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MILLET (Panicum Miliaceum)

MILLET (Panicum Miliaceum) is a small yellow grain with a mild, sweet flavor. Millet is native to Africa and Asia; there is evidence of cultivation since the 5th century BCE. Millet is a seed of an annual grass. Millet is a common ingredient in bird seed. Recently, with the growing interest in healthy eating, millet has become better known as a tasty alternative to rices.

Millet is great when dry roasted, cooked then marinated. Millet is high in many essential amino acids and is a good companion grain with rice, corn or oats. Millet has a very adaptable flavor, and as such is easy to cook with. As with all grains, millet is an interesting alternative to rice.

One cup of dry millet yields three cups of cooked. One cup of millet requires three cups of liquid, it should cook for 40 minutes. Millet can be dry roasted to increase the nutty flavor of the grain.

Millet Mashed Potatoes

2 tablespoons canola oil or mustard oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
3 1/2 cups cooked millet
1 large potato, cooked and mashed
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
oil for frying

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the mustard seeds and cook until they 'pop.' Remove from the heat and add to the millet. Add the mashed potato and spices. Mix well. Place a small amount of oil in a medium size frying pan and turn the millet-potato mixture into the pan. Fry briefly.

Any ideas on how to cook millet - interestingly? [Helen Duffett]

Responses in:

From: Danila Oder on 11 Jul 1996.

Two suggestions:

I always wash, drain, and pan-toast the millet until slightly colored in a dry frying pan. Then cook in boiling water. The toasting improves the flavor.

What about using it in place of couscous or bulgur in salads? I once did a nice "Southwestern (USA) millet salad" with chopped vegetables and a lime-juice-based dressing with a little cayenne and cumin.

From: jmolina1 at on 12 Jul 1996.

If you have an electric rice/vegetable steamer, you might want to try this. My machine is plastic, not one of the metal ones.

Rinse 1/2 cup of millet under water. Rinse 1/2 cup of quinoa very well under water (to remove bitter outer coating). Place grains in machine's rice basket with 2 cups of liquid, such as vegetable broth, with some chopped green onion, or chopped celery, or grated carrot. Then add Italian seasoning (or your favorite dried herbs). Stir well. Fill the bottom of the steamer with water, and steam the grains until done and fluffy, about 45 minutes.

The combination of millet and quinoa gives a nice, mild, delicate flavor.

From: Judith Haviland Neergaard on 12 Jul 1996.

I always make super mashed potatoes. I boil about 1/2 cup of dry millet with 3 pounds of potatoes and mash all together. This way I know my non meat eating children get some protein in that meal or that my husband's grandfather does when he visits. (Grand dad is an old farmer who likes his potatoes and gravy)
Delicious Millet "Mashed Potatoes"

1 cup millet
2 1/2 cup water, filtered or spring
1/2 medium-size cauliflower, sliced into thin pieces
1/2 t. sea salt
3 cloves garlic, cut in pieces
1 T. olive oil
3 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. water
pinch sea salt
pinch freshly ground pepper
1 T. parsley finely chopped

Rinse the millet and drain. Slice the cauliflower into thin pieces so it will cook with the millet. Put the water, millet, cauliflower, and garlic into a heavy saucepan and cook for 7 minutes on medium heat. Take pan off the heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes to steam. Mash well with a potato masher. Blend the olive oil, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper and add the mashed millet and combine well. Serve sprinkled with finely chopped parsley.

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes

From: [now dead]
Millet "Mashed Potatoes"

Tara McDermott: I always tend to crave the "heartier" foods, so I made this up for lunch. The millet cauliflower puree is from Friendly Foods, as is the gravy, which has been modified so much, I should say it's my own recipe. There is no added fat (unless you count the small amount of miso), but it's rich tasting and great! Tell me what you think of it.

1 cup millet
2 cups cauliflower, in small pieces
3 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: garlic powder, dill, or any other spices you like

In a medium-large saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover, and lower to a simmer for 45 minutes. Check when there is about 20 minutes left. You probably have to add a 1/2 cup more water (I always do) to prevent it from burning. You may even only want to cook it for 40 minutes. When done, mash with a potato masher or leave as is.

I think this is delicious on its own, but some of you may like this gravy....

From: millet-mashed-potatoes recipe

Judith Thomas: I got this recipe from Brother Ron Pickarski's Friendly Foods. It's also in an old Vegetarian Times. We like it a lot.

1 cup millet
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1 medium to large onion, chopped

Optional toppings: scallions, pepper, or cayenne.
Wash millet well; drain. Place in pressure cooker or large saucepan. Add cauliflower, salt, and onion. Add 2 cups water if using pressure cooker; 3 cups if cooking in sauce pan. Stir to mix.

If using pressure cooker: Bring to boil; place lid on cooker. Bring to pressure. Turn down heat to lowest temperature necessary to keep cooker at pressure. Cook 15 minutes. Bring down pressure by quick-release method and remove lid. Stir to "mash." Serve hot.

If using saucepan: Bring to a boil. Turn down heat to a simmer, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Stir to "mash". Serve hot with your choice of toppings. Makes 4 servings.

Note: I think this is a little bland, so I add cayenne pepper and sprinkle in some nutritional yeast to give it a little "kick".

From: millet-cauliflower recipe

This is one of the mostly cooked West African dishes!

1000g millet- or sorgoflour (Pennisetum americanum or Sorghum bicolor; Poaceae) ("sorgo" is also known as "DURRA" or "MOHRENHIRSE" anyway it's a kind of millet)
500 g gombo (=okra)(Hibiscus esculentes; Malvaceae)
1 onion
1 chili (hot!)
oil (karite oil/shea butter if possible)
500 g beef

TO: Boil 1 liter of water. Put 100 g of sorgoflour into cold water stir it. Mix it with the boiling water. Stir it immediately with a wooden spoon and keep on stirring. Reduce heat. Add every 2 minutes 100 g of flour into the boiling mush until "To" is getting sticky and solid. Keep it hot.

GOMBOSAUCE: Cut the meat in slices and boil it with 300 ml water, season it with salt. Boil it until the water is gone. Add oil (ca. 10-15 cl) and fry the meat. Add chopped onion, sliced gombo and chili and stir until it's done. Add a cup of water. Boil it with reduced heat and stir every 3 minutes, until its very sticky and gelatinized. Serve TO and GOMBOSAUCE on two different plates. Take a piece of TO and mix it with Gombosauce. Enjoy!

From: Ulrich Forster, posted to Cameroon, West African Dishes on 18 Feb 1994.
Buckwheat and Millet Pancakes

Description: Wheat-free, dairy-free!

3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup millet flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 TBS oil
1 cup water (to desired consistency)

From: Walter's Web: Recipes

Millet is a round, yellow seed-like grain that is consumed whole and unpolished. When cooked, the small grains swell into a fluffy cereal high in protein, iron, magnesium and potassium. In the United States, the value of millet has not been fully realized; it is most frequently used for hay and animal feed. Outside of the U.S., millet is a staple food in China, India, Ethiopia, and other Asian and African countries.

From: [now dead]

1/2 cup millet grain
1 cup diced pumpkin
2 tbs thyme
2 cups water

Wash and drain the millet thoroughly, and then dry roast it until it's smoking and well browned, which may not be for about ten minutes. (See the notes on dry roasting grains.) Cut part of a pumpkin shell into roughly cubic pieces. Either orange or green pumpkins are ok, the sweeter the better. Combine it with the roasted millet, thyme, and water, and pressure cook it for 25 minutes. This recipe might also work with boiling for 35 minutes rather than pressure cooking, though I haven't tried it that way. My former flatmate Jo Weir deserves the credit for this one and partial credit for the previous one. From: pumpkin-millet recipe
Magenta-Millet Pilaf

Michelle Dick: This is from Lorna Sass's Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure. It's an absolutely gorgeous dish, perfect for any holiday (esp Christmas, since it has a bright crimson color, speckled with green mint). I adjusted the spices to suit my tastes and the recipe is listed as I made it. I used a T-Fal pressure cooker and a flame tamer. No burning millet whatsoever.

1 cup millet, rinsed and drained
2 cups boiling water
1/2 lb beets, scrubbed, trimmed, and cut into 1/2 inch dice (no need to peel. I used 3 bulbs, slightly over 1/2 lb, even a bit more would be OK)
1/2 t salt
1/8 t allspice (I really don't think this did anything for the dish, however)
1 T fresh orange zest (you should need 2 oranges for this recipe)
2 T minced fresh mint
6 T fresh orange juice
salt, to taste

Heat nonstick or cast iron skillet over high heat. Toast millet till it gives off a nice popcorn smell and starts to dance about the pan. Place millet in pressure cooker pot when done.

Heat flame tamer and place pressure cooker on top. Add boiling water, beets, salt, and allspice to pressure cooker. Lock lid and bring up to high pressure. When high pressure is reached, turn down heat to maintain pressure and hold for 10 minutes (set a timer).

Meanwhile, zest one of the oranges. You should get a yield of 1 T, if not, use the other orange as well. (If you don't have a zester, use a sharp potato peeler to delicately remove just the orange peel, leaving the bitter white pith behind.) Mince the orange zest. Set aside. Squish the oranges without breaking them by rolling them between your hands and the counter. This will make juicing go easier. Cut in half and juice. You should get 6 T or so. Since oranges vary in sweetness, you will want to add the orange juice by taste.

Mince the mint and set aside.

After the 10 minutes are up on the pressure cooker, turn off heat and move it to a cold burner. Let sit for 10 minutes and then take cooker to sink. Run under cold water to release any residual pressure and remove lid.

Add mint and zest. Add orange juice to taste, and salt if needed. Serve.

This dish looked stunning in my black octagonal serving dish. A splash of lemon or lime might also be tasty.

From: magenta-millet-pilaf recipe
Cooking Times and Yields for Millet

Millet, 2 to 3* cups water, cook 35 to 40 minutes, yield 3 1/2 cups
* Use the greater proportion of water for a porridge-like consistency.

From: [now dead]
Spinach and Millet with Lentils

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb spinach
1/4 lb mushrooms
2 medium courgettes/zucchini

1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup millet
1 lb peeled tomatoes (a can of chopped tomatoes:-)
1-1/2 tsp salt

sufficient tomato puree to thicken

In a frying pan fry the garlic, onion, paprika and cumin in some water. Simmer with a lid on for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and the courgettes and simmer for a few minutes more. Add the shredded spinach, salt and pepper and simmer till the spinach reduces down.

In a separate pot boil the millet and the lentils till cooked. Millet usually takes longer than red lentils so wait for five minutes before adding them. As the millet and lentils absorb the water put in the chopped peeled tomatoes and the salt. Continue simmering till the millet is tender, adding more water if necessary.

Combine the millet and lentil mix with the spinach. Add tomato puree to thicken. Simmer for another couple of minutes.

From: spinach-millet-lentils recipe Originally from
Vegetable Nut Appetizers

Adapted by Tanya (Supermom) Coad from Vegetable Walnut Patties in John Robbin's May All Be Fed.

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil and add:

1/2 cup millet

Cover saucepan, reduce heat, and simmer until water is absorbed, about 20 - 30 minutes. In a large frying pan heat 1 TBS vegetable oil then add:

1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped

Cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add:

3 slices bread, chopped into small cubes
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups walnuts (or pecans or almonds)
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped or 2 tsp. dried basil
2 TBS fresh thyme, chopped or 1 tsp. dried thyme
3 TBS tamari
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix in millet, stirring until well blended. Use spoon to measure small mounds onto nonstick cookie sheet. If desired, spinkle lightly with:

Sesame seeds

Pour off excess seeds before placing in oven. Bake at 400 degrees Farenheit for 20 - 30 minutes

Serve warm

From: EarthSave Canada: The Kitchen
Millet Stew (Vegan)

1 cup millet
4 cup water
2 onions - cut in wedges
2 potatoes - cut in large chunks
2 carrots - cut in large slices
1 cup celery - cut in large slices
1/2 lb mushrooms - chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme

Toast millet in dry skillet for about 5 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent burning.

Add all ingredients to crockpot and cook 4 hours at high or 8 hours at low. (Servings: 6)

From: (Michelle Dick)
Source: The McDougall Health-Supporting Cookbook: Volume One
Found at: Crockpot Recipes: COLLECTION
30 Minute Cream of Grain Cereal

1/4 c. freshly ground brown rice or millet with honey or molasses
pure vanilla extract.
1 c. almond milk, sweetened
1/4 c. raisins

Put almond milk, ground grain and raisins in a pot. Bring just to the boiling point, stirring constantly, until the grain flour has absorbed the liquid. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Put the pot over a double boiler on a low simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Optional: Add sliced bananas and/or nut milk.

From: Hot Cereals: Start Your Morning-and the New Year-Right, by Carol A. Nostrand
Basic Millet

as prepared at Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fat Free Clinic

1 cup millet
2 cups bouillon

Bring the bouillon to a boil, stir in the millet and return to boiling. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. The millet should be tender but not mushy. Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Like kasha, you can toast millet before cooking if you wish. Place a dry frying pan on a medium-hot burner, add the millet and stir for 2-3 minutes or until the grains begin to brown lightly and pop. Remove from the heat and add to the boiling bouillon.

Yield: About 3 cups

Millet Pilaf with Carrots and Leeks

Well, I'm going to be making a millet pilaf this week, with carrots and leeks...

Posted by Lori Ann Selke to on 12 Apr 1997.
Cauliflower Marranca

2 tablespoons margarine
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 head cauliflower, large, cut in flowerettes
2 cloves minced garlic
dried basil, to taste
1 1/2 cups millet, cooked, buttered (or brown rice)
1 1/2 cups lowfat cheddar cheese, grated, mixed with Monterey Jack
1/2 large, chopped onion

Precook Millet.

Saute mushrooms & onion in margerine & lemon juice. Remove with a slotted spoon (sans juice) to a large mixing bowl.

Add garlic, basil, salt & pepper to pan and saute cauliflower. Remove to the large mixing bowl along with all other ingredients. Mix well and pour into casserole dish. Dust with Paprika.

Bake, covered, 1/2 hour at 350. 4 Servings.

Posted by Jim Barricks to on 15 Apr 1997.

This is one of the more mush-inclined grains, but if you follow these directions, you stand a good chance of having differentiated millet particles instead of paste.

1 cup millet
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon Fleischmann's margarine

Bring water to a boil by itself first. Then add margarine and sprinkle in the millet.Stir briefly, and partially cover. Turn heat to low.

Cook the millet for 15 to 20 minutes only!!! Stir with a fork halfway through cooking and again at the end. This time, it is desireable that the trapped steam escape, otherwise it will keep cooking the millet even after it is removed from the direct heat. So fluff it with a fork, A LOT, after it is cooked, and leave it uncovered. This is the best deterrent to mushiness. Add salt after it is cooked.
4 Servings

Posted by Jim Barricks to on 15 Apr 1997.
Millet and Cauliflower Recipe

I have used this in the past especially when I have guests who cannot eat nightshades like potatoes or peppers; it is a good swap for mashed potato.

1 cup of dried uncooked millet
1 head of cauliflower
1 teaspoon onion powder
4 cups of water (less if you want a drier result)
Pinch of sea salt

Sort the millet for any stones etc as you would for lentils. Wash the place in a saucepan with the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the heat, let it stand for about 5 minutes then mash with a potato masher. Serve hot.

I have jazzed this up with fresh herb and dashes of spices like cumin for a less bland version. If you use about 3 cups of water you can use some to make pancakes, coat these with sesame seeds and fry lightly on either side.

Posted by Marie Heyes to Yeast-L mailing list on 23 Jun 1997.
Millet Bread

1 c Plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/4 c Butter
1 tb Honey
1 pk Dry yeast
1/4 c Warm water
2 Eggs
2 c Millet Flour
1/2 c Soy Flour

Combine yogurt and butter in saucepan, heating slowly to melt butter. Dissolve yeast and honey in the warm water; add yogurt mixture and blend. Beat in eggs; add flours and beat well. Pour into well-oiled 4" x 8" loaf pan and let rise for 45 minutes. Bake at 375 F. for 40-45 minutes or until done. Cool before cutting.

Source: Arrowhead Mills "Recipes for Special Dietary Needs" tri-fold
Reprinted by permission of Arrowhead Mills, Inc.
Electronic format courtesy of: Karen Mintzias

Millet is an important staple grain in North China, and India, but is little known as a food in the U.S, mostly being used as bird feed. The grain kernels are very small, round, and usually ivory colored or yellow, though some varieties are darker. The lack of gluten and a rather bland flavor may account for the anonymity of this grain here, but it's alkaline content is higher than other grains and makes it very easy to digest. It also has a higher iron content than any other grain but amaranth. It swells a great deal when cooked and supplies more servings per pound than any other grains. When cooked like rice it makes an excellent breakfast cereal. Though it has little gluten of its own, it mixes well with other flours.

From: Food Storage FAQ, ver 2.5, volume one
Millet and Rice

I usually cook millet with rice: 1 part millet and brown rice to 2 parts water. I think I've also done the same with straight millet, but you may need to add a little more water. I seem to remember that it cooks faster than the rice.
From: Kim Ellis on Yeast-L list
Savory Cereal from the SYDA Yoga Ashram

4 cups water
1/4 tsp foenagreek
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 c. millet

Boil for 30 minutes. Add 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut, 1 chopped green chili, 1 tsp fresh ginger juice (I just chop up about 1 tsp of ginger) 1 finely chopped tomato is optional. Cook for 10 more minutes. Add chopped cilantro for garnish.
From: Kim Ellis on Yeast-L list
Millet-Cauliflower Mash

Here is a recipe that my friends like..
Millet Mashed in place of mash. potatoes

3 cups uncooked millet
1 head cauliflower
6 c. boiling water or stock

Pressure cook 45min. (or just cook together) till done. then mash it all together..sometimes after mashed I add 1/2 cup or so of peas...put in baking dish and bake 30 just makes the flavor come together...

You can make a sesame seed gravy for over it...

From: Claudia (raven5/telenet), posted to on 17 Mar 1999.