Barnyard millet has been mentioned in ancient literature of India. It has been cultivated in China for more than 2000 years. Barnyard millet is grown in India, China, Japan, Malaysia and East Indies. In India it is grown in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Bihar. Barnyard millet is called Shyama in Bengali, Moraiyo in Gujarati, Sanwa in Hindi, Oodalu in Kannada, Kuthiraivali in Tamil and Undalu in Telugu.
The millet is tiny, white, round grain, bigger in size than semolina (rawa) and smaller than sago (sabudana). It is nature’s gift to the modern diet and sedentary activities that can lead to lifestyle disorders. It is low in calories, rich in fiber – this helps in preventing constipation, excess gas, bloating and cramping it has a low glycemic Index and can be recommended for patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It is gluten-free and a good source of iron.