Kambu (Bajra)- Nutrition, Benefits and Recipe

Kambu or Pearl millet in English (Pennisetum glaucum) is the most widely grown type of millet. It has been grown in Africa and the Indian subcontinent since prehistoric times. With ovoid grains of 3 – 4 mm, length pearl millet has the largest kernels of all varieties of millet.

Pearl millet is commonly used to make the flatbread bhakri. It is also boiled to make a Tamil porridge called kamban choru or “kamban koozh”.

Vernacular Names

  1. கம்பு (Kambu in Tamil);
  2. Kambam in Malayalam;
  3. બાજરી or બાજરો (Bajri or Bajro) in Gujarati;
  4. बाजरी (Bajri) in Rajasthani and Marathi,
  5. ಸಜ್ಜೆ / ಕಂಬು (Sajje/kambu) in Kannada;
  6. बाजरा (Bajra) in Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi;
  7. సజ్జలు (sajjalu) in Telugu;
  8. বাজরা (ba:jra: ) in Bengali.

Nutritional Value and Respective Benefits of Kambu

  • It is a high energy food which is packed with Iron. Kambu has 8 times Iron content higher than in Rice. The rich Iron content in Kambu aids in improving the hemoglobin level in the blood and prevents anemia.
  • It is also rich in fiber, protein, minerals such as magnesium, zinc, manganese, folic acid, amino acids, lecithin, potassium, B complex vitamins, and calcium. Niacin in B complex vitamins reduces cholesterol, phosphorus plays an important part in the structure of body cells and magnesium is essential for maintaining heart health. Potassium and Magnesium help to prevent blood pressure.
  • The phytonutrients in Kambu called lignin help to fight cancer and reduce the risk of cardiac arrests.
  • Eating Kambu regularly helps in the prevention of gallstones in women. The abundant source of insoluble fiber in Kambu increases the movement of food and decreases bile secretion that may result in gallstones. The rich concentration of fiber helps in the easy movement of food and prevents constipation.
  • As a therapeutic blessing from nature, Kambu plays a powerful role in controlling diabetes, the high insoluble fiber content aids digestion, right metabolism, reduces insulin resistance in the body, reduces the risk of diabetes in non- diabetic people, and helps in the regulation of blood sugar levels by the low glycemic index, millets detoxifies the body and improves immunity.
  • Pearl millets are naturally gluten-free loaded with proteins that minimize cardiovascular diseases.


Kambu Roti

Kambu is great millet for weight loss as it keeps your hunger pangs at bay and leaves you satiated. Instead of consuming processed foods, eating mineral-rich Kambu will give you tremendous health benefits. You can mix Bajra or Kambu flour with wheat flour and make chapattis as it helps in weight loss.


  • Pearl Millet Vermicelli – 2 cups
  • Ragi Flour – 2 cups
  • Salt – 1 Tsp
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp
  • Jaggery – 2 tbsp

Step by step method to prepare Kambu Roti

  • In a vessel, take Kambu vermicelli & Ragi flour and mix it with salt. Heat some water and pour gently to the flour and knead to make a soft dough.
  • Set the dough aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • Then heat Tawa and make balls of the dough, roll them out like chapatti and cook it on both sides till they turn brown.
  • Remove and apply ghee on both sides and serve hot with Jaggery. For those weight-conscious, can avoid ghee and eat the plain Kambu roti with any chutney.


References: Link1 | Link2 | Link3 

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