Ragi Malt is a healthy drink that can be made in less than 15 minutes using ragi flour (finger millet flour).
This is an easy and a quick breakfast recipe that can also be had as a snack or a pre-workout drink.
You can make ragi malt sweet or savory. While this recipe includes the sweet version, I have also mentioned how to make this savory below.
One of my favorite go-to breakfast options these days is Ragi Malt. I make this thrice a week at least and we both absolutely love it.
As it is super quick and easy to make, I don’t have to spend a lot of time in the morning to cook breakfast, which is indeed a boon during the week.
Ragi and its Health Benefits
Ragi (Finger Millet) is a whole grain popular in India, especially south India.
It is a power-packed, fiber-rich, gluten-free, highly nutritious grain that can be consumed by people of all age groups.
As it is packed with calcium, vitamin D, iron and many other vitamins, it is the first solid food that is introduced to a baby in the form of ragi porridge.
Being a whole grain, ragi is filled with complex carbohydrates making it suitable for people with diabetes.
What is Ragi Malt?
Malt technically means soaked, dried, and germinated (sprouted) grains. As ragi malt powder (mix) was traditionally made using sprouted ragi, it was probably named so.
So typically the ragi malt mix is made by sprouting whole ragi and other legumes/grains which are then powdered fine to make a mix that can be stored for months.
Ragi Malt is a drink made by cooking the sprouted or regular ragi flour until its rawness is gone. This is then mixed with milk, jaggery to make ragi ganji/ragi malt.
Which variety of Ragi Flour should I use?
Although ragi malt is traditionally made using sprouted ragi flour, you can also make it using regular ragi flour.
Regular Ragi Flour-
The regular ragi flour (finger millet flour) that we get in stores can be directly used here.
Sprouted Ragi Flour-
To make sprouted ragi flour, soak whole ragi grains in water. You can also make it multigrain by soaking green gram, brown chickpeas, whole wheat, etc separately or along with ragi for 8 hours.
Drain them all well and let them sprout. Then, dry them well under the sun so that they are crisp or roast them in a pan on low flame so that they are slightly toasted.
These can then be powdered to a fine mix in a mixer/blender or can be powdered in a mill. Sprouted ragi flour is said to be more nutritious.
Ragi Huri Hittu (Popped Ragi Flour)–
We also make another variety of ragi flour mix known as ragi huri hittu in which ragi and other grains & legumes are roasted well separately.
In this, ragi is roasted such that it starts popping like the way popcorn kernels pop and split while making popcorn.
These are then powdered to make the ragi huri hittu mix. This powder, however, does not have to be cooked and can be added directly to hot milk.
What is the difference between Ragi Malt and Ragi Ambli?
Ragi Malt is the sweetened version of the drink and ragi ambli (ambali) is the savory version.
Ragi Malt is also known as ragi ganji/ragi kanji/ragi porridge/ragi kheer in which cooked ragi is thinned down with milk and jaggery.
As milk is added, the ragi malt is very filling and fits perfect as a breakfast.
Ragi Ambli is the savory version made by thinning down the cooked and cooled ragi flour with buttermilk and salt.
To this, chopped coriander leaves, onion, tempering with oil+ mustard seeds+ curry leaves+ green chilies + asafoetida (hing) can also be added.
Can we drink Ragi Malt everyday
As per my knowledge, you definitely can.
However, you have to keep in mind that ragi is known to cool the body.
If you add buttermilk to make the ambli, it further cools your body. This might, therefore, cause cold/phlegm for some people, especially when had regularly during winter.
Hence, if you are susceptible to this, I would suggest drinking this with milk as it balances the ragi well.
If you want to drink ragi ambli (the one with buttermilk), you can decide the frequency depending on how suitable it is to your body.
Ingredients to make Ragi Malt
Use sprouted or regular ragi flour.
You can use skimmed milk, or whole milk.
Use powdered organic jaggery. If you do not have powdered jaggery, slice the jaggery from a cube and use it.
You can use any other sweetener of choice or skip it. But do not add honey while heating, since it is not recommended as per Ayurveda.
I have heard from my elders that using ghee while making any ragi based dishes helps with easy digestion of ragi.
You can, however, skip it if you do not like it or if you are a vegan.
Variations of Ragi Malt
- With Tamarind Juice and Jaggery-
After cooking the ragi flour, let it cool down. To this add tamarind juice which is made by soaking tamarind in water and extracting its juice. Later add jaggery powder and mix well. Do NOT add milk or buttermilk to this.
My mom and grandmother make this version often.
- Chocolate Ragi Malt-
I make this version at times by adding a tablespoon or two of cacao powder to the ragi+milk mixture. Kids might also like this.
- With Nuts-
As I have mentioned in the recipe below, you can powder almonds and add them or chop them finely and add if you are not serving this for small kids.
Apart from almonds, you can also use cashews, walnuts, pistachios, or seeds as well. This makes the ragi malt rich and more filling.
You can reduce or increase the quantity of nuts as per your wish.
- Vegan Version-
Instead of whole milk, you can use any vegan milk like coconut milk or almond milk.
If you are using store-bought coconut milk, thin it down as it will be too thick and makes the malt really heavy.
Measurement: 1 cup = 250ml
- 5 tablespoons ragi flour - (finger millet flour)
- 3.5 cups water
- 1.25 cups milk
- 2.5 tablespoons jaggery powder - (can be increased, reduced or skipped)
- 15 numbers almonds - (optional)
- 3 numbers green cardamom - (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ghee - (optional)
- Transfer 15 almonds and seeds of 3 cardamom pods to a small mixer jar. Make a fine or a coarse powder. (This step is optional though, you can skip using almonds and cardamom).
- Into a thick bottom pan, add in 5 tablespoons ragi flour. Add 1 cup water to it and mix well such that there are no lumps. I suggest using a whisk to mix, to make it easier.
- Then add 2.5 cups water, give a quick stir and keep this on the stove on high heat.
- As it starts to boil, add ghee if using and keep stirring the mixture continuously, preferably using a whisk.
- In about 5 minutes, the mixture starts getting thick. Keep stirring so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan or form lumps. You can reduce the heat to medium.
- In about 2 to 3 minutes, you will notice that the mixture starts to turn glossy and boils vigorously. At this stage, the ragi flour is cooked well.
- Now add the powdered almonds and cardamom (if using) and mix well.
- Then add 2.5 tablespoons jaggery powder. This quantity gives mild sweetness, so you can add more if you like or reduce/skip completely. In case you are unsure if jaggery powder is free from impurities, melt it in some water, strain and then add it.
- Reduce the heat to low and then add 1.25 cups milk which is previously boiled and cooled or directly use homogenized & pasteurized milk.
- Stir in the milk well immediately. You can switch off the stove and serve this now or boil for another 2 minutes. I don't boil after adding milk.
- Serve Ragi Malt hot or warm as per your choice.
- Skip ghee for a vegan version.
- Ragi Malt gets thicker as it cools, therefore, add more milk or water if you are serving it after it cools down completely.
- If you want a porridge-like consistency so that you can have with a spoon, reduce the quantity of water or add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ragi flour more.
How to make Ragi Malt- Step by Step Method
Note: 1 cup= 250ml
Transfer 15 almonds and seeds of 3 cardamom pods to a small mixer jar. Make a fine or a coarse powder.
You can use much lesser almonds if you want or skip using almonds and cardamom.
Adding cardamom makes it more flavorful, and delicious while adding almonds makes it rich and nutritious.
If you want to use just cardamom, crush it in a mortar and pestle or use store-bought cardamom powder directly.
Into a thick bottom pan, add in 5 tablespoons ragi flour. To this add 1 cup water.
Mix well such that there are no lumps. I suggest using a whisk to mix, to make it easier.
Then add 2.5 cups water, give a quick stir and keep this on the stove on high heat.
As it starts to boil, add ghee if using and keep stirring the mixture continuously, preferably using a whisk (I missed taking a picture while adding ghee).
In about 5 minutes, the mixture starts getting thick. Keep stirring so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan or form lumps. You can reduce the heat to medium.
In about 2 to 3 minutes, you will notice that the mixture starts to turn glossy and boils vigorously. Let this boil for a minute or so. At this stage, the ragi flour is cooked well.
Now add the powdered almonds and cardamom (if using) and mix well.
Then add 2.5 tablespoons jaggery powder. This quantity gives mild sweetness, so you can add more if you like or reduce/skip completely.
In case you are unsure if jaggery powder is free from impurities, melt it in some water, strain and then add it.
Reduce the heat to low and then add 1.25 cups milk. You can use milk that is already boiled and cooled or you can directly use homogenized & pasteurized milk.
Stir in the milk well immediately such that there are no lumps.
You can switch off the stove and serve this now or boil for another 2 minutes. I don’t boil after adding milk.
Serve hot or warm as per your preferance.
I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed preparing it and writing it down for you all. 🙂
If you have any questions about the recipe, kindly post them below under comments.