coolant
  7. The buttermilk aids in digestion.

 

the batter

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Note:

  1. If one is using dried corn, soak overnight like the black gram
  2. Dry red chillies can be ground together with the soaked ingredients for a spicy taste
  3. Chopped shallots mixed to the batter or spread over the dosai while cooking adds a different flavor to the pancake
  4. Any chutney of choice, but preferably with garlic, that would aid in digestion suits well
  5. The chutney can also contain shallots that would aid in cooling the system.
  6. Buttermilk is highly preferred with asafoetida to avoid gastric problems and also acts as a coolant.

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Varagarisi Dosai/Kodo Millet Pancake (whole grain dosai series)

The next power packed pancake is Varagarisi Dosai. Varagarisi is Kodo millet in English.

Scientific name – Paspalum scrobiculatum L.

 

varagu/kodo in close up

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Kodo millet was domesticated in India almost 3000 years ago. It is found across the old world in humid habitats of tropics and subtropics. It is a minor grain crop in India and an important crop in the Deccan plateau.

The fiber content of the whole grain is very high. Kodo millet has around 11% protein, and the nutritional value of the protein has been found to be slightly better than that of foxtail millet but comparable to that of other small millets. As with other food grains, the nutritive value of Kodo millet protein could be improved by supplementation with legume protein. http://www.icrisat.org/crop-kodomillet.html

 

Points that struck me while searching for true facts on the ‘Goodness of Millets’ –

Millets are also unique due to their short growing season. They can develop from planted seeds to mature, ready to harvest plants in as little as 65 days. This is important in heavily populated areas. When properly stored, whole millets will keep for two or more years.

Unlike rice and wheat that require many inputs in terms of soil fertility and water, millets grow well in dry regions as rainfed crops. By eating millets, we will be encouraging farmers in dryland areas to grow crops that are best suited for those regions. This is a step towards sustainable cropping practices where by introducing diversity in our diets, we respect the biodiversity in nature rather than forcefully changing cropping patterns to grow wheat and rice everywhere. http://millets.wordpress.com/millets/

 

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Health benefits of millets

 

  • Regular consumption of millet is very beneficial for postmenopausal women suffering from signs of cardiovascular disease, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
  • Children’s intake of whole grains like millet and fish has been shown to reduce the occurrence of wheezing and asthma.
  • A high source of fiber, millet is very beneficial against breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
  • According to research and recent studies, consumption of millet can help women combat the occurrence of gallstones, as they are a very high source of insoluble fiber.
  • This form of cereal grain is very high in phosphorus content, which plays a vital role in maintaining the cell structure of the human body. The key role of this mineral is that it helps in the formation of the mineral matrix of the bone and is also an essential component of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate), which is the energy currency of the body.
  • A single cup of millet provides around 24.0% of the body’s daily phosphorus requirement. This mineral is a very important constituent of nucleic acids, which are the building blocks of genetic code.
  • Recent research has indicated that the regular consumption of millet is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. This is mainly due to the fact that whole grains like millet are a rich source of magnesium, which acts as a co-factor in a number of enzymatic reactions in the body, regulating the secretion of glucose and insulin.
  • Magnesium is also beneficial in reducing the frequency of migraine attacks. It is even very useful for people who are suffering from atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
  • To get the health benefits of millet, serve it warm with milk as an alternative to hot oatmeal in the morning. Its nutty taste can be enhanced by gently roasting the grains in a pan on the stovetop.
  • It can also be popped like popcorn to create a healthy “puffed” cereal. It can be ground into gluten-free flour and added to baked goods. One can also use it in soups, casseroles, and as a side-dish in place of rice. Enjoy the many health benefits millet has to offer!
    http://www.ilsi-india.org/conference-on-processed-foods-and-beverages-for-health/Session-IV/Prof-Suresh-Prasad-Delhi-Conf-on-millets-presentation.pdf

 

 

ALL MILLET VARIETIES SHOW HIGH ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY
At the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, a team of biochemists analyzed the antioxidant activity and phenolic content of several varieties of millet: kodo, finger, foxtail, proso, pearl, and little millets. Kodo millet showed the highest phenolic content, and proso millet the least. All varieties showed high antioxidant activity, in both soluble and bound fractions.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 9 June 2010; 58(11):6706-14. http://wholegrainscouncil.org/node/7722/print

 

Varagu/Kodo Millet could be enjoyed in different forms and preparations. Varagarisi Idli/Rice Cakes, Varagarisi Dosai/Pancakes, Varagarisi Kanji/Porridge, Varagarisi Upma and many more.
Varagarisi Dosai/Kodo Millet Dosai

 

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Kodo millet is a nutritious grain and a good substitute to rice or wheat. The grain is composed of 11% of protein, providing 9 grams/100 g consumed. It is an excellent source of fibre at 10 grams (37-38%), as opposed to rice, which provides 0.2/100 g, and wheat, which provides 1.2/100 g. An adequate fibre source helps combat the feeling of hunger. Kodo millet contains 66.6 g of carbohydrates and 353 kcal per 100 g of grain, comparable to other millets. It also contains 3.6 g of fat per 100 g. It provides minimal amounts of iron, at 0.5/100 mg, and minimal amounts of calcium, and 27/100 mg. Kodo millets also contain high amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant compound. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paspalum_scrobiculatum

 

Ingredients (makes approximately 20-25 dosais) make half the quantity to make 10-12 dosais

  • varagarisi /kodo millet – 4 cups
  • ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram – 1 cup
  • vendhayam/fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • uppu/salt – as needed approx. 1 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp
  • oil – to make dosai

Note:

  1. Unlike the previous Dosais with finger millet and pearl millet, here kodo millet batter is made exactly like the normal Idli/dosai batter
  2. Dehusked black gram is soaked separately with fenugreek seeds and the millet is soaked separately. The gram and fenugreek remains the same; rice is replaced with varagarisi/kodo millet.
  3. Though I have not tried Kezhvaragu/finger millet or Kambu/pearl millet idly, I made varagarisi/Kado millet Idlies, which were soft and fluffy and tasted only a tiny bit different from normal Idlies.
  4. It is highly recommended to have a glass of more/buttermilk to reduce the heat effects of this millet.

 

varagarisi idli/kodo millet steamed cakes

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fluffy and soft

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Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and Soak kodo millet
  2. Wash and soak black gram and fenugreek seeds
  3. Soak the ingredients separately in enough water for a minimum 6 hrs
  4. Grind the black gram-fenugreek combination to a smooth and fluffy consistency
  5. Remove from the grinder/blender and grind the soaked millet to a fine paste
  6. Mix both with enough salt and leave the batter to ferment for 8 hrs or overnight
  7. In a warm country, 8 hrs is enough and one can mix the fermented batter and keep it refrigerated for further use
  8. Once fermented, always keep the batter refrigerated as it will go sour and get spoilt
  9. Make hot Dosais and serve with vengaya thuvayal /onion chutney or any chutney of choice
  10. After the dosais, more/buttermilk which is the diluted version of yoghurt with salt is served as coolant
  11. The buttermilk aids in digestion.

 

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