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5/18/20241 min read

Barnyard millet is referenced in ancient Indian literature and has been cultivated in China for over 2000 years. Some researchers believe it originated in central Asia and later spread to Europe and America. It is a lesser-known grain crop, an herbaceous annual that sparsely tillers and grows to a height of 60 to 120 centimetres. The plant is highly drought-resistant and can also tolerate waterlogged conditions, typically grown as a rainfed crop. Kuthiraivali grains can be consumed like rice and used in dishes such as rice pudding (kheer). Its protein digestibility is 40 percent.

The grain is primarily consumed by the poorer classes but is also used for brewing beer and as feed for cage birds, while the straw and green fodder are relished by cattle.

Benefits and Uses:

Low in calories, barnyard millet is a good source of highly digestible protein, providing 75 calories, 1.5g of protein, 68% carbohydrate, and less than 400 kcal per 100 grams in a 25g raw serving, making it ideal for those on a diet. It is rich in dietary fibre, with 6.9g per half cup, offering a good balance of soluble and insoluble fractions. With a low glycemic index, barnyard millet improves carbohydrate tolerance in diabetics and helps reduce blood sugar levels.

Being gluten-free and a good source of iron, it can be beneficial for people with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, skin problems, cancer, and celiac disease. Distribution Barnyard millet is cultivated in India, China, Japan, Malaysia, and the East Indies, and serves as a substitute crop in China and Japan when rice crops fail. It is also grown to some extent in Africa and the United States. In India, it is primarily grown in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Bihar