Seed – cooked. Used as a millet, the seed can be cooked whole or ground and used as a flour. It is used in cakes, puddings, porridge etc[1, 2, 46, 171, 183]. The flour makes a very fair unleavened bread if it is first soaked overnight in water. It is often used in making fermented foods. Finger millet is the main food grain for many peoples, especially in dry areas of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka[269, 272]. The grain is higher in protein, fat and minerals than rice, corn, or sorghum. When consumed as food it provides a sustaining diet, especially for people doing hard work. The grain may also be malted and a flour of the malted grain used as a nourishing food for infants and invalids. Finger millet is considered an especially wholesome food for diabetics. The seed is about 2mm in diameter. A nutritional analysis is available.
Seed yield is about 5 Tonnes per hectare. Ragi grain possesses excellent storage properties and is said to improve in quality with storage. Seed can be stored without damage for as long as 50 years. They are highly valued as a reserve food in times of famine. Yield depends on variety and is directly related to duration, height and tillering capacity of type grown. Types with straight spikes give better yields than those with curved spikes.