Food With Millet

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Millet is a highly nutritious food crop and African people have used it for centuries. I will show you in this post how high the nutritional value is, and how this ancient crop you can incorporate into your diet to improve health and wellbeing. Here you will learn about food with millet too.

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Food With Millet

Learn how to cook millet using this easy and fail-proof recipe in under 30 minutes. You will also find different millet recipes and ideas to incorporate into your meal plan and make millet part of your diet.

Also, this is naturally a vegan and gluten-free recipe. With just two ingredients – millet grain and water, you can cook the perfect fluffy millet every single time. And use this cooked millet to make your breakfast, lunch, and dinner healthy and wholesome.

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WHAT IS MILLET?

Millet is a round-shaped cereal grain that belongs to the grass family Poaceae. This ancient grain is gluten-free and rich in protein, fiber, and antioxidants.

Unlike wheat, these are gluten-free and can grow efficiently with less water, even in hot temperatures. And hence these are grown extensively in Asian and African countries. 

There are many varieties of millet. Some of them are Sorghum, Finger millet, and Pearl millet. However, the most common variety is a small round-shaped cereal that almost looks like quinoa but is smaller than quinoa.

SHOULD MILLET BE SOAKED BEFORE COOKING?

Soaking is optional, but I prefer soaking the millet. Soaking millet before cooking has so many benefits. Some of them are

  • Soaking makes it easier to digest, and all nutrients will become bioavailable.
  • Soaking gives the millet porridge that creamy texture. Millet will have a hard outer cover, and you can feel that in the cooked millet texture. So soaking will yield creamy porridge.
  • Soaking will yield fluffy millet. If you want to use cooked millet for a salad or pilaf, a fluffy texture would be good.
cooked millet in a bowl
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HOW TO COOK MILLET

Here I am showing you three easy cooking methods of millet using a stovetop pan, stovetop pressure cooker, and Instant pot. All of these methods cook perfect millet in under 30 minutes.

PREP MILLET

  • Usually, millet from the supermarkets will be clean. If it’s not, clean the millet and remove any dirt or debris from it.
  • Now wash the millet a couple of times with clean water. If you are not soaking it, you may need to rub it with your hands to remove the dirt altogether.
  • Finally, drain the water entirely from the millet and keep it aside.

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SOAK MILLET

Soaking millet is optional, but I usually soak the millet for 4 to 8 hours. If you are soaking for more time, do it in the refrigerator as millets start fermenting.

After soaking, rinse the soaked millet 2 to 3 times and completely drain the water from them. Using a colander makes the job easy as millet grain is tiny and difficult to handle with bare hands.

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat a thick-bottomed cooking pot or pan. Add the drained millet and water to the cooking pot, and close it partially with the lid. 
  • For soaked millet, use 1.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of millet. For unsoaked millet, the millet to water ratio is 1:2 (For every 1 cup of millet, use 2 cups of water).
  • Increase the heat to high and let the water come to boiling. It will take around 5 minutes.
  • Now reduce the flame to low and close the lid completely.
  • Let the millet cook until all the water is absorbed. It will take around 6 to 8 minutes for pre-soaked millet and 10-13 minutes for unsoaked millet.
  • Millet will be cooked by the time all water is soaked up. Now switch off the flame and let it sit for ten more minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, fluff it up with a fork, and the cooked millet is ready to use.
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INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS

  • Add drained millet, water, and a teaspoon of oil to the inner pot. Check the millet water ratio section for the amount of water.
  • Close the lid properly, and move the steam releasing valve to the SEALING position.
  • Select manual or pressure cook mode and cook it on HIGH PRESSURE for 4 minutes if using pre-soaked millet. Cook it for 8 minutes if using unsoaked millet.
  • Switch it off once done, wait for 10 minutes and do a normal pressure release.
  • Fluff it up with a fork, and the millet is ready to use.
how to cook millet in instant pot
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STOVETOP PRESSURE COOKER INSTRUCTIONS

  • Add millet, water, and a teaspoon of oil to the pressure cooker.
  • Close the lid and let it cook for 1 to 2 whistles on medium-high flame for pre-soaked millet. It will take around 5 minutes. For unsoaked millet, cook it for 2-3 whistles, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Once done, take it out of the heat and let the pressure release naturally.
  • Once the pressure is released completely, remove the lid and fluff it up with a fork.

RICE COOKER INSTRUCTIONS

Add drained millet, water, and a teaspoon of oil to the rice cooker’s inner pot.

If you are using soaked millet, use 1.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of millet. For unsoaked millet, for every 1 cup of millet, use 2 cups of water.

Next, close the rice cooker with its lid and use a white rice setting if your rice cooker has options to select. Else select the cook button.

Once the rice cooker finishes cooking, switch it off and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then fluff up the millet, and it is ready to use.

Best Millet Recipes | Easy Millet Recipes

Millet Recipes: In the past few years, there has been a dramatic revolution in the food choices of people. More and more people are increasingly opting for nutrient-rich foods like cereals, grains, seeds, and superfoods over everything else. It is a traditional grain, very popular in the Indian subcontinent where people have grown it and eaten it for the past 5000 years. The primary reason behind the vast popularity of this hardy grain is that it requires a low amount of water and fertility as compared to other grains or cereals.

Types of Millets

Popularly grown in Africa and Southeast Asia, pearl millet (bajra) is the most common millet out of the entire lot. India is one of the leading producers of millet, with 36 percent of the world’s total produced in India. Millet is commonly of two types; naked grains and husked grains where ragi, jowar, and bajra, the three most popular and major millets, fall under the category of naked grains. These do not need to be processed after harvesting, they can be just cleaned and used, which makes them so popular. On the other hand, foxtail, little and Kodo millet are husked grains because of an indigestible seed coat (husk) over them that needs to be removed before consumption.

The incredibly rich nutrient composition is simple enough to add millets to your diet. Millets are gluten-free and can be easily absorbed by the body besides being a rich source of fiber, copper, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. These are slow indigestion and do not cause a spike in blood sugar levels, therefore, making them beneficial for diabetics. Apart from the many health benefits, millets come with a unique taste that ups the flavor quotient of any dish. With many culinary innovations in the recent past, major millets like ragi, bajra, and jowar are being used to prepare heart-warming snacks and meals such as bajra tarts, khichdi, ragi dosas, etc. We have got the best of millet recipes that are a perfect mix of healthy, tasty, easy, and quick so that you can prepare them at home.

Here Are the Best Millet Recipes To Prepare At Home:

1. Mixed Millet Bhel Puri

Low on fat and light on the stomach, here is a bhel puri recipe with the goodness of ragi, peanuts, amaranth, and a mix of millets combined with potatoes, tomatoes, onion, and lemon juice, and chilies. Next, spruced up with chaat masala, moringa powder, and green chutney, this millet recipe is just the perfect snack to munch on.

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Millet Recipes: A low-fat and healthy snack with the goodness of millets and ragi. Prepare this mixed millet bhel puri at home with a generous squeeze of lime.

2. Kodo Millet Burger

What if you could binge on a burger and not regret it? Here is a burger recipe that would help you do exactly that! Stuffed with a patty packed with ground Kodo millet, watermelon seeds, basil, parsley, coriander, mustard, and cumin, the Kodo millet burger has a tangy chickpea hummus spread on the buns along with lettuce and is served with mouth-watering tomato salsa on the side.

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Millet Recipes: The Kodo Millet burger is a meal high on nutrients and proteins to get you through a busy day.

3. Bajra Tartlets With Fruit Custard

A delectable sweet treat with the goodness of bajra. These tartlets have a mix of bajra flour, wheat flour, sugar, and salt-baked to perfection in tarts and served beneath a pool of luscious fruit custard and garnished with kiwi slices and honey.

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Millet Recipes: These pretty little tartlets come with the goodness of bajra.

4. Ragi Wheat Dosa

A light and crispy dosa is a South Indian meal that nobody can resist! Here is a dosa recipe made with just four ingredients. You should combine Ragi and wheat flour with buttermilk and salt to make a thick batter that you can cook on a non-stick pan. Hence, it is a perfect healthy breakfast or lunch option to prepare at home.

ragi wheat dosa recipe
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Millet Recipes: A low-fat South Indian dish that goes best with coconut chutney.

5. Jowar Medley

Packed with veggies, flavourful spices, chilies, and the goodness of jowar seeds, this millet recipe is cooked in rice bran oil, which is one of the healthiest oils for cooking. Rich in Vitamin E, rice bran oil is simply perfect to use at home. Therefore, with veggies such as baby corn, zucchini, and pepper along with boiled jowar seeds, jowar medley is great for snacking in the middle of the day when you need some energy boost.

jowar medly recipe

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Millet Recipes: Cook up a healthy jowar medley filled with vegetables and flavor. Enjoy a light snack, the guilt-free way!

6. Foxtail Millet Porridge

Porridge is an ideal breakfast option to prepare at home. It is easy, quick, and light yet highly nutritious. Here is a porridge recipe with the additional goodness of foxtail millet. Packed with iron, minerals, proteins, and fiber, foxtail millet here is soaked and added to milk along with cashews, banana, figs, amaranth, and lotus seeds to prepare a luscious porridge.

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What Is Millet and How Do You Cook It?

bowl of millet porridge with basil leaves cheese cubes and cherry tomato halves
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There is a multitude of grains growing around the world such as quinoa, sorghum, and teff. There is one particular grain that doesn’t get as much recognition, even though it’s believed to have over 6,000 varieties and is considered one of the oldest in the world. Still, it only recently experienced a resurgence of interest in the U.S. Yes, the grain we’re referring to is millet.

So there’s a chance you might be wondering what exactly is millet? Recipe developer and wellness writer Beth Lipton are familiar with the grain, so we called on her to give us more insight on what it is and how to cook it correctly.

What is millet?

“Millet is technically a seed, but it’s mostly marketed as a gluten-free whole grain,” says Lipton.

When you hear the word millet, the first thing you may think of is birdseed, as it’s one of the main ingredients. While it may be known as food for the birds in the U.S., in various other countries, it’s considered a staple.

Classified as an ancient grain like quinoa, millet is a quarter of the cost, making it much more affordable to make in larger quantities. Similar to many other whole grains, it can be purchased in either its true form as a grain, as flakes, or even ground as flour.

What does millet taste like, exactly?

“Millet is very mild, with a slight sweetness and a hint of nuttiness,” says Lipton. “It doesn’t have a very distinct flavor on its own; it will take on the flavor of what it’s cooked in or with.”

Unlike most other grains—namely farro and buckwheat—millet has a fluffy texture once cooked rather than a chewy one.

How do you cook millet?

Lipton says that millet is cooked like rice. She provides some simple instructions to help get you started.

Instructions:

  1. Rinse and drain one cup of dry millet.
  2. Warm a couple of teaspoons of olive oil in a pan, add the millet, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the water has evaporated and the millet is beginning to toast and smell nutty lightly. About three minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups water (or broth, or a combo) and a few pinches of salt, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook undisturbed until the millet is tender. About 20 minutes.
  4. Take it off the heat and let it stand with the cover on for five minutes (don’t stir yet). Taste it and make sure you like the consistency (let it steam for a few more minutes, if not), drain off any remaining water and you’re good to go.

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What dishes can you prepare millet in?

“When I was in culinary school at Natural Gourmet Institute, we used to make a breakfast porridge out of millet,” says Lipton. “You can also use it anywhere you would use rice, so try it in your favorite pilaf or under a stir-fry.”

Hopefully, now you have a good understanding of what millet is and how you can cook with it.

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