Traditional Crops

Finger Millet

Finger millet is a seeded annual cereal which belongs to the grass family, Poaceae. The height of a mature plant ranges from 30-150 cm in the cool, high-altitude regions of Africa and Asia, where it is grown for its seeds.  The seeds, which may be white, light brown, or dark brown, are consumed in a variety of forms including as unleavened bread made from milled flour. Various types of porridge and alcoholic beverages are also prepared from the seeds. 

Where it is found

Cultivated finger millet was domesticated about 5 000 years ago from the wild subspecies in the highlands that range from Ethiopia to Uganda. Domesticated finger millet was then also farmed in the lowlands of Africa. This was introduced into India around 3 000 years ago, with the result that India is now a secondary centre of diversity for finger millet. 

How to eat it

Finger millet pancakes 

Ingredients: 1 cup of finger millet flour, 1 medium red onion, finely diced, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons of peanuts (or peanut butter), 1 teaspoon of salt (for taste), 1 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 cup of water. Optional: 1 teaspoon of curry powder.

Preparation: In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry diced onions till light brown. Add pepper and curry powder and fry for a minute. Add 1 cup of finger millet flour, salt, peanuts and fried onions to a dry bowl, and mix well. Add the water and knead the dough. One can make them either to the consistency of pancake batter or bread batter. Heat a skillet. Spread the batter in skillet and cook till brown. Makes six portions.

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