Finger millet is considered one of the most nutritious cereals. Many Kenyans include it in their diet and its known as “uji wa wimbi” (porridge). Finger Millet is most popular as porridge and ugali (a dish made of maize flour, millet flour, or sorghum flour cooked in boiling liquid to a stiff or firm dough-like consistency). Its grown in Africa and Asia.
I grew up drinking finger millet porridge and I loved it. My own kids love it. When my Mum came to see visit her grand kids, she weaned them on finger millet porridge as most Moms in Kenya do. My kids have an absolute love for it. Whenever we visit Kenya, its the one thing I have to top up on.
Benefits of Finger Millet Porridge
- Being non-glutinous, finger millet is safe for people suffering from gluten allergy and celiac disease. It is non-acid forming, and hence easy to digest. It’s also rich in amino acids.
- Finger millet is an excellent source of natural calcium which helps in strengthening bones for growing children and aging people. Regular consumption of finger millet is good for bone health and keeps diseases such as osteoporosis at bay and could reduce risk of fracture.
- Finger millet’s phytochemicals help in slowing digestion process. This helps in controlling blood sugar level in condition of diabetes. It has been found that finger millet based diet helps diabetics as it contains higher fiber than rice and wheat. Also, the study found that diet based on whole finger millet has lower glycemic response i.e. lower ability to increase blood sugar level. This is due to presence of factors in finger millet flour which lower digestibility and absorption of starch.
- Because of its high nutritional content finger millet flour is recommended as a weaning food in Kenya. Finger millet is a very good source of natural Iron and its consumption helps in recovery of Anemia. It’s also highly suited for expectant mothers and elderly due to its high calcium and iron content.
- Finger millet consumption helps in relaxing body naturally. It is beneficial in conditions of anxiety, depression and insomnia. It can also be useful for migraines.
- If consumed regularly, finger millet could help in keeping malnutrition and degenerative diseases.
I would definitely recommend adding finger millet flour to your diet as its is an extremely nutritious cereal and it’s very beneficial for maintaining a good health. It is not advised for patients who having kidney stones.
In short Uji(Porridge) is an authentic Kenyan dish. There are many ways of preparing it depending on whom you are talking to and their cultural background. Finger millet could be enjoyed in different forms and preparations such as cakes and biscuits as well.
Porridge is easy to make and takes just about 10 – 15 minutes to prepare, cook and serve.
1 cup Finger Millet
5 cups of water
Cold milk (optional)
½ lemon (optional)
1. Put 4 cups of water in a pot to boil.
2. Take the 1 cup of finger millet flour and mix it with a cup of cold water in a cup, stir into a smooth paste.
3. Bring the water to a boil, then pour in the flour paste.
4. Stir non-stop until it becomes thick and starts to boil.
5. Lower the heat and allow to cook for at least 8-10 minutes, then serve.
Should you want to add milk, pour it in last before serving. It is also optional to use lemons which you can squeeze in as it cooks or once you have served the porridge.
You can also add cold milk once you have served the porridge.
You can also add Sugar to your taste if you wish (optional)