Home Diet 5 Ways to Enjoy Millet: Easy, Quick and Nutritious Recipes

5 Ways to Enjoy Millet: Easy, Quick and Nutritious Recipes

by Shatakshi Gupta

Millets are small-seeded grains that are rich in fibre, protein, minerals and antioxidants. They are gluten-free, easy to digest and have a low glycemic index, making them ideal for people with diabetes, celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Millet can also help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation in the body. Millets are versatile and can be used to make a variety of dishes, from breakfast porridge to dinner pilaf. Here are five healthy, quick and tasty recipes made up of millets that you can try at home.

  1. Basic Millet

This is a basic recipe for how to cook millet. You can do a lot with this very-good-for-you grain. Add butter, honey, milk, etc. For a tasty breakfast that is a great change from oatmeal. You can also use cooked millet to make salads, stir-fries, burgers or casseroles.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup millet
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Method:

  • Rinse the millet under running water and drain well.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil over high heat.
  • Add the millet and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the millet is fluffy.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve hot or cold as desired.
  • Barnyard Millet Bisi Bele Bath

Also Read: Millets: The Superfood – Learn About the Nutrition and Health Benefits of Various Millets

Bisi bele bath is a traditional south Indian dish made from cooked rice and lentils. But in this recipe, we have used barnyard millet to add to the fibre and nutrition of the dish. Barnyard millet is popularly used during fast on many Hindu festivals. Barnyard millet is low in carbohydrates, but has a similar energy value to all the other millet. Its high in fibre and a good source of B-complex. This dish is spicy, tangy and loaded with vegetables. It is a complete meal in itself.

Ingredients for the bisi bele bath:

  • ¼ cup bisi bele bath spice powder
  • 10 pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ½ cup green beans, diced
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 drumstick, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ cups tamarind water
  • 2 teaspoons jaggery
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup barnyard millet
  • 1 cup split toor dal
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder

For the tempering:

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1 sprig curry leaves

For garnishing:

  • Coriander leaves

Method:

  • Wash and soak the barnyard millet and toor dal separately for 15 minutes.
  • In a pressure cooker, add the soaked barnyard millet, toor dal, turmeric powder, salt and 4 cups of water. Cook for 4 whistles or until soft.
  • In another pressure cooker, add the pearl onions, bell pepper, carrots, green peas, green beans, potato, drumstick, tomatoes, tamarind water, jaggery, salt and bisi bele bath spice powder. Cook for 2 whistles or until the vegetables are cooked.
  • In a small pan, heat ghee and add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add cumin seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Fry for a few seconds and turn off the heat.
  • In a large pot or kadai, mix the cooked barnyard millet-dal mixture and the cooked vegetable mixture. Adjust the consistency by adding water if needed. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the tempering and mix well.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with raita or papad.
  • Foxtail Millet Upma

Upma is a popular south Indian breakfast dish made from semolina or rava. But in this recipe, we have used foxtail millet instead of rava to make it more nutritious and filling. Foxtail millet is also known as thinai in Tamil, korra in Telugu and navane in Kannada. It is one of the oldest cultivated millets and has a high protein content. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels. This upma is easy to make and can be customized with your choice of vegetables and spices.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon white urad dal
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, slit
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ cup carrot, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup green beans, finely chopped
  • 1 cup foxtail millet
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee

Method:

  • Wash and soak the foxtail millet for 15 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  • In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add urad dal, curry leaves, green chilli and dry red chilli. Fry for a few seconds.
  • Add onion and ginger and sauté until onion turns soft.
  • Add turmeric powder, carrot and green beans and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add the soaked foxtail millet, salt and 2 cups of water. Mix well and close the lid of the pressure cooker.
  • Cook for 3 whistles or until the millet is cooked.
  • Fluff with a fork and add lemon juice, coriander leaves and ghee. Mix well and serve hot with chutney or pickle.
  • Millet Khichdi

Khichdi is a comfort food that is made from rice and lentils cooked together with spices. It is easy to digest and nourishing. In this recipe, we have used millet instead of rice to make it more wholesome and healthy. You can use any type of millet such as foxtail, little or barnyard millet. This khichdi is also vegan and gluten-free. You can enjoy it with yogurt, pickle or papad.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup millet
  • ½ cup moong dal
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 green chilli, slit
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups water

Method:

  • Wash and soak the millet and moong dal separately for 15 minutes.
  • In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add cumin seeds. When they crackle, add asafoetida, bay leaf, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon stick, green chilli and ginger-garlic paste. Fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the soaked millet and moong dal, turmeric powder, salt and water. Mix well and close the lid of the pressure cooker.
  • Cook for 4 whistles or until the millet and dal are soft.
  • Mash lightly with a ladle and serve hot with yogurt, pickle or papad.
  • Millet Cookies

Who doesn’t love cookies? But most cookies are made from refined flour, sugar and butter which are not very healthy. In this recipe, we have used millet flour instead of refined flour to make these cookies more nutritious and gluten-free. We have also used coconut sugar instead of refined sugar to make them low glycemic. These cookies are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are perfect for a snack or a treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup millet flour
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the millet flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, vanilla extract and almond milk.

  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well to form a dough.
  • Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls of dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten them slightly with your fingers or a fork.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and firm on the edges.
  • Let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy your millet cookies with a glass of almond milk or your favourite beverage.