Kutki Rice and Hare Chane ka Saag

Gond farmers cook kutki in simple ways, the most common way being kutki rice, along with a vegetable preparation or dal. The tender shoots of green chickpeas, also called hare chane in Hindi, are harvested when the chickpea plant is young. The crop needs pruning in order to become more bushy and yield more pods.

Kutki bhat—cooked like rice in a double steamer—is paired during the season with hare chane ka saag.
Kutki (little millet) 1 cup (soaked overnight)
Water 2 cups
Salt To taste
Chane ka saag 250 grams
Garlic cloves 5-6
Ginger (chopped) 1 inch
Green chilli (finely chopped) 1
Cumin seeds ½ teaspoon
Asafoetida 1 pinch
Turmeric powder ½ teaspoon
Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder 1 teaspoon
Salt To taste
Oil 2 tablespoons

For the Kutki rice – A saucepan with a lid, and a fork.


For the Hare Chane ka Saag – A saucepan, stirring spoon, and a wok.


For the Kutki Rice

Remove excess water from the soaked kutki, and rinse the millet thoroughly under cold water.


In a saucepan, combine the rinsed kutki and water.


Add salt to taste.


Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.


Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer the mixture for about 15-20 minutes, or until the kutki is tender and all the water is absorbed.


Fluff the kutki with a fork and let it sit covered for five more minutes.


For the Hare Chane ka Saag

Clean the saag, and chop the leaves fine. Keep aside.



Turn the gas on medium heat. Add one cup of water to a  saucepan and let it start to bubble.


Add the chopped saag to the heated water. Cook on a low flame till the saag is tender, almost mushy.


Remove from heat and set aside.


Heat oil in a wok. Once it is hot enough, add asafoetida and cumin seeds.


When the seeds start to splutter, add the chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and coriander powder. Cook for a minute.


Add the cooked saag to this. Season with salt and cook for about two more minutes until heated through.


Serve warm kutki rice with the hare chane ki bhaji.


Tender leaves of vegetables like spinach or mustard greens can also be used to make the saag.

During Shirin Mehrotra’s visit to Chhindwara district in Madhya Pradesh, she came across many ways that the Gond people consume kutki, or little millet. She shares one of these recipes here, as told to her by a farmer she met, Fakir Chand Uikey. Read Shirin’s story on kutki rice here.

Fakir Chand Uikey is a 60-year-old farmer from Bandhi village, Chhindwara district, Madhya Pradesh. He grows millets, wheat, and maize on his farm. He also rears cows and goats, and his two oxen, that help him with tilling his land.


Shirin Mehrotra is an independent writer and researcher who writes about the intersection of food, culture and communities with a special interest in urban foodscapes and migration. Her work has appeared in Whetstone Magazine, The Juggernaut, Feminist Food Journal, HT Brunch among others.

Leave a Reply