How to Cook with Millet


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©2011 Shanna Lea (formerly Shanna Ohmes)

Cooking with millet is a food that has not caught on in the United States yet, but it is an important part of traditional diets in Asia, Russia and Africa.  Because it is nutrient dense, the Hunzakuts in the Himalayas contribute their longevity to the millet.  In the U.S. it is used as birdseed, but we can add it to our favorite dishes to enhance nutrition and taste.

Millet is easy to grow in most types of soil and has been called “the poor man’s cereal”.  There are many types and names of millet including:  Guinea or Kaffir corn, pearl, bulrush, foxtail, finger or red, and comes in colors ranging from white to green and yellow.

This ancient food is one of the richest grains in nutrients.  Rich in calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine, it marries well with legumes and dairy products.

How to Cook with Millet—Recipes for Cooking with Millet

All Recipes use whole millet seed which can be found in natural health food stores.

Plain Millet

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup millet, rinsed

¾ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 ½ cups water

Stir fry the millet in the butter for 3 minutes.  Stir in water and sea salt, cover and cook over medium to low heat for 20 minutes.  Stir frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  Turn the heat off, keep covered, and let the millet steam on its own for another 30 minutes.  Stir with a fork to loosen the millet.  Use in salads and your favorite dishes.

Millet and Chickpea Salad

2 cups cooked plain millet

1 can chickpeas, drained

2 medium tomatoes, diced

4 tablespoons chopped green onions

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Millet and Lentil SoupCheck out Le Creuset in the General Store

3 tablespoons coconut oil

2 medium onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 small hot pepper, chopped

4 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped

½ cup lentils

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

8 cups water

½ cup millet, rinsed

1 zucchini, 6-8 inches long, diced

Sauté the onions, garlic, hot pepper, and coriander in the coconut oil for about 10 minutes.  Add rest of ingredients except millet and zucchini and bring to a boil.  Cover, and turn heat to medium, cooking for 20 minutes.  Stir in the zucchini and millet, cover and cook for an additional 40 minutes until both lentils and millet are done.

Fried Egg and Millet

1 cup millet, rinsed

4 cups water

4 eggs

4 tablespoons chopped green onions

¾ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

4 tablespoons butter

Bring water and millet to a boil, cover and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat.  Drain millet and set aside.

Mix the remaining ingredients, except the butter, and set aside.

Stir fry the millet in the butter over medium heat for 3 minutes, add the egg mixture and stir fry an additional 3 minutes.

Millet Pudding

4 cups milk

½ cup millet

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup raisins, rinsed

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring milk and millet to a boil, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.  Stir in rest of the ingredients, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Add more milk if needed.  Stir often.  Serve the pudding hot or cold.


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