Paspalum scrobiculatum is also known as varuka in Sanskrit and varuku in Tamil. The wild form is common across tropical Africa. Still a traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known grain has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, and foster rural development and support sustainable land care. Paspalum scrobiculatum is widely distributed in damp habitats across the Old World tropics. It is harvested as a wild cereal in West Africa and in India. It is grown in India from Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the south, to Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal in the north. Kodo millet is variable but lacks racial differentiation. The species was apparently domesticated across its range of present-day cultivation.
Paspalum scrobiculatum is a millet largely used by the working and poorer classes of people in all parts of India as a staple article of food. It is not a very commonly used cereal. It resembles larger grains of rava (semolina), but is healthier than rava since it is unrefined and also has a low glycemic index. The dehusked grain is cooked like rice or used for making bread.