Millet is one of the oldest foods known to humans and possibly the first cereal grain to be used for domestic purposes. It has been used in Africa, China and India as a staple food for thousands of years before rice and wheat became popular. Various cultures consume millets in many diverse ways – as a cereal, in soups, and as bread. In Eastern Europe millet, is used in porridge and kasha, or is fermented into a beverage, in Africa it is used to make bread, as baby food, and as uji, a thin gruel used as breakfast porridge. In India, we use millets to make kanji, rotis, and dosas, and many other everyday dishes. Infact, it is so easy to replace the staples with millets that there is no reason why these nutritious grains cannot fit into our daily meal plans.
Here are some familiar recipes that replace rice or wheat with millets. Try them, and experiment with your own recipes, and do write to us and let us know about your millet journey.
MIXED MILLET ADAI
• 1 cup Foxtail Millet
• 1 cup Little Millet (Samae)
• 1 cup Whole Urad dal
• ½ cup Channa dal
• ½ cup Toor dal
• A handful of sprouted Green gram dal
• 6 to 8 Peppercorns
• 1 tsp Jeera
• 2 Green chillies
• 3 dry Red chillies
• A little hing/asafoetida
• 1 sprig Curry leaves
• 1 tsp salt or to taste
Tip: the millets must be ground fine and the dhals coarsely for crispier adais.
• Soak together both foxtail and little millet in a vessel for 5 hours.
• In another vessel soak the dals for the same time.
• After 5 hours, finely grind the millets and set aside.
• Next coarsely grind the dals along with peppercorns, jeera, green chillies, dry Red chillies, and hing.
• Mix the dhal batter with the millet batter and leave to ferment for 8 to 10 hours or overnight.
• Just before cooking add some salt and the curry leaves and mix well.
• Pour the batter on hot tawa and make crispy adais.
KODO MILLET IDLY
• 3 cups Kodo Millet Rava
• 1 ½ cups Whole Urad Dhal
• 1 tsp Methi/Fenugreek seeds (optional)
• Salt – to taste
• Soak the whole urad dhal for 5 hours, and grind it well in a wet grinder.
• Transfer the urad dhal batter into a large vessel and add the kodo millet rava into it.
• Mix well and leave the batter for fermentation for upto 10 hours.
• Once the batter has risen, add salt and mix well just before pouring into the idly plate.
Tip: the Rava can be replaced with kodo millet rice, but the rice needs to be soaked separately and ground before being mixed with the urad dhal batter.
• 1 cup Foxtail Millet, sprouting is an option
• ¼ cup roasted & crushed Peanuts (without the skin)
• 1 large Onion, chopped finely
• 1 large Tomato, chopped finely
• 1 tbsp Coriander, chopped finely
• 1 tbsp Mint, chopped finely
• 1 tbsp Pomegranate seeds
For the dressing:
• 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
• 1 tbsp cold pressed sesame or groundnut oil
• A little crushed pepper (optional)
• Salt to taste
• Sprout and steam the foxtail millet.
• In a salad bowl, mix the chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander and mint, along with the steamed millet.
• Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper
Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss.
• Garnish with the crushed peanuts and fresh pomegranate seeds.