The taste of Ragi [also called Nachni or Finger Millet] and chocolate goes rather well together. These ragi chocolate truffles, sweetened with dates, are the perfect calcium filled sweet treat for your kids and family. They are very easy to make, you are going to love it!!
Ragi as a source of calcium:
Ragi has just mind-boggling, off-the-charts, amounts of calcium. Let us look at some numbers published by The Hindu:
Compare nutrition for Ragi, Rice & Milk:
100 gm Sprouted Ragi Flour: 350 mg of calcium, 4 mg of iron and 8 mg of protein.
100 gm rice: 28 mg of calcium, 0.8 mg of iron and 7 mg of protein.
Same amount of milk: 115 mg of calcium, 0.1 mg of iron and 3.5 mg of protein.
Isn’t that crazy? Ragi has calcium levels more than 10 times that of rice and twice of milk… Protein and iron levels are pretty impressive too…Including ragi in your diet on a regular basis is a good idea.
Upgrade your Ragi ladoo
Traditional ragi laddoos have ghee and jaggery in their ladoo recipes. However, I decided to use unsweetened chocolate bar for both flavor as well as the fat. After all, who can say no to chocolate??
If you do not have unsweetened chocolate bar, there is no need to panic.
Unsweetened Chocolate bar = cocoa powder + cocoa butter
Just substitute the cocoa butter portion with ghee or coconut oil (vegan) and use cocoa powder for chocolate flavor.
For sweetness, I used, surprise – Dates!! O.K, just kidding…no surprises there!! I love using dates. Just in case it was not obvious from the wheat laddoo, rava ladoo and gazillion other date sweetened recipes in my blog, my favorite sweetener is dates:). I like it for its subtle sweetness, natural sweetness (kid-friendly) and fiber content (1 cup = 12g of fiber).
Step by Step Pictures
Roast 1/2 cup ragi for 8-10 minutes on a medium flame.
There should be significant change in color, texture, smell and taste. It should taste cooked. Only then, it is ready to be made into ladoos.
Melt unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler. You can use a microwave, but baby-sit the process completely, to ensure the chocolate does not burn.
Process dates in a food processor until it becomes a pasty lump.
Add melted chocolate, roasted ragi and give it a whir.
Shape them into truffle shape using an ice cream scoop. If not, just use your hand to roll them out into ladoos.
Easy vegan truffles made from finger millet, unsweetened chocolate and dates
- 1/2 cup Ragi flour (you can use sprouted)
- 1.25 cup Dates (about 25)
- 2 oz Unsweetened chocolate
Roast ragi flour on a thick bottomed pan for 8-10 minutes on medium heat. Keep stirring, do not let it burn. After 10 minutes, the flour will change in texture, color and taste.
Grind dates in a food processor until it becomes a lumpy ball.
Melt chocolate in a water bath. If using microwave, ensure chocolate does not burn by constant stopping and stirring.
Pour melted chocolate to dates. Give it a whirl. Add roasted ragi flour and process again.
Pour the mixture into a pan. Mold mixture into truffle shapes. Serve!!
Taste the flour after roasting to ensure it is well cooked.
Ragi is such a treasure grain. You can make milk out of it, you can sprout it, malt it. They are developing ice creams from it. Kannadigas (my recent food cuisine crush!!) make muddes regularly and eat them. But, you don’t have to go down a very complex path…start with these super easy chocolate truffles/ball and work your way up to the wonders of this grain.
What is your favorite ragi recipe? Share your thoughts and comments down below. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.