Bajra (Pearl Millet) Flour

Bajra (Pearl Millet) Flour

When we mention superfoods, we think of various high-fiber, high-protein food items that boost our metabolism and our general health. However, there is one superfood that has been hiding right under our noses, and we have completely missed it! Every health-conscious individual knows the importance of switching to different flour alternatives to limit gluten intake, and the best one is one of our most widely available cereals- bajra. Bajra, also known as pearl millet, is an ancient supergrain that was domesticated in Africa about 5000 years ago!

Pearl millet, also referred to as bulrush millet, dukn, cumbu, gero, sanio, hegni, kambu, babala, and bajra, is primarily grown and consumed widely in Africa, India and other parts of the world as well. Bajra refers to the edible seeds of pearl millet plants, which are often ground into bajra flour and consumed in a variety of ways. Pearl millet is the most widely cultivated of all millets and is one of the most drought-tolerant of all domesticated cereals. Soon after its domestication, it became widely distributed across the semi-arid tropics of Africa and Asia. 

But before we get too carried away with the various benefits and positives of bajra, let us first study its basic nutrition profile to understand what makes up this supergrain. 

Bajra Flour (Pearl Millet) Nutritional Facts 

Bajra is just one of the many cereals or millets that are found and consumed in India. It is widely cultivated in states like Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Karnataka, which accounts for 90 % of the total area and 86% of production, and this is only in India! It is widely popular for its various benefits and dense nutritional content, which are listed below. The values listed below are as per 1 cup of bajra flour, or roughly 119 grams and 100gms.

Name Amount (1cup 119gms)  Amount (100gms)
Calorie  455kcal  382kcal
Carbohydrates 89.4g  75.1g
Protein 12.9 g  10.8g
Fat 5.06g  4.25g
Total Sugars  1.98 g  1.66g
Water  10.3g  8.67g
Fiber, total dietary 4.16g   3.5g

Health Benefits of Bajra (Pearl Millet) Flour

  1. High in Protein

    One cup of bajra flour provides you with 12.9 grams of protein! Bajra flour benefits vegetarians the most because when paired with legumes and pulses, it can be a source of all necessary nutrients like protein and amino acids needed to sustain a healthy body. It is the ideal cereal to boost your nutrient intake and your well-being.

  2. High in Fiber

    Fiber is your gut’s best friend, and because pearl millet is high in fiber, at 4.16 grams per cup, your gut has a new best buddy. Insoluble fiber in pearl millet flour will ensure your body’s digestive health remains in fighting shape and even helps to relieve constipation. Additionally, fiber makes you feel full for longer and will keep you from overeating! Furthermore, fiber-rich foods like bajra help to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and improve the effects of good cholesterol (HDL).

  3. Gluten-Free

    For all health-conscious people looking for a great flour substitute to avoid the unnecessary bloating caused by gluten, bajra flour is the answer to your problems. Bajra flour is completely gluten-free, and that will boost your health journey forward in leaps and bounds.

  4. Good for Diabetics

    Is bajra flour suitable for people with diabetes? Yes, it is! Bajra flour, like any millet flour, ranks low on the glycemic index. This means that it is ideal for people who have diabetes and are looking for a good flour substitute for daily consumption. Furthermore, bajra contains high amounts of magnesium, which is known for reducing insulin resistance. Additionally, the high fiber content, if added to your diet, also aids in the management of diabetes and other chronic diseases.

  5. Good for Heart

    One cup of bajra flour has approximately 142 mg of magnesium. This means one cup of bajra alone is enough to fulfill up to 50% of your magnesium needs! And why is magnesium so essential? Magnesium is a necessary micronutrient needed to maintain nerve function and normalize your heartbeat.

  6. Lowers Blood Pressure

    Cereals like pearl millet are very high in potassium, which plays a vital role in reducing your blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods help to reduce the impact of sodium in our bodies. For individuals with hypertension, this grain is the perfect natural source of potassium in case they need to increase their nutrient intake.

  7. Alkaline Nature

    Due to bajra flour’s alkaline nature, it's a natural and healthy cure for painful acidity. Including bajra in your diet will help to maintain the pH balance in your digestive tract and stomach and ensure that you do not have to endure any distress caused by excessive acids harming your stomach lining. If acidity is not controlled, it may even lead to painful stomach ulcers.

  8. Good for Endurance

    Due to pearl millet being high in protein, fiber, and alkaline in nature, it helps to reduce blood pressure and increase the production of red blood cells (RBCs). This helps to improve your overall energy levels, and for endurance athletes, such foods can even help enhance their performance!

  9. Antioxidant-Rich

    Is bajra flour good for health? Yes, it is! Bajra flour is known to be rich in antioxidants, which help to keep your body healthy and thriving and build your immunity.

  10. Helps Prevent Anemia

    Individuals with iron deficiencies are often at risk of developing conditions like anemia. Consuming iron-rich foods like pearl millet flour can help to reduce the potential risk of anemia while also naturally supplementing the body with iron and other vital nutrients.

  11. Rich in Folic Acid

    Folic acid, or vitamin B9, is a very crucial micronutrient that is needed to produce and maintain new cells in the body, especially RBCs. Additionally, folic acid is even known to prevent detrimental changes in our DNA, which, if left unmonitored, could even lead to the development of cancer! Hence, consuming foods with a healthy amount of folic acid, like bajra flour, may help to prevent such possibilities and boost your general well-being.

  12. Good for Bones

    Bajra is rich in phosphorus, which is a key micronutrient in maintaining bone health and supplementing bone density. Hence, older individuals, as well as growing children, will benefit greatly from the consumption of bajra flour.

  13. Good for Skin

    Did you know that zinc is fantastic for your skin? The application of zinc-acetate-based creams or lotions, or even the intake of zinc-rich foods like bajra flour, can help slow down the aging process, repair skin damage, and prevent the growth of acne and pimples.

  14. Good for Eyes

    As mentioned above, bajra flour is notably loaded with zinc, and zinc helps in the activity of certain enzymes in our bodies that help in the production of Vitamin-A, which is known to be beneficial for our eyes and helpful in preventing a condition known as night blindness.

  15. Increases Carbohydrate Metabolism

    As we know, bajra flour is rich in several essential vitamins and minerals. It is especially rich in Vitamin B1, which is crucial for enhancing the process of glucose metabolism. This process essentially is the breakdown of carbohydrates and their conversion into energy and sugar.

How to Use Bajra (Pearl Millet) Flour? 

Bajra can be inculcated into your diet in several different delicious formats! This versatile grain can be enjoyed at any point of the day as a part of any meal. Some innovative ways to incorporate bajra into your diet are given below.

  • Bajra Roti or Bhakri: Bajra flour is usually used to make Indian flatbreads like bajra roti or bhakri. All you have to do is mix pearl millet flour with water, salt, and other aromatics (optional) and form a dough. This dough is then rolled into flat discs and cooked/roasted on a griddle or tawa. 
  • Bajra Khichdi: You can create a delicious, tasty one-pot meal by combining bajra flour with rice, lentils, spices, and fresh veggies.

    Checkout our detailed blog on
    how to make bajra roti.

Rotimatic unlocks Bajra's potential: fluffy rotis, effortless prep and endless possibilities.

Learn More

  • Bajra Puri: You can even try deep-frying small discs of bajra flour dough to make crispy puris. They can be served with various accompaniments like curries, chutneys, or yogurt, and you can even substitute refined flour puris with your bajra puris to make mouth-watering chaats!
  • Bajra Laddoo: Give a sweet twist to your palate by combining bajra flour with jaggery, ghee, and nuts to make tasty and nutritious laddoos. These can be enjoyed as a healthy dessert or mid-day snack.
  • Bajra Cookies or Crackers: Why don't you try experimenting with baking by incorporating bajra flour into a cookie or cracker recipe? Add sweet or savory ingredients according to your preference, and explore new ways to incorporate pearl millet into your diet!

Bajra is an ancient grain that has been a part of our diets for decades. It’s deeply rooted in our regional and communal cuisines, and with a variety of health benefits, pearl millet is no less than a superfood! This cereal is one you should consider incorporating into your regular diet, and your health, as well as that of your loved ones, will benefit greatly from it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Is bajra suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease?

    Yes, pearl millet is a naturally gluten-free grain, which makes it a safe and nutritious option for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

  2. What are the benefits of bajra flour?

    Bajra flour is nutritious and a rich source of insoluble fiber, iron, magnesium, protein, and other fundamental supplements. It supports digestion, a healthy metabolism, and higher endurance and helps in keeping up with your general well-being.

  3. What are the advantages of bajra in your meals?

    Including pearl millet in your meals brings advantages like improved digestion, sustained energy levels, and enhanced nutrient absorption, contributing to a healthier lifestyle.

  4. How to make bajra roti?

    Making bajra roti from scratch is a simple process. First, make the dough by mixing bajra flour and salt and gradually adding a little water for the right firmness in your dough. Next, the dough is divided into smaller balls, which are then flattened into thin rotis by using a rolling pin or your clean hands. These rotis are then roasted on a griddle or tawa and can be enjoyed warm as a snack or an accompaniment to lentils or curries. 

    Alternatively, you can also use the Rotimatic to automate the bajra roti making process.

  5. Does bajra flour have gluten?

    Overall, consuming moderate amounts of bajra is considered safe for most people. Because it's a gluten-free grain, even people with celiac disease can have it as long as they feel confident there was no cross-contamination with other gluten-containing grains.