Come join the Millet Revival Project 2023 with The Locavore & Rainmatter Foundation!

Hello all! Let me start by saying I’m really excited to be a part of this Grove community!

My name is Thomas Zacharias and I’m the Chef and Founder of The Locavore. While I’ve spent the better part of my life cooking professionally (I was the head chef founding partner of The Bombay Canteen, O Pedro and Bombay Sweet Shop in Mumbai, a company I was a part of for 6.5 years before I left completely in December 2020), my culinary travels across India have made me aware of the stark disconnects between what we eat and where it comes from, who grows it, what goes into it, and all the people, stories and challenges in between. All of this and more led me to launch The Locavore in April 2022.

At its heart, The Locavore is a social impact platform that is trying to build a local food movement in India through storytelling, partnerships, collaborations, events, projects and more. You can find more about us here.

As you all probably know by now, 2023 has been recognised as the International Year of Millets (IYOM) by the United Nations based on a proposal by the Indian government. Now millets are relevant to the climate change conversation for many reasons-- they are climate smart, require very little water to grow, can grow in arid climates, do not need a lot of soil nutrition or care, and are extremely resilient in adverse climatic conditions. Couple that with the fact that they are highly nutritious and you have yourselves a silent winner, a gold mine of an ingredient category which is hardly explored by modern Indians. As a chef, what excites me particularly is that millets are also very versatile as an ingredient (think soups, salads, stir fries, pulaos, stews, desserts the works!) and can be really delicious if prepared right. But millets have largely been forgotten from our plates and diets, and replaced by just a few varieties of rice and wheat which are extremely resource intensive.

Which brings me to the Millet Revival Project. As of this year, The Locavore in association with the Rainmatter Foundation is taking on the ambitious task of getting millets back into everyone’s minds and plates through the Millet Revival Project 2023. We have a lot planned already and we’ve kickstarted our efforts, which you can read more about here.

Looking forward to this exciting project, and potentially bringing some (or all) of you into the conversation too!


Hi all,

I am Takshama, and I head Projects & Partnerships at The Locavore.

We are very excited to explore the millet landscape in India this year and bring together different stakeholders to create a deeper understanding of the why behind consuming millets, while also facilitating how to do so, in a fun and accessible manner.

You can reach out to me for any ideas, thoughts, or more. We also have an exciting event lined up, and will be sharing more details about it soon!


Hi all,

Please find attached the updates for February 2023.

Millet Revival Project_Master Project Planning - February 2023 Report.pdf (41.9 KB)

Below are also some thoughts for the month -

  • We are overwhelmed by the support that the project has received. Our website page has received over 5200 views, and over 130 people have signed up to volunteer for the project. We have 3 new knowledge partners, and several collaborations and leads for the month of March.

  • Leads and planned initiatives for March are mentioned in the report, and it is critical for us to streamline information and potential collabs in the coming months and schedule them.

  • Our focus for this and the following week is to shortlist Cooking Lab as well as Climate & Policy Lab Volunteers based on their submissions on Monday, 6 March and share the plan for the Climate & Policy Lab.

  • We also hope to meet the Rainmatter Team at The #LocavoreMeetup - Let’s Talk About Millets! on March 12, at KMC* Mumbai.


Thanks, Takshama!

There’s so much buzz around millets right now, and it struck us at The Locavore that whenever millets are being discussed, the term ‘revival’ invariably shows up as well. We wanted to step back, and have a clearer understanding of this – that if we once ate millets as part of our traditional diets in India, where did it disappear to in the first place?

This forms the crux of Arathi Menon’s piece, which touches on how millets were once part of adivasi cuisine, the reliance on PDS (Public Distribution System), Green Revolution, and also how the saving of seeds was being done in silos by farmers: The Return of the Forgotten Millet - The Locavore

Arathi felt like a good choice not just because she’s an experienced journalist, but also because she’s got a serious interest in issues related to the environment and the climate crisis. And her piece on millets, or the return of millets, feels like the perfect introductory piece for The Millet Revival Project.


Hi all,

Please find attached the updates for March 2023.

Millet Revival Project_March 2023.pdf (47.0 KB)

Below are also some thoughts for the month -

  1. The Locavore Meetup in Mumbai - Let’s Talk About Millets! - felt like a great way to kickstart the project with a wider community. We had -
  • Marisha speak about Rainmatter’s purpose and vision
  • Minhaj Ameen speak about Why Millets Are Relevant in 21st-Century India
  • Our #TLpartners, OOO Farms speak about stories from the field, and Tillage talk about their focus on millets.
  • A Millet Beer tasting with Great State Aleworks.
  • #TLShuffle - to get everyone talking about all things millets.
  • Millet Pizzas from Hundo Pizza.
  • An extensive menu put together by our Chef Volunteers - right from Ragi Granola Pudding to Bajri Methi Gota, Foxtail Millet Chicken Biryani, Bhaidku (Bajra, Sorghum, Little Millet & Barnyard Millet), and a lot more!

  1. We took the project to Shillong and held a two-day event with NESFAS on “Celebration of Millet - An Indigenous Peoples Heritage of Meghalaya”. It was an opportunity to bring together millet growers and local chefs to address gaps in production and consumption. You can see our journey through the presentation and video attached, as well as have a look at the menu everyone put together in a short span of two days.

Celebration of Millet - An Indigenous Peoples Heritage of Meghalaya.pdf (3.8 MB)

While it’s been a busy month, we are excited to further focus on the climate messaging and making millets tasty and exciting again through our Climate & Policy Lab, as well as Cooking Lab over the next few months!

1 Like

The Locavore cordially invites you to a thought-provoking edition of our renowned #BeyondThePlate series, titled “Charting The Future of Millets.”

This dynamic session aims to explore the crucial role of millets in addressing climate change, the profound impact of dietary shifts on nutrition, the urgent need for policy changes, and their effects on farmers and cherished culinary traditions.

Prepare yourself for a stimulating conversation as we curate insightful keynote speeches and discussions by esteemed experts, including:

  • Dr. Oliver King from M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation
  • Shailesh Awate from OOO Farms
  • Dr. A. Amarender Reddy from ICAR
  • Dinesh Kalyani from Earth 360
  • Jestin Pauls from Aadhimalai

Through these keynote speeches and engaging breakout rooms, we aim to foster discussions between participants and experts, focusing on three key themes: Policy, Food Traditions & Nutrition, and Agroecology & Climate Change.

This initiative is part of our Millet Revival Project, carried out in collaboration with the Rainmatter Foundation. The project is led by the detailed research conducted at our Millet Climate & Policy Lab.

To secure your place at this free event, kindly fill this form:

Event Details
Date: Wednesday, 24th May
Time: 5:00 to 6:30 PM
Venue: Google Meet (Online)

We eagerly anticipate your presence at this interactive discussion around the impact of millets in our society.

Team Locavore

1 Like

Are you someone who struggles with cooking millets? Do you have FOMO from seeing everyone else cooking with millets, when you haven’t even gotten started?

Well, our upcoming #TLworkshop has you covered!

We’re thrilled to be hosting a fun, insightful (and free!) Millet Cooking Workshop , where you’ll get the chance to discover these ancient, nutrient-rich grains, and their potential as a staple ingredient that can be used in everyday dishes and meals in your own home.

Our host for this workshop is the talented Millet Coach Shalini Rajani, from Crazy Kadchi. Shalin is a seasoned recipe developer and trainer with extensive experience in millet-based cooking, and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to learn from her!

During this workshop, you’ll understand how to introduce millets into your kitchen, and deep-dive into a host of subjects from essential techniques and the right treatment of these grains, to innovative flavor combinations.

Shalini has also exclusively crafted four easy and delicious millet-based recipes to share with you in this workshop, featuring Millet Buddha Bowl, Millet Tacos, Millet Kebabs, as well as a vegan dessert called Millet Ambali Parfait!

What else, you ask? As a participant in this workshop, you’ll also receive a detailed digital booklet of millet-based recipes, to help you continue your millet culinary adventures after the gathering!

Remember to save the date — Saturday, 27th May, from 11 AM to 1 PM. This session will be conducted entirely online, via Google Meet, so anyone from anywhere is welcome to join.

This workshop is completely free, but we’re only taking a limited number of attendees, so secure your spot quickly by filling out the ‘Millet Cooking Workshop’ form - Millet Cooking Workshop with Shalini Rajani

This workshop is part of our ongoing Millet Revival Project in collaboration with Rainmatter Foundation (@RainmatterOrg).


Hi all!

For those of you who couldn’t make it to the Millet Cooking Workshop conducted by Chef Shalini Rajani on Saturday, we have attached a recipe booklet here. It contains all the recipes that Chef Shalini shared during the workshop. We encourage you to browse through the recipe booklet, select your favourite recipes, and try them out in your own kitchen.

Millets offer a wide range of flavours and nutritional benefits, and we believe you will have a delightful culinary experience experimenting with these versatile grains. Feel free to email your images/videos at [email protected] or share them on social media with us at

If you have any feedback or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you.

Millet Cooking Workshop - Recipes by Shalini Rajani.pdf (6.8 MB)


Bombay, save your calendars for the last Sunday of the Summer!

A very special collaboration that’s been brewing over the past few months between Great State Aleworks and The Locavore is finally coming to life & we will be celebrating at the FIRST EVER Millet Tap Takeover. We promise for it to be an unforgettable evening exploring millets through the medium of beer, food & conversation, at our favourite bar, Bonobo in Mumbai!

This exciting event will not only bring together all five of Great State’s limited edition Millet Beers under one roof, but as a special treat, we will be launching Great State Aleworks’ sixth millet beer in collaboration with The Locavore called Salt of the Earth.

We also have a lineup of fun, interactive, and geek-out sessions like -
4:00 to 5:00 pm - Behind The Label Art
5:00 to 6:00 pm - Brewing with Millets 101: Handbook Release
7:30 to 8:30 pm - Millet Pub Quiz

RSVP here to sign up for one of them -

So save the date — Sunday, June 4th 2023, 4 PM onwards, at Bonobo, Mumbai. We will be waiting with crisp beers and a mmmm-millet-menu for the last summer weekend of the year!

1 Like

thanks a bunch for sharing the recipe book. This will come in very handy. I look forward to sharing my food pix on IG & tagging thelocavore… :smiling_face:

1 Like

Here’s some more millet recipes for those who are looking to cook up a storm in the kicthen


1 Like

Interesting, thanks for sharing. Good to learn that the Godrej folks are interested in millets!

1 Like

Thank you for sharing!

As we kickstart a new week, we would like to share an article published on The Locavore that sheds light on millet growers’ perspectives on the country-wide efforts to revive millets.

Let us know what you think!


so interesting to learn the millet-jhum connection. and all the lovely Khasi words for the different types of millets - krai = millet!


Hi all,

Please find below the updates for May 2023!

A few highlights from this month include -

  • Beyond The Plate: Charting The Future of Millets

Beyond The Plate is a series from The Locavore that aims to create safe spaces for meaningful conversations and engagement, exploring our food systems through the lenses of politics, culture, agroecology, and more.

Focusing on ‘Charting The Future of Millets,’ the conversation sought to navigate a way forward for millet production and consumption in India, unleashing the potential held by these humble grains. Through insightful keynote speeches and engaging breakout rooms, we fostered discussions between participants and esteemed experts, focusing on three key themes: Policy, Food Traditions & Nutrition, and Agroecology & Climate Change.

Our panel of eminent speakers included:

  • Dr. Oliver King, MSSRF
  • Abhishek Jain, CEEW
  • Ishan Aggarwal, Initiative for Climate Action
  • Shailesh Awate, OOO Farms
  • Sheetal Bhatt, The Route to Roots
  • Dinesh Kalyani, Earth 360
  • Dr. Amarender Reddy, ICAR CRIDA
  • Jestin Pauls, Aadhimalai

This event was made possible thanks to our Millet Climate & Policy Lab, a group of millet experts, researchers, and knowledge partners working on building upon knowledge and information on the climate-smart potential of millets and how it correlates with different aspects of the food system.

  • Millet Cooking Workshop with Shalini Rajani

We were thrilled to host an insightful (and free!) Millet Cooking Workshop.
Our host for this workshop was the talented Millet Coach Shalini Rajani, from Crazy Kadchi. Shalini is a seasoned recipe developer and trainer with extensive experience in millet-based cooking. During this workshop, we learned how to introduce millets into our kitchens, and deep-dived into a host of subjects from essential techniques to innovative flavour combinations. Shalini also exclusively crafted four easy and delicious millet-based recipes to share in this workshop.

  • Millet Tap Takeover with Great State Aleworks at Bonobo, Mumbai

We kickstarted our Millet-centric partnership with Great State Aleworks and hosted our first ever Millet Tap Takeover with them at our favourite Mumbai bar, Bonobo.

With all of Great State’s limited-edition millet beers under one roof, what made this event particularly special for us was launching our collab beer with them called ‘Salt of the Earth’ — a one-of-a-kind, crispy Jowar Cashew Sour, brewed with cashew apples juice and sorghum sourced from our #TLpartner, Tillage!

Nakul from GSA also launched 'Brewing with Millet 101’ — a handbook designed to inspire and inform the Indian craft beer community to brew with millets! And early birds who attended the event got to learn about local Sawantwadi artisans who created the label for Salt of the Earth.

At our Millet Experience Grove, Locavores discovered millets through the fun format of dating profiles, experiencing millet seeds and stalks first-hand. By the end of the evening, some even decided which one they’d like to date!

But guess what the highlight of the event was? Our Millet Pub Quiz! Six teams of participants got super competitive over questions related to the Millet Revival Project, GSA’s Millet Beer Project, Bombay and more. The winning team walked away with the millet hamper of their dreams, including GSA’s millet beers, a range of products from our #TLpartners & a lot of millets!

We’re so grateful to our team of cooking volunteers led by that served the most epic millet-centric menu you can imagine, featuring delicious jowar birria tacos, foxtail millet haleem, wholesome barnyard millet bowls, and indulgent desserts featuring ragi and little millet & a whole lot more!

We hope you stayed tuned to our work in the coming months!

Millet Revival Project - May 2023.pdf (42.0 KB)


If you missed the #LocavoreMeetup we hosted in Mumbai earlier this year, check out this video for a deep-dive into the event that put the spotlight on all things millets!

To make this fun event insightful, we curated sessions to discuss how these heritage grains have disappeared from our kitchens, and ways in which we can bring them back on our plates. Marisha from Rainmatter Foundation spoke about our Millet Revival Project in association with Rainmatter Foundation, and our collaborative endeavour to improve the way our country eats millets.

From Minhaj Ameen (head of the AgroEcology Fund), we learnt about the relevance of millets in 21st century India, as well as the resilience of the climate-smart crop. Shailesh from our #TLpartner OOO Farms narrated inspiring millet stories from the fields of Palghar, Maharashtra, about indigenous communities from the region who rely on millets for their sustenance.

The exclusive Millet Beer Tasting session held by Great State Aleworks got this millet party kicking, nudging Locavores to view millets in a new light, and discover the special brewing process that sets millet beers apart from malted-barley varieties. And of course, how could we host a #LocavoreMeetup without a cheerful round of #TheLocavoreShuffle? It’s always a delight to see Locavores bond over millets, food memories, and newfound friendships!

The best part of this #LocavoreMeetup though, hands down, was the incredible millet menu that home chefs from The Locavore’s community graciously volunteered to cook for the event! From Nachni Ukdiche Modak to Millet Granola Bowls; Bhaidku (a traditional millet khichdi) to millet breads, the spread at this meetup was unforgettable. We also served millet pizzas from Hundo, and Nachni Ladoos from OOO Farms that were prepared by SHGs they work with!

We’re grateful to Ekaa for providing the venue, and our #TLpartners Tillage and OOO Farms for displaying a variety of millets from their product range that Locavores loved experiencing and purchasing.

Many thanks to Kaustubh Pote for capturing this #LocavoreMeetup so well :slight_smile:

#BIGNEWS, Locavores! We are thrilled to announce the launch of the second phase of our Millet Revival Project in partnership with Rainmatter Foundation.

Building on the success of our first phase, which aimed to demystify cooking with millets, reintroduce this ancient cereal into modern diets, and foster engagement around its climate-resilient qualities, we are excited to take the Millet Revival Project (MRP) to new heights.

During the initial phase, we embarked on a journey across India, documenting diverse millet varieties, curating a collection of easy-to-cook millet recipes, facilitating insightful workshops and discussions with industry experts, and orchestrating vibrant community events spanning from Mumbai to Shillong. Our dedicated team of leads and volunteers, ranging from chefs to content writers, photographers, and researchers, collaborated across our three research engines: Millet Cooking Lab, Millet Climate & Policy Lab, and the Millet Resource Bank Lab.

As we dive into the second phase, scheduled from August 2023 to December 2024, our focus will deepen. We are set to systematically explore the far-reaching ecological and climate impact of millets in India. Equally crucial is our commitment to driving behavioral and perception change among consumers, advocating for eating practices that resonate with both personal health and planetary wellness.

Are you as excited about reviving millets as we are? If your heart is nodding in agreement, we have fantastic news! We’re assembling a special team to support the Millet Revival Project. Whether you’re an editor, writer, researcher, or a passionate home chef, we invite you to be a part of this transformative initiative. To explore opportunities and apply here: Team Millet Revival Project - The Locavore

Stay tuned for more exciting updates as we embark on this exhilarating phase of the Millet Revival Project. Together, let’s nurture a future where millets flourish, and our food choices make a positive impact on both our well-being and the environment.

#MilletRevivalProject #IYOM #RainmatterFoundation #TheLocavore #DoingGoodThroughFood



I am Sreyasi, the Projects Lead here at The Locavore, and I have been fortunate to see the Millet Revival Project through its first phase. It has been a rather fun but also deeply insightful journey so far, which leaves me all the more excited about the second phase!

The intention for this next phase is to systematically explore the impact of millets on our climate and ecology while also facilitating behavioural change in consumers, encouraging them to prioritise the well-being of our planet through their eating practices.

Through the months of June, July and August, we had several such engagements, a detailed report of which is attached below.
TL Millet Revival Project_Report_June - August 2023.pdf (70.6 KB)
Here are some highlights from the last three months -

  • We hosted an informative virtual event: Beyond The Plate - Brewing with Millets in collaboration with the Great State Aleworks (GSA). This interactive event brought together various stakeholders, including microbreweries and food & beverage students, all eager to explore the potential of millets in the ever-evolving beer landscape in India.
  • The Locavore also had the honour of representing our Millet Revival Project with Rainmatter Foundation at the recently concluded International Conference on Mighty Millets for Food, Nutrition & Health Security, hosted by MSSRF in Chennai. This prestigious event, organized by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation provided a platform to openly discuss the vital role that millets play in India’s agricultural ecosystem.
  • Additionally, we have documented and published two very interesting (and mouth-watering) millet-based recipes - a Jowar Jackfruit Birria Taco and a Mixed Millet Rotla

Lastly, The Locavore, in collaboration with Native Bombay, is thrilled to bring you, this weekend, another captivating event celebrating millets in Mumbai. This event is an engaging cooking workshop, in a demo-style format, on how to elevate your millet cooking skills to restaurant-level dishes. The renowned @ChefBhairav from @NativeBombay and our very own @ChefTZac will showcase a delectable array of millet dishes — including Nachni ki Shami, Bhatti ki Kukdi, Kutki Phirni — along with a couple of surprise creations. To score an exclusive invite, fill out this form! Hurry, because the seats are filling out fast!

Event Details:
:date: Date: Sunday, 3rd September 2023
:alarm_clock: Time: 4 PM - 7 PM
:house: Venue: Native Bombay, Fort, Mumbai

Thank you, and have a great weekend!