Thinai (Foxtail Millet)- Nutrition, Benefits and Recipe

Thinai or Foxtail millet, scientific name Setaria italica (synonym Panicum italicum L.) is an annual grass grown for human food. It is the second-most widely planted species of millet and the most grown millet species in Asia. Foxtail millet has also been grown in India since antiquity. The gruel made from millet, the staple of Ancient Tamils, is called kali, moddak kali, kuul, or sangati. It has been a staple diet among people for a long time from the Sangam period. It is referred to often in old Tamil texts and is commonly associated with Lord Muruga and his consort Valli.

Vernacular Names

  • Bengali: কাওন দানা (kaon dana)
  • Kannada: ನವಣೆ (navane) or ನವಣಕ್ಕಿ (navanakki)
  • Sanskrit: प्रियङ्गुः (priyangu) or कङ्गुः (kangu)[6]
  • Telugu: కొర్రలు (korralu or korra)[7]
  • Hindi: कांगणी (Kangni)
  • Punjabi: ਕਂਗਣੀ/کنگنی‎ (Kangni)
  • Gujarati: kang
  • Marathi: kang or rala (राळं)
  • Sinhala: thana haal
  • Tamil: தினை (thinai),இறடி,ஏனல்,கங்கு, kavalai, or kambankorai; nuvanam (millet flour).


100 grams of Foxtail millet contains 12 g of moisture, 351 calories, 11.2 g of protein, 4 g of total fat, 63.2 g of carbohydrate, and 6.7 g of crude fiber. It grants 803 g of isoleucine, 1764 g of leucine, 103 g of tryptophan, 328 g of threonine, 233 g of lysine, 0.6 mg of thiamin, 63.2 g of carbohydrate, 2.8 mg of iron, 11.2 mg of protein, 3.2 mg of niacin, 4 g of lipid fat, 0.1 mg of riboflavin and 31 mg of calcium.

health Benefits of Thinai


Due to the presence of lycine and methionine (amino acids) present in foxtail millets, they help in the formation of collagen which helps in slowing the appearance of wrinkles.

2. Boosts Energy

Thinai is a rich source of phosphorus which is an important mineral for energy production and is an essential component of ATP- an energy store in our body.

3. Fights With Diabetes

Foxtail Millets has a low glycemic index and is a fantastic substitute for food and other grains. It increases the blood sugar levels slowly as energy is produced to perform functional activities.

4. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer

Add fiber to your food slowly and take plenty of water. This is an important tip for every woman. In India, one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every four minutes and one woman with breast cancer dies every 13 minutes.

5. Boost Brain Development And IQ

Iron is directly associated with brain functions. It supplies oxygen to the brain as it uses 20% of the brain oxygen. The sufficient amount of blood received by the brain helps to promote cognitive functions and prevents Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

6. Aids Digestion

It also contains prebiotic which helps to increase the good bacteria in our gut system and aids digestion.


  • The sensitive people might get allergic reactions so they should avoid it.
  • It should be consumed in limited amounts.


Who doesn’t like dosa? In our day to day life, idly or dosa comes in handy as tiffin. Here is the recipe to make Thinai Dosa

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 cup of thinai
  • 1/2 cup each of moong chilka, channa, urad dhuli dal
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 tsp of Fenugreek seeds
  • Oil needed
  • Salt and green chilies to taste.

Steps to do:

  1. Soak foxtail millet rice and all the dal given in the ingredients list for 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Add fenugreek seeds also while soaking.
  3. Grind all the items separately and pour the batter in a bowl, add salt and leave for some time for the batter to get fermented.
  4. Now, add oil to the tower pan and spread it like a dosa. Cook until it gets brown.
  5. Serve it with coconut chutney or tomato sauce.
  6. Your easy delicious thinai dosa is ready!

References: Link1 | Link2 | Link3 

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