Think nutrition, and you cannot not talk about proso millet benefits. In India, millet has been an integral part of the diet for centuries. Having a rich nutrient profile, proso millet is an excellent protein, fiber, and magnesium source. Let’s explore some of the primary proso millet health benefits and the ways you can incorporate it into your diet.

For centuries, millets have been an integral part of Indian food sources. Millets are an excellent source of energy, protein, and several vitamins and minerals, each associated with numerous health benefits. Since millets are gluten-free, they are especially beneficial for people with gluten intolerance, diabetes and heart disease.

This article focuses on a popular millet- proso, also known as pani varagu in Tamil. Proso millet is a small seeded grain belonging to the Gramineae family, similar to sorghum and pearl millet.

Rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, proso millet is often considered a nutrient-dense powerhouse. So without any further ado, let’s delve into the proso millet benefits, cooking techniques and delicious recipes of this underappreciated cereal grain.

Per 100g of Proso Millet (Pani Varagu) Nutrition

Proso millet's high calcium and dietary fiber content sets it apart from many other popular bowls of cereals consumed in India. Being an incredible source of protein, magnesium, and zinc, it is a valuable addition to most diets.

Here are the primary proso millet nutritional values for your reference:

Nutrients Quantity (100g)
Calories 378 kcal
Carbohydrates 77g
Protein 12.5g
Fat 1.1g
Dietary fiber 8.50g
Calcium 14mg
Iron 0.8mg
Magnesium 8mg
Phosphorus 206mg
Potassium 195mg
Zinc 1.4mg

Health Benefits of Proso Millet

Proso millet benefits are unmatched due to its incredible nutrition profile. Here are some reasons why including proso millet in your diet can improve your health.

1. Diabetes control:

Proso millet has a low glycaemic index (52.7), meaning that it helps reduce the risk of spikes in blood sugar during digestion. This characteristic not only lowers the risk of developing diabetes but also provides a practical dietary strategy for those already diagnosed with the condition to manage their glucose levels more effectively.

2. Heart health:

Consuming proso millet can help raise levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) that remove cholesterol from your bloodstream. This is all thanks to the important compound phytic acid found in the millet. High HDL levels can help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

3. Gut/digestive health:

Proso millet consists of crude fiber and resistant starch, making it a probiotic. Thus, broomcorn millet or proso millet aids in treating digestive disorders and helps in regulating gut health.

4. Gluten-free:

Proso millet is gluten-free. This makes it an ideal source of nutrition for people suffering from gluten intolerance.

5. Maintains cholesterol levels:

Cholesterol maintenance requires high levels of lipoproteins and proso millet helps in raising the density of these lipoproteins in the body. Proso millet contains phytic acid—one of the main compounds in reducing the body's LDL (bad cholesterol).

6. Promotes protein biosynthesis:

Proso millet is a rich source of essential amino acids, such as methionine and cysteine. These amino acids play a crucial role in protein biosynthesis in the body, helping regulate protein levels and utilisation in the body. This is also one of the primary proso millet benefits.

How to Cook and Eat Proso Millets

Proso millet batter:

While it's amazing to know the versatility of proso millet as it can be cooked in several ways, it needs to be soaked for 6-8 hours before making a batter to dish out idlis, dosas, chilas, and khichdi.

Pani varaga dosa is quite a popular breakfast recipe in South India. A dab of a good source of healthy fat, like cold-pressed oil or ghee, typically enhances the flavour.

Proso millet flour:

The flour must be mixed with wheat or any other flour and kneaded into the dough to belt out some delicious chapatis. Proso millet can be mixed with other cereals as well to enhance their taste and nutrition at the same time. Essentially, it aids in maintaining a calorie balance and prevents excessive weight gain.

Delicious Proso Millets Recipes

Proso millet porridge:

Indulge your sweet tooth with this delicious, nutritious, easy-to-make porridge recipe that makes a great wholesome breakfast or snack. Simply soak the proso millets overnight, roast them and then jaggery, cinnamon powder and top it with 2 cups of water and simmer it till the millet softens.

Proso millet upma:

This tasty dish is packed with fiber and vitamins and makes for a great breakfast option or midday snack. To make this, first fry mustard seeds, urad dal in oil until brown, and then saute curry leaves, onions, chilis and ginger. Add veggies like carrots and peas and soaked millets, mix with water and boil until done.

Proso millet idlis:

Indulge in tasty idlis that are nutritious, gluten-free, and dairy-free! This recipe uses a fermented batter made from proso millet and split black gram dal, resulting in steamed rice-free cakes that are both healthy and delicious. Soak the millets, dal, and fenugreek seeds and grind to a smooth batter and allow it to ferment. Steam this batter in idli moulds for 10-12 minutes and serve with delicious coconut chutney.

You can also create delicious dishes using other millets like this delicious Ragi appam with chutney, Bajra pea paratha or Coconut jowar kadhi. Try them out today!


Incorporating proso millet into your diet is a good start for widening the scope of your nutrition sources and savouring new flavours that this millet brings to many dishes. Bear in mind, you don’t have to make a full switch to this grain. You can always start including it with other cereals like wheat, barley, and other millets like ragi and sorghum. With so many benefits that this millet brings, it’s no wonder this grain is slowly making a comeback on our plates. However, always ensure you consult with your healthcare professional for personalised advice as per your personal dietary requirements. Diversify your diet with proso millets for amazing health benefits and a deliciously varied meal. Try it out today!