Millet - most commonly known in the US for its use as birdseed. Millet is a seed but cooks like a grain and can be used in many grain substitutions. It’s gluten-free and the flavor is like a mild corn. The texture can be separated like rice or cooked together like polenta. It can add crunch to bread or granola - just throw it in uncooked. And it can replace oatmeal for a morning cereal.
Start by rinsing the grain to wash off any dust. Then drain and shake off as much moisture as possible. Toast it in a large skillet over medium heat until the grains are dry, separate, and smell good.
Millet cooks in a 3-1 ratio: 3 parts water to 1 part grain.
3 cups of water
1 cup millet
1/4 teaspoon salt
Bring the water to a boil, add in the salt and then the millet. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes, or really, until the water has evaporated. Then remove from the heat and serve.
To make it like polenta, bring the grain & the water to a boil together, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the water has evaporated. It can then be cooled into shapes. For instance, you can oil a ramekin, pack in the millet, and let it cool. Using a knife, dislodge the millet from the sides and let is slide onto the serving platter. Serve as is or pan fry the patty (directions below).
Now I can top it with a ragu or a grilled centerpiece, or let it sit in a bowl as the foundation for a buddha bowl. It goes really well with a nutty, spicy dressing. Yes, I’m pushing the buddha bowl thing now - download my ebook, it’s worth your time.
It’s easy to find millet in the bulk food section of a place like Whole Foods. You can try buying a small portion first to see how you like it before getting an entire bag. Cooked millet does freeze well - so once you decide you like it, you can freeze smaller servings for later use.
To reheat without a microwave, steam it on the stove top.
AND you can fry this stuff like little patties. I used a pastry brush to lightly spread ghee onto the hot skillet, and let the patty cook on high heat until it released from the pan. Flip it over & let both sides develop a crispy outer crust. Serve immediately.
Millet also works well for a sweet morning porridge in lieu of oatmeal. You can use it uncooked for when you want a little crunch here and there. Throw it into muffins or bread, or even granola and granola bars.
If this doesn't make you a raving fan of millet, I don't know what will!