Kambu | Bajra | Sajjalu | Pearl Millet Uses and Health Benefits

Kambu | Bajra | Sajjalu Uses and Health Benefits:

Pearl millet commonly known as Bajra is one of the most ancient robust grasses used since our ancestral times. It is gaining wide popularity among the current generation folks as it is known to have a high fibre content making it healthier, even to the extent of it being included in the regular diet.

It is believed that this wonder millet originated in the African continent and was later introduced in our country. It is one of the most widely cultivated types of millet in India as it can easily flourish in extreme climatic conditions such as drought, high temperatures or even low fertile soil. 

Pearl Millet is called as Bajra in Hindi and Kambu in Tamil. I am sure you might be interested in knowing different names of Kambu in your regional languages as well.

ICRISAT has identified Kambu genotypes with yellow endosperm rich in beta-carotene which is the main dietary source of provitamin A. Hence it could help alleviate deficiency in vitamin A which is a major cause of blindness in developing countries.

And another important benefit is that, it is an ingredient that is easily digestible and hence, there are very low chances of one experiencing any form of allergic reaction after consumption.

Names of Kambu | Bajra | Sajjalu in different Indian Languages:

English - Pearl Millet
Tamil - Kambu
Hindi - Bajra
Telugu - Sajjalu
Kannada - Sajje
Malayalam - Kambam
Biological Name: Pennisetum glaucum

Scientific Facts about Kambu | Bajra | Sajjalu:

Habitat: Sandy soils that have good drainage pathways.

Attractive Feature: This millet can be as creamy as mashed potatoes or can be as fluffy as normal rice. Moreover, it is a life saviour to all those people who are intolerant to gluten!


Class: Equisetopsida, Subclass: Magnoliidae, Superorder: Lilianae Order: Poales Family: PoaceaeGenusPennisetum.

Kambu | Bajra | Sajjalu Nutritional Value:

Here is the nutritional value of Kambu or Bajra or Sajjalu per 100 grams. Reference - Wiki.

Protein - 10.6 grams
Fiber - 1.3 grams
Minerals - 2.3 grams
Iron - 16.9 grams
Calcium - 38 grams

Kambu is an excellent source of starch, protein and fibre. The amino acids present in Bajra are easily digestible as compared to the acids found in wheat.

Essential nutrients include -
  • Amino acid such as methionine,
  • Vitamins such as niacin, thiamine and riboflavin,
  • Folic acid
  • Potassium, Magnesium and Zinc
  • Phosphorous
  • Calcium
  • Sodium
  • Bajra also contains lignin, a phytonutrient.

Health Benefits of Sajjalu | Kambu | Bajra for Anemia:

Effective against the treatment of anaemia as it increases the haemoglobin level due to high amounts of iron and zinc content.

Bajra is known to have many medical properties when consumed in the morning hours in the form of bread added with honey. It is found to extremely effective in treating bleeding piles, insomnia, impotency and epilepsy.

Health Benefits of Sajjalu | Kambu | Bajra For Weight Loss:

Kambu is very good for weight loss. It is one of the best food for all those folks who likes to lose their weight. As pearl millet is a high fibre content food that results in a feeling of tummy fullness that lasts for a long period of time. Include Kambu in your diet and you can see visible result in your weight loss journey.

Health Benefits of Sajjalu | Kambu | Bajra For Constipation and Diarrhoea:

The high fibre content is known to help people suffering from constipation problems.
An effective probiotic that has lactic acid bacteria that is highly beneficial to treat problems such as diarrhoea.

Kambu | Bajra | Sajjalu | Pearl Millet Uses For Heart, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Problems:

The probability of heart attacks and high blood pressures is greatly reduced when this millet is included in the regular diet as it contains magnesium that is needed to maintain a good heart rate.
Phosphorus is an important component that is found in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is an important component of the nucleic acids, the building blocks of the genetic code in the human body. Phosphorous is also essential for the nervous system structures and cell membranes in the human body.

Folks dealing with high cholesterol content can consume this millet as it has niacin component that works to reduce the cholesterol levels in the body.

Health Benefits of Sajjalu | Kambu | Bajra For Women:

Regular intake of Kambu or Bajra is known to prevent the formation of gallstones in women folks.
It also reduces the possibility of breast cancer in premenopausal women.

Health Benefits of Sajjalu | Kambu | Bajra For Babies and Children:

In children, regular consumption is known to reduce the occurrence of wheezing and asthma. You can include Kambu in the Kanji you make for your babies. 

Health Benefits of Sajjalu | Kambu | Bajra For Diabetes:

Kambu is very good for diabetes. Kambu or Bajra helps in minimising the occurrence of type 2 diabetes as this millet containing magnesium which plays a vital role in many of the enzymatic reactions that take place in the human body.

Diabetic patients can include Kambu in their diet. Kambu Dosai with chutney can be a simple yet tasty combination for diabetic patients.

Few more interesting benefits of Kambu or Bajra Or Sajjalu:

  • Kambu generates heat in your body. Hence it is good to have in winter. If you are having it in summer, add buttermilk, curd or milk along with Bajra to compensate the heat generated.
  • Kambu koozh is one of the best dishes you can have with Pearl Millet. You can make your Kambu Koozh easily. Mix required Bajra flour in a mixing bowl. Add water and mix thoroughly to avoid lumps. Heat it till the bajra is cooked. Remove from heat and allow it to cool down. Add curd when you are ready to eat. You can add salt or sugar as your wish. You can temper mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and green chillies in one teaspoon of oil and add the tempered items with the Kambu koozh for a better taste. Garnish with coriander leaves. The best ever Kambu koozh is ready to serve.
  • Kambu is very good pregnant mothers. It is rich in calcium and iron and hence it one of the best food a pregnant woman can have. It is good for your baby also. Pregnant women who have gestational diabetes can include Kambu in their diet.
  • Kambu is very good for babies and kids as it has lot of nutritional values. As it is rich in fiber, calcium and iron, try to include Kambu at least twice in a week in their diet. Kambu kanji is very good for babies. Start with 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp bajra flour boiled with milk initially. Then slowly increase the quantity. 
  • Kambu is gluten free. People with are intolerant to gluten can replace their gluten food with Bajra easily.

    Where to buy Kambu | Bajra | Sajjalu?

    Found in the grains section in most of the supermarkets, it is available in either pre-packaged form or in bulk containers. 

    Ensure that you check for moistness or dampness during your purchase and while buying in bulk check that the bins are covered to guarantee maximum freshness. 

    How to store Kambu | Bajra | Sajjalu at home?

    Store it in an air-tight container in a cool, dark and dry place.

    Interesting Kambu Recipes that you can make easily with Kambu are

    • Kambu Koozh
    • Kambu Dosai
    • Kambu adai
    • Kambu Sadam
    • Kambu Puttu
    • Kambu Pongal
    • Kambu Sweet Pongal
    • Kambu Kanji
    • Kambu Chapathi

    Kambu Adai - Bajra Adai recipe

    Hope you liked the health benefits of Kambu | Bajra | Sajjalu | Pearl Millet. Please share with us if you want to add any more benefits here.

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