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  • Writer's pictureChef Bhumika

B is for Bajra

B is for Bajra or pearl millet. I'm working on some out of the box granola bars this week and an idea popped into my head wherein I thought of using popped millets to increase the nutritional value of my energy bars. Sounds cool right?

So what better way than to use our very own, humble Indian ingredients like Bajra and Ragi. I also had some quinoa on hand so thought of experimenting with small batches of the same. Now I watched a video where a lady soaks the millets in hot water for 10 mins, dries them and pops them. So I gave it a go as well for Bajra and it worked brilliantly. No need to use any oil or fat. It just works so beautifully. Look at the Millets go in the video below.

So why do you think the grains pop like this? I did some research and found out that the grains are actually made of 3 things. The outer covering, which should be completely closed and not have any cuts and holes. Inside the millet is a little bit of moisture, which I think is reinstated when we soak the millet in water. and the 3rd thing would be starch. So as soon as the grain hits the heat, The moisture gets converted to steam and starts cooking the starch. Since there isn't enough space to expand, The outer covering pops leaving out gelatinised starch (Starch gelatinises as it is moisturised and heated). Now this starch starts drying up as soon as it hits the warm air around it. And that's how you get popped millets. The same technique applies to Popped corn.

Not all of my millet grains popped, so I'm sure I have a lot left to learn. But for now, this is my B for Bajra post for #36daysoftype

Hope you like it. Keep watching this space to learn more about food ingredients and until next time, keep baking!

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