Shivani Singh Rana & Dr. Amina Anisha Ekka 
Indira Gandhi KrishiVishwavidyalaya, Raipur (C.G.)

Minor millets, a group of small-seeded grains, are known for their impressive nutrient profilesand often goes unnoticed among the plethora of grains available today. These grains include species like finger millets, foxtail millets, little millets, kodomillets, and proso millets. However, it is garnering increasing attention for its impressive nutritional profile, versatility in cooking, and sustainability. This comprehensive review delves into the multifaceted aspects of Minor millets, exploring its nutritional benefits, culinary applications, environmental impact, and cultural significance. By the end of this review, you will gain a deep appreciation for this unassuming yet remarkable grain.

Minor millets, is staple in the diets of many cultures for centuries, has been somewhat overshadowed by more popular grains like rice, wheat, and corn in recent times. However, its nutritional richness, adaptability in various culinary traditions, and environmental sustainability are making it a rising star in the world of grains. In this review, we aim to shed light on the multifaceted attributes of Minor millets, discussing its nutritional value, culinary versatility, environmental impact, and cultural importance.

Easy to Grow and Sustainable:
Minor millet’s growth and cultivation present a compelling case for sustainability. It's a hardy crop, requiring minimal water compared to other grains, which is especially crucial in regions plagued by water scarcity. Its short growing cycle and tolerance to diverse environmental conditions make it an attractive option for farmers.

However, one drawback of Minor millet is relatively lower yield per unit of land compared to other staple grains, like wheat or rice. This fact poses a challenge when considering its potential as a major food crop on a global scale. Nonetheless, it remains a sustainable choice for regions facing water and environmental constraints.

Cultural Significance: 
In various parts of the world, Minor millets holds a deep-rooted cultural significance. It has been a dietary staple in many African and Asian countries for generations. In these regions, it's not just a source of sustenance but also a symbol of tradition and identity.

Conversely, in Western countries, Minor millets remains relatively unknown and underutilized. This cultural divide in awareness and usage may limit its global recognition and adoption. Encouraging its incorporation into Western diets would not only diversify meal options but also contribute to the preservation of this ancient grain's cultural heritage.

Nutritional Value:
Minor millets are powerhouse of nutrients, boasting an array of health benefits. One of its standout features is that it is naturally gluten-free, which is a boon for individuals with gluten sensitivities. Minor millets is rich in essential vitamins, particularly B vitamins, and vital minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus. Additionally, it offers a respectable amount of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness.

What sets Minor millets apart is its protein content, making it a valuable option for vegetarians and vegans. While it may not rival quinoa in protein density, it's a commendable source of plant-based protein. Minor millets also contains antioxidants that combat oxidative stress, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Table summarizing the nutrient value of some common minor Minor millets:

Nutrient Component

Finger millets

Foxtail millets

Little millets



Carbohydrates (per 100g)






Protein (per 100g)






Dietary Fiber (per 100g)






Calcium (per 100g)

344 mg

31 mg

17 mg

27 mg

9 mg

Iron (per 100g)

3.9 mg

2.8 mg

9.3 mg

0.5 mg

1.6 mg

Magnesium (per 100g)

137 mg

76 mg

110 mg

37 mg

37 mg

Phosphorus (per 100g)

283 mg

290 mg

246 mg

287 mg

271 mg

Vitamin B3 (per 100g)

0.6 mg

3.5 mg

2.8 mg

1.3 mg

2.3 mg

Vitamin B6 (per 100g)

0.07 mg

0.05 mg

0.09 mg

0.13 mg

0.07 mg

Glycemic Index


















*The values presented in the table are approximate and can vary based on factors such as growing conditions and processing methods. These minor millets are excellent choices for those looking to incorporate nutrient-rich grains into their diet while catering to specific dietary needs, such as gluten-free or low glycemic index diets.Top of Form

Versatility in Cooking:Minor millet's versatility in the kitchen is truly remarkable. Its neutral flavor profile allows it to adapt to various culinary applications, making it an ideal substitute for rice or other grains in numerous dishes. This grain can be transformed into delightful dishes, from hearty pilafs to creamy porridge, from crispy flatbreads to delectable desserts.

Minor millet's capacity to absorb the flavors of other ingredients while maintaining its texture and integrity during cooking makes it a favorite among chefs. This adaptability makes it an exceptional ingredient for global cuisines, as it can seamlessly integrate into diverse dishes from Italian risotto to Indian biryani.

In summary, Minor millets are grain deserving of its moment in the spotlight. Its impressive nutritional value, adaptability in cooking, and sustainability make it an excellent choice for consumers and farmers alike. While it may not have the global recognition of other grains, it offers a treasure trove of benefits, from its gluten-free nature to its potential in addressing environmental challenges in agriculture. Minor millet's strengths lie in its nutritional richness, culinary flexibility, and sustainability. While it might lack universal recognition and face some challenges in terms of yield, it stands as a grain with immense potential in enhancing both individual diets and global food systems. By embracing Minor millets, we can embark on a journey of culinary exploration, nourishment, and environmental responsibility.