Ragi puri to jowar upma, parliament got new menu of millet

New Delhi: From jowar vegetable upma to bajra khichdi, ragi laddoos to bajra churma – they will soon find a place in the Parliament House canteen menu alongside traditional favorites biryani and cutlets.

As the government promotes production and consumption of millets – on Sunday, in his Mann Ki Baat address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that every G20 summit in India would include millet dishes – Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla told members There has been a demand for a special millet menu for Parliament, which will now get a chance to choose from the new menu in addition to the old one.

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The bajra menu includes bajra raab (soup), ragi dosa, ragi ghee roast, ragi thatte idli, jowar vegetable upma as a starter, and, for the main course, maize/millet/jowar roti with mustard greens ( Choose your roti), ragi puri with potato curry, bajra khichdi with garlic chutney and bajra khichdi. Sweets include kesari kheer, ragi walnut laddoos and bajra churma.

Sources said the a la carte menu has been designed in a way that reflects the country’s culinary diversity – oats milk, soya milk, ragi matar ka shorba, bajra onion ka muthia (Gujarat), shahi bajra ki tikki (Middle East). Pradesh), dosa with ragi peanut chutney (Kerala), amaranth salad and korra with millet salad.

The menu has been prepared by ITDC’s Montu Saini, who was executive chef with Rashtrapati Bhavan for five-and-a-half years, serving during the tenures of both Pranab Mukherjee and Ram Nath Kovind. ITDC is running the canteen of Parliament since 2020.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during luncheon at Parliament House. (PTI/FILE)
Saini said the Bajra menu also reflects popular demand as it has attracted response to the luncheon organized for MPs in the inner courtyard of Parliament House during the winter session. He said, ‘Ragi walnut laddoos and bajra raab were the most in demand.’

Millet dishes will be available in all the canteens of the Parliament and will be delivered to the MPs in the Central Hall. Sources said that other food outlets in the complex will have at least one millet dish on the platter. Emphasizing that the new menu is all about healthier options, Saini said that jaggery will replace grain sugar in the dessert dishes.

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“It was the Hon’ble Speaker who suggested that there should be a millet option in the menu for MPs. He wanted to go beyond spreading awareness on millets, so we were asked to explore the possibilities and here we are with this menu, offering these dishes along with other items we usually serve,” Pankaj Mittal, General Manager, ITDC told The Indian Express.

Mittal said that while there were always some millet items on the menu of the Parliament canteen, once 2023 was officially declared as the International Year of Millets, “the consumption pattern has changed. People started asking for millet.

The government hopes that the promotion of millet will help small farmers across the country. India’s millet production has declined from 21.32 million tonnes in 2003-04 to 15.92 million tonnes in 2021-22. India is one of the top five exporters of millets in the world. The country exports millets worth $64.28 million in 2021-22 as against $59.75 million in the previous year. The major millet producing states are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.