7 Delicious Ways to Use Millet in Your Kitchen!

Millet, is a tasty and versatile ancient grain. It’s economical, easy to digest, gluten and lectin free. And it’s simple and quick to cook too!

On top of this, it’s an ecological grain; millet is super sustainable, requiring the lowest amount of water of any of the grains, being tolerant to drought and heat and also growing in poor soil.

I’ve been creating dishes with millet in my kitchen for over a decade and have come up with some wonderful ways to eat it. I want to share seven of those with you here so that, if I turned up in your kitchen with a sack of millet, you’d know exactly what to do with it!

Note: There are many types of millet. The one most commonly available in Europe and the US is the yellow pearl millet; that’s what these recipes here use.

1. Simple Cooked Millet

It takes as little as 25 minutes hands off time to get whole, dehulled millet from the packet to your table. Bring millet to the boil with water (with a ratio of 1:2) in a lidded saucepan and then turn the pan to a simmer, cooking it for 15-18 minutes like this. The turn off the heat (leaving the lid on) and don’t touch it for another 10 minutes. After that time, take the lid off and use a fork to separate the grains.

The above method will produce a pilaf-style millet, with the grains distinct from each other. For a more porridge-like consistency, use more liquid: a millet to water ratio of 1:3.

You can use something other than water as the liquid when cooking to add more flavour. I often use bone broth or meat stock.

Serve warm, well-seasoned, with your favourite oil or fat.

2. Leftover Millet

I regularly cook more millet than my family needs at one meal. Once it is cooled, I remove it to a container and store it in the fridge for eating on subsequent days. Millet does not keep brilliantly and therefore needs a little attention when eating as leftovers. Here’s how I do it:

I will often reheat the millet in a small amount of stock before serving. This brings it back to life again!

Broth

I like to make Breakfast Broth Bowl, adding stock, onions, carrots, herbs and miso to the leftover millet. This kind of improvised one bowl dish can include whatever vegetables, herbs or flavourings you have or fancy.

3. Cold Millet Salad

I have taken this dish to many potlucks. Being gluten and lectin free (and potentially vegan), it’s accessible to many diets.

1/ Cook your millet as described in the pilaf-style way described in number 1 above, and let cool.

2/ Add vegetables: I like to dice carrots very finely and also add frozen peas (so easy!).

3/ Add flavourings: I use miso, made runny by mixing it with a bit of water. You could also use specialty oils, like walnut or avocado, alongside lemon or lime juice or a tasty vinegar.

4/ Add seasonings: Salt and pepper are great, but also look to the world of herbs and spices to jazz up the salad even more!

5/ If you haven’t added oil, do so now, then mix everything together really well. Done!

4. Sourdough Millet Polenta

Polenta is, these days, almost universally associated with corn. It hails from Northern Italy, but, perhaps surprisingly, corn wasn’t actually brought to Italy until the 1500s. Before that, and more recently in areas where corn has not been available, polenta was made with other grains, one of the main ones being millet.

I love to ferment my polenta before cooking it. It brings a refreshing tartness which takes the dish to another level!

It’s great served for breakfast with cream, fruit and nuts and it’s also wonderful savoury; I love to pile it onto my plate and then add a sausage and tomato sauce or instead top it with a bolognese sauce.

You can read about and watch a video I filmed on how to make Sourdough Polenta here.

5. Sourdough Millet Polenta Bread

I love cooking in batches and eating the leftovers for days after. It’s such an economical and time-saving way to run a kitchen. And Sourdough Millet Polenta Bread is another great example of it.

Make Sourdough Millet Polenta as described in number 4 above and then, before the leftovers in the saucepan get cold, pile it into a loaf tin. Gently push it down and smooth the top. Leave to cool and then transfer it to the fridge. When completely cold upturn it onto a plate. This can now be sliced, eaten cold, warmed under the grill or, my favourite, fried in lard!

There’s a video of how to make Sourdough Polenta Bread here.

6. Sourdough Millet Crackers

I often make millet crackers for supper. They are delicious warm, straight from the oven, spread with butter or topped with cheese. With only three ingredients and a very little hands on preparation time needed they are super easy too. You can see my recipe here.

7. Boza

My absolute number 1 favourite way to use millet is in the ancestral fermented drink Boza!

Boza is an ancient tart, sweet, creamy and fizzy drink. It’s probiotic, and because it’s gluten, lectin and dairy free, it’s a great fermented food to make for people who can’t have those foods. In fact, that’s why, when I first heard of it in 2019, I started researching it – my son had problems digesting dairy and we’d also recently taken lectins out of his diet. I wanted a tasty, healthy, probiotic alternative for him that I could make at home.

My experiments subsequently led to the whole household falling in love with Boza! I created a video course so that others interested in this drink can make it in their own kitchens. You can find that here.

Boza_advert_1

I hope I’ve inspired you to go by that bag of millet and get using it in your own kitchen!

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