Amidst international diplomacy and the meeting of world economic powerhouses, a humble grain stood tall during the recent G20 summit in Delhi: millet. Pushed to the forefront of global attention by the Indian government, the spotlight shone brightly on millet’s potential not just as an environmentally friendly staple but as a versatile and delicious ingredient fit for world leaders.
Why Millet and Why Now?
India, holding the world record as the top millet producer, ironically observed the grain’s decline from its traditional culinary landscape. But why the sudden push to reintroduce millet on such a global scale?
- Eco-friendly: Millet requires minimal water, especially in comparison to other grains like rice. Its robust nature allows it to flourish in challenging environments, marking it as a sustainable agricultural choice.
- Global Health Trend: Following the trail of quinoa’s global success story, millet is being touted as the next “superfood”. Rich in nutrients and a potential game-changer for farmers’ profitability, the Indian government is eager to position millet as a food of the future.
G20: A Culinary Platform for Millet
To endorse millet’s diverse potential, a special luncheon showcased innovative dishes. World leaders savored millet leaves crisped to perfection, jackfruit galette accompanied by glazed mushrooms, and a delightful cardamom-infused barnyard millet pudding. It wasn’t just about food; an enriching farm-to-fork millet experience was also on the agenda for the G20 leaders’ spouses.
Delhi’s Hotels Join the Millet Renaissance
The capital’s top hotels were quick to embrace the millet initiative. With chefs experimenting and introducing millet variants of popular dishes – from pancakes and idli to international favorites like ravioli and pad thai – the grain was the star of many a gourmet dish. The intention was clear: showcase millet as a grain that, when seasoned right, can offer a mouthwatering culinary experience.
The Taj Palace went a step further, offering the Chinese premier a taste of tradition reimagined – khichdi, but with millet replacing rice. The positive response to these culinary experiments underscores the potential of millet’s mainstream resurgence in eateries worldwide.
The G20 summit in Delhi was more than just a political event. It was a stage where the culinary potential of millet was showcased and celebrated, setting the tone for what could be the next global food trend. As India champions millet, the world watches with bated breath and eager taste buds.