Kodo Millet

Botanical Information

Botanical Name: Paspalum scrobiculatum

Common Name: Kodo Millet

Family: Poaceae (Grass family)

Origin: Kodo Millet was domesticated in India and is also grown in African countries.

Nutritional Information

Kodo Millet is a nutritious grain with the following approximate nutritional composition per 100 grams:

Energy: 353 calories

Carbohydrates: 65 grams

Protein: 8 grams

Fat: 2 grams

Dietary Fiber: 9 grams


Calcium: 34 mg

Iron: 1.7 mg

Magnesium: 85 mg

Phosphorus: 283 mg

Potassium: 281 mg

Zinc: 1.2 mg

Copper: 0.4 mg


Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 0.26 mg

Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 1.1 mg

Vitamin B6: 0.4 mg

Folate: 25 mcg


The term “kodo millet” originates from India, where the grain has been cultivated for centuries. The etymology of “kodo” is derived from the Hindi language, specifically from the word “kodon” or “kodo,” which refers to this particular millet species. In India, various local languages have their own names for kodo millet, such as “kodra” in Hindi, “varagu” in Tamil, “arikalu” in Telugu, and “kodo” in Marathi.

The word “millet” itself is derived from the Latin term “milium,” which means “millet” or “grain.” Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses cultivated as staple food crops in many parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, and parts of Europe and America. Each millet variety has its own specific name, and “kodo millet” refers to the specific species Paspalum scrobiculatum.

In summary, the term “kodo millet” combines the Hindi word “kodo” with the general term “millet” to refer to the specific millet species Paspalum scrobiculatum that has been cultivated in India for centuries.

Kodo Millet is believed to have been domesticated in India around 3000 years ago. It is native to India and cultivated in other parts of South Asia and Africa. The plant thrives in humid tropical and subtropical regions.

Kodo Millet holds historical significance in India and has been an important grain crop for centuries. It has been traditionally cultivated in various regions, particularly in the Deccan plateau of India, where it is known by different regional names such as Kodra, Harka, Arikelu, Varagu, and Arka.

In India, Kodo Millet has been used as a staple food by indigenous communities and rural populations, especially in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu. It has been an essential part of the local cuisines and dietary practices in these regions.

Throughout history, millets, including Kodo Millet, played a vital role in Indian agriculture and food security. These resilient and drought-tolerant crops provided sustenance to communities in areas with erratic rainfall and challenging growing conditions.

There has been a renewed interest in millets in recent years due to their nutritional benefits, climate resilience, and sustainable farming practices. Kodo Millet, along with other millet varieties, is gaining recognition as a nutritious and environmentally friendly alternative to other staple grains.

Today, Kodo Millet is cultivated not only in India but also in other parts of the world, including Africa and some regions of Southeast Asia. It is valued for its nutritional content, gluten-free nature, and suitability for sustainable farming practices.

  • Rich in Nutrients: Kodo Millet is a nutrient-dense grain. It contains essential vitamins such as vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin B6, which are important for energy production, brain function, and overall health. It also provides minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, which are necessary for various bodily functions.
  • High in Dietary Fiber: Kodo Millet is a good source of dietary fiber, including both soluble and insoluble fibers. Fiber promotes healthy digestion, aids in weight management by providing a feeling of fullness, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. It also supports bowel regularity and may contribute to a healthy gut microbiome.
  • Gluten-Free Grain: Kodo Millet is naturally gluten-free, making it a suitable grain for individuals with gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity. It can be used as an alternative to gluten-containing grains for those following a gluten-free diet.
  • Low Glycemic Index: Kodo Millet has a low glycemic index, which means it causes a slower and steadier rise in blood sugar levels compared to high-glycemic foods. This property makes it beneficial for managing blood sugar levels, especially for individuals with diabetes or those aiming to prevent blood sugar spikes.
  • Potential Weight Management Aid: With its high fiber content and relatively low-calorie density, Kodo Millet can contribute to healthy weight management. The fiber helps promote satiety, reducing overeating, and aiding in weight control.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Kodo Millet contains natural antioxidants that help protect against oxidative stress and cellular damage caused by harmful free radicals. Antioxidants contribute to overall health and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Look for Quality: Choose whole, unbroken grains of Kodo Millet. Ensure there are no signs of moisture, insect damage, or mold.
  • Check for Freshness: Opt for recently harvested millet whenever possible. Fresher grains are more likely to retain their nutritional value.
  • Packaging: If purchasing pre-packaged millet, check the packaging for any damage or signs of tampering. Ensure that the package is sealed properly.
  • Dry and Cool Environment: Store Kodo Millet in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place. Excess moisture can lead to spoilage or the growth of molds and insects. Avoid storing it near sources of heat or in areas exposed to sunlight.
  • Protection from Pests: To prevent infestation, you can add neem leaves or bay leaves to the container as a natural deterrent against insects. Alternatively, store millet in a clean container and consider placing it in the refrigerator or freezer for long-term storage.
  • Use Within Timeframe: While Kodo Millet has a relatively long shelf life, it is advisable to use it within 6-12 months of purchase for optimal freshness and flavor.
  • Regular Inspections: Periodically check stored millet for any signs of moisture, mold, or pest infestation. Discard any grains that appear damaged or spoiled.
  • Proper Handling: When using Kodo Millet, ensure that you scoop out the desired amount with clean and dry utensils to prevent introducing moisture or contaminants into the storage container.

Kodo Millet Recipes


1 cup Kodo Millet

1 tablespoon oil or ghee

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 green chili, chopped

1/2 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, beans, etc.), chopped

Curry leaves

Salt to taste

Water for cooking


  • Rinse the Kodo Millet thoroughly and soak it in water for about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat oil or ghee in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add cumin seeds, chopped onion, green chili, and curry leaves. Sauté until the onion turns translucent.
  • Add the mixed vegetables and cook for a few minutes until they are slightly tender.
  • Add the soaked and drained Kodo Millet to the pan and mix well with the vegetables.
  • Add water in a 1:2 ratio of millet to water. For 1 cup of Kodo Millet, add 2 cups of water and season with salt.
  • Cover the pan and let it cook on low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until the millet is cooked and water is absorbed.
  • Once done, fluff the upma with a fork and serve hot. You can garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.


1 cup Kodo Millet

1/2 cup split yellow moong dal (lentils)

1 tablespoon ghee or oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 green chili, chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)

Salt to taste

Water for cooking

Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  • Rinse the Kodo Millet and moong dal separately and soak them in water for about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat ghee or oil in a pressure cooker or a deep pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add grated ginger, green chili, and chopped onion. Sauté until the onion turns golden brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn soft and mushy.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder (if using), and salt. Mix well.
  • Add the soaked and drained Kodo Millet and moong dal to the cooker or pan. Mix well with the spices and vegetables.
  • Add water in a 1:3 ratio of millet-dal mixture to the water. For 1 cup of mixture, add 3 cups of water.
  • Cover the pressure cooker or pan and cook on medium heat for 3-4 whistles in the pressure cooker or simmer until the millet and dal are cooked and soft (around 20-25 minutes if cooking in a pan).
  • Once cooked, let the pressure release naturally before opening the cooker.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot. You can enjoy Kodo Millet Khichdi with yogurt or pickle.

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