Ragi Manni , Ragi Halwa, or Finger Millet Pudding

Ragi Manni

Ragi Manni or Finger Millet Pudding is a traditional, healthy dessert whose origins could be traced to the diverse cuisines of Karnataka.

Last year I wrote about the “ancient grain” millet and the need to support its revival. I had also shared a modified version of apple crumble using little millets.

I am starting off this year with another millet recipe. This time, it is a traditional millet recipe – Ragi Manni or Finger Millet Pudding. It is a classic dessert packed with nutrition and prepared using only healthy ingredients.

A friend who doesn’t live in this city now was here on a vacation, and a few of us got together for some lunch and catching up. The lunch was fantastic – with great company and good food, what more can you ask! The last item we ordered from the dessert menu was “ragi manni”. It was a pleasant surprise to see a homely dish like ragi manni featured on a restaurant menu. We polished off the plate so quickly that we had to order one more to appreciate some of the more delicate flavours!

It was a delicious note to end the lunch. While we were leaving, I knew that I had to try this at home. I have been asking around for a recipe after that lunch. And this post is the result of that lunch and all the research that followed!

Ragi Manni (Finger Millet Pudding)
Ragi Manni (Finger Millet Pudding)

The actual cooking didn’t take more than 10 minutes. It is the preparation that you need to spend some time on. I have used whole ragi (finger millets) for this post. I would think it’ll work fine with the powdered version as well.

All you need to make this delicious, wiggle wobble, jelly-like pudding is finger millet (ragi), jaggery (much healthier than the regular sugar), coconut milk, and a couple of cardamoms. I used a teaspoon ghee to grease the pan. I finished off by dusting with some crushed pistachios which I happened to have in the kitchen. If you love to add a crunchy texture you could add crushed cashew nut or ground nuts as well.

So here you go, with an easy to cook, delicious, healthy dessert recipe!
I am sure there is room for improvement. Please let me know if you have any tips to improve this recipe!

Ragi Manni

Ragi Manni is a traditional, healthy dessert made with finger millets, jaggery, and coconut milk. This pudding with its jelly-like consistency is super-easy to make and tastes great when served chilled.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Karnataka
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ragi finger millet
  • 1/2 cup jaggery crushed or powdered
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 2 cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon Finely chopped cashew nuts or pistachio optional

Instructions

  • Clean and soak the ragi in water. Drain the water after 2 hours.
    Ragi soaked and drained
  • Powder or crush the jaggery. I used half cup powdered jaggery. You could use more.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the drained ragi and blitz well in a blender. Strain this ragi milk through a sieve or muslin cloth. Squeeze well to extract all the juices.
  • Add 1 cup of water to the grated coconut and blitz well. Strain this also through a sieve and keep the coconut milk.
    Ragi milk and coconut milk ready to cook
  • Transfer the ragi extract, coconut milk, and jaggery to a pot.
  • Mix well, add cardamom and bring to boil on a high flame while stirring frequently.
  • Grease a tray or a flat plate with some ghee.
  • As soon as the liquid start boiling you can notice it starting to thickening.
  • Keep stirring so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
    Keep stirring
  • Cook until you get it really thick, sticking to the sides of the pan and the spoon. It should still be viscous enough to pour.
  • Pour it gently into the already greased tray. Flatten it using a spatula to distribute evenly across the tray.
    Ragi mani is ready
  • Let it cool down. You can now place the tray in the refrigerator.
  • Take out the tray just before serving. Cut into slices. Dust with some crushed/finely chopped peanuts, or cashew nuts, or pistachios.

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