Return of Koozh!

Not only the songs and movies that are being remixed and remade nowadays with toppings to attract the young audience. Be it retro clothing trends involving flaring colours donned by previous generations or lets say the size of smart phones we have in our hands now but almost nearing the size of cordless phone of those days, history repeats itself. Following the suit, the sultry weather though usual in the months of April and May has left the people go berserk to lament, complain and blame the weather even to strangers. As there is a good in every bad, the soaring mercury levels have revived the millet porridge which is being highly preferred by the city residents to themselves hydrated.

By the time as crop failure both due to drought and deluge has become growing concern, the indigenous climate change complaint crops of Tamil Nadu is making a silent come back. As the heat waves have been frying the cities like Tiruchy for past few weeks since April, people mostly in urban cities prefer millet porridge over munching Idly and Dosa as breakfast to beat the heat. As the scenes and pictures of train carrying water to drought hit Latur in Maharshtra is frequently flashed on televisions and newspapers, awareness has been wrapping thecity folks particularly the health conscious people.

Seen as inferiour and routine food of agriculture labours, the inferiour tag draped over consuming porridge (Koozh) colloquially segregated as Kambu Koozh (pearl millet porridge) and Keppai Koozh (finger millet porridge) for breakfast has been detached since it was the urbanized people who go for millet porridge across outlets mushrooming in the city nowadays. Being a climate change compliant crop requiring very limited water for cultivation and growth, millet breeds have been acclaimed for encompassing higher protein, fibre, iron, minerals, and calcium contents than rice. Medical professionals have suggested the public particularly the women working in kitchens and professions whose job nature involve frequent travel during the noon time to consume edible fluids to keep themselves active and hydrated. “Decades back, Idli and Dosa were rarely cooked in our houses but millet would be a routine intake. Nowadays kids have gone past Idli and Dosa to much pizza and burgers which are not our own local foods. Its good to see the millet porridge receiving rousing response. Local foods should be consumed locally” K Suresh Kanna, deputy director of Kudumbam, organisation promoting millet cultivation recorded.

As the hot summer is associated with fatigue and tired feel for people, medical professionals said that it was electrolyte loss causing tiredness to people exposed to sun light. “Water loss and electrolyte loss can be replenished by consuming fluids like millet porridge and butter milks. Since electrolytes are essential for normal functioning of neural and muscular mechanisms, electrolyte loss results in tiredness and irritation at times. Importantly, women engaged in cooking at hot ambiance of kitchens should consume liquid foods and should also take steamed foods as they have comparatively higher water content.” Dr A Akshar, general physician said.

Mentioning that the climate change involving in soaring mercury levels have spread four fold increase in awareness among the city residents, non governmental organisations, and groups associated with revival of millet have said that they are pursuing attractive methods for taking the merits of millet to people. “We have prepared a booklet comprising dozens of recipes using millet. Right from millet noodles to millet idiyappams, we are hosting food festivals frequently to revive the usage of millet in cooking particularly to kids as our traditional foods are highly nutritious.” J Pangayavalli, dry land agriculture specialist.

As various environmental watchdogs predicting abnormal weather conditions to continue due to global warming and other factors, organic farming experts said that millet will be the future food and also the days are not so far for the traditional food to over take rice as the milletcrops can grow even under drought conditions, sustaining hot regimes.

Six major
 millet varieties 
1) Pearl millet (Kambu)
2) Finger millet (Keppai)
3) Foxtail millet (Thinai)
4) Barnyard millet (Kuthiraivali)
5) Kodo millet (Varahu)
6) Little millet (Samai)


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