What are Minor Millet or Siri Dhanya



Millet is one of the oldest cultivated grains with more than 6,000 varieties around the world! 

And yet many people haven’t heard about them.

This is a series of posts to understand the WHAT, WHY and HOW of minor millets or Siridhanya.

Before the popularity of rice, corn and wheat, millet was our staple diet for long. It was our staple diet, before the popularity of rice, corn and wheat.

Ragi mudde, jowar bhakri, jonna roti, bajra raab, Kelvaragu koozhu is not new to Indian kitchen.

The Green Revolution in India in the 1960s changed the course of our dietary preferences. And slowly, these traditional grains have been forgotten and exchanged for a more refined diet of polished rice and wheat.

But, now thanks to the ‘eat local’ movement, some of these Indian superfoods are back on the market shelves.


What are Millet

Millets are ancient grains that belong to a grass family.  Millet is actually an umbrella term for various small seeded grasses used for human consumption.

Millet are tiny round seeds whish are usually referred to as a grain and come in different colours..red, yellow, white, brown, grey and green.


Types of Millet

Millets are divided into 2 broad categories namely Major and Minor millets.

Due to the abundance of medicinal power Minor millets are renamed as Nutir Cereals in India. 

Doctor Khadar Vali, The Millet Man of India has named these nurtient-dense grains as Siri Dhanya (Siri refers to rich and Dhanya means dhan or crop).

Major millets are slightly larger than minor millets which are very tiny.

Naked grains; Naked grains refer to the three popular types which are devoid of the hard, indigestible husk that some millets have. Namely, Ragi, Jowar, and Bajra. These does not require processing and are popular because of the ease of use.

Husked grains; minor millet or Siri Dhanya has a hard indigestible seed coat which needs to be removed before consumption.


Common names of some Millets in different language;

Ragi/finger millet – gelvaragu

Bajra/pearl millet – khambu

Barnyard millet – sanwa or kuthiraiwali.

Little millet – samai or kutki

Foxtail millet – called Kangni in hindi and Thinnai in Tamil.

Kodo millet – varagu

Credits; The content is inspired by the extensive research done on millet by Smart Food campaign of ICRISAT and the work of doctor Khadar Vali, a renowned scientist also known as Millet Man of India.

Do visit their websites and Youtube channels for more information on the same


Doctor Khadar Vali


Disclaimer -This video is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not designed or meant to treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician and healthcare provider before putting into practice any information given in this video.

WHY and HOW of  Minor Millet or Siri Dhanya.

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