Tamrind Foxtail Millet ( Thinai )

Tamrind Foxtail Millet is nothing but Tamrind rice preparation  using millets. Am not sure how to name it so I call it Tamrind Foxtail millet/Thinai.
Thinai is incidentally one of the most ancient food or grains used in olden days especially in traditional homes in Tamilnadu.
It ranks as one of the most preferred grain in traditional Tamil cooking households. Then with the advent of rice and various varieties of rice , these grain or millets seemed to lose out , yet rural folks were still embracing them on account of the quick cultivation and yield, being cost effective.

With modern life and the ailments that followed , there has been a turnaround and everyone is making a rush to go back to healthy eating and seeing millets with more respect.

It is also cooked and  offered to Lord Muruga as a prasad.

I have given in my blog the recipe for instant Puliyogare mix  which you can follow to make this delicious dish.

Millets are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid forming foods. Hence they are soothing and easy to digest. 

They are considered to be the least allergenic and most digestible grains available. 

Compared to Paddy rice, especially polished Paddy rice, millets release lesser percentage of glucose and over a longer period of time. This lowers the risk of diabetes.


1 cup Foxtail millets/Thinai  ( can be broken to sooji like consistency)
1 tsp sesame oil.
2-3 tbsp or as preferred Tamrind rice powder mix ..
Some curry leaves.
As the mix has everything like the seasoning, peanuts , salt, no need to add them.


Cook the millets just as you would cook rice either by pressure cooker or in rice cooker.

I used the rice cooker , by adding 1 cup  foxtail millets and 2 1/2  cups water.

After  the millets are cooked, fluff with a fork to separate grains. Let it cool well.

Heat a pan, add the oil, add some Tamrind rice powder.
Mix the millets well.

Garnish with some curry leaves.
Serve with papad or fried chips or wafers.

Except for the fact that Foxtail  millets appear smaller than rice grains in appearance , there is no difference to taste or texture so you can very well avoid rice and switch to millets. Simply substitute  rice with millets in all rice based preparations.

Foxtail millets is fast gaining popularity as a good substitute for rice and as an healthy alternative to rice.

Packed with anti oxidants, proteins, fibre, calcium, manganese , phosphorous and iron.

Said to reduce and control blood sugar, cholesterol management.
Ideal food for people suffering from gluten allergies and gastric problems.

Reduces risk of heart attack.
It helps in development of body tissues and energy metabolism.

 Of late, the importance of foxtail millet was recognized  as diabetic food. The millet is rich in dietary fibre (6.7 per cent), protein (11 per cent) and low in fat (four per cent).

Unlike rice, foxtail millet releases glucose steadily without affecting the metabolism of the body. The incidence of diabetes is rare among the population which consumes foxtail millet diet.

According to G. Narasimha Rao, former scientist of Agriculture University, foxtail millet is a versatile crop which can be grown in any season of the year with the shortest crop cycle of 60 to 90 days.

Check this pic for the names of millets  in some languages.

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