Nalla Soru – Going back to traditional food of Indians

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Historically Millets were traditional food of India. Millet (called jowar, jwaarie or jondhahlaa in Gujarati, Hindi and Marathi languages, respectively, or mutthaari kora “pangapullu”in Malayalam) flour has been local staple for hundreds of years in India. Another cereal grain popularly used in rural areas and by poor people to consume as staple in the form of roti or other forms is called ragi in Karnataka or naachanie in Maharashtra or Kezhvaragu in Tamil, with the popularly made ragi rotti in Kannada. Ragi mudde is a popular meal in southern India. In Telugu, it is called jonnalu (Jonnalu). Jonna is dark like rye, but rougher in texture.

Nalla Soru Rajamurugan
Nalla Sorru – Rajamurugan

Are you familiar with Rajamurugan and Nalla Soru? If yes, then, you are probably aware with their different traditional food items he creates using Indian millets. Rajamurugan comes from a family of agriculturist. He always prepared food items using herbs and small millets. He also uses athimadhuram (herbal liquorice) instead of sugar for sweetness. His dishes were also appreciated by various chefs. Since he always received great praises from experts, he was inspired in making delicious dishes using traditional food grains.

As a catering graduate, Rajamurugan has in-depth understanding on how to make a mouth-watering and healthy dishes. Aside from cooking, he was also a graduate of Masters in Business Administration. When he was on the 18-day rail tour across India called Tata Jagriti Yatra, Rajamurugan was introduced to the Nalla Keerai team. This is a team of young enterpreneurs who gave up corporate jobs to take up oranic farming. Rajamurugan was inspired by them and adopted the concept of this team, he created a group called Nalla Soru.

Nalla Soru has five members with an age of 25 to 30 years old. The introduction of traditional food items of Nalla Soru started when Rajamurugan was thinking of an alternative dishes for junk food. The main vision of Nalla Soru is to make millets as a wholesome dishes that can be cooked easily. With small millets, they can prepare and make more than 150 traditional food items. The typical examples of these small millets are foxtail, little, proso, finger, pearl and barnyard millets. In 2005, they have conceptualized these traditional food items. After one year, they introduced their dishes to the public. Nalla Soru team use traditional millets along with organic vegetables and herbs to prepare all of their dishes. They also use mud pots for cooking.

The benefits of such cooking methods are many fold.

  • They help women in cleansing their uterus
  • Their dishes are also perfect for protecting various people from becoming anemic
  • Millet dishes are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates and hence can be consumed by diet conscious and even diabetics

To pass the benefits of traditional food items, Rajamurugan and his team is making a book to share their knowledge on how to prepare healthy dishes.
The book will help anyone to prepare the dishes by following the simple procedures in the book. Since Nalla Soru introduced multiple traditional foods, homeowners are free to pick any recipe they want. It means that they will stay healthier and active because of continuous consumption of traditional food items.

Nalla Soru plays a great contribution in the society especially in improving one’s health, body and lifestyle. Through Nalla Soru’s contributions, people become more conscious with their health.

Credit: Images from “The Hindu”