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Quick and easy millet recipes

Here are some ideas for millet recipes.

For those not familiar with this grain, read up first on what is millet before coming back here for millet recipes.

Basically, millet is a small yellow grain that is widely eaten in Asia and Africa, as well as parts of Europe, especially the more traditional societies of Eastern Europe. In recent years, it has become popular among health conscious people who appreciate the importance of eating whole grains.

Like other whole grains, millet can be cooked firm and dry like rice, or soft and wet as a porridge. The main difference is that millet cooks quickly, in about 20 minutes versus 45 minutes or longer for other whole grains like brown rice.

Using the basic method for cooking brown rice you can, for example, cook brown rice with millet. Try mixing 50 percent brown rice with 50 percent millet, or any other proportion.

One combination that I particularly enjoy is millet with barley using about 75 percent milliet and 25 percent barley. This combines the fine, fluffy texture of millet with the more chewy texture of barley.

Millet recipes - fluffy style

For millet recipes that cook the grain dry, like rice, a little extra effort will give you a dish that is more fluffy than mushy. This is what you need:


  1. Bring water to the boil in a heavy pot.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, dry roast the millet in a wok or skillet until the grains are hot and slightly aromatic.
  3. SLOWLY.... add the hot millet to the boiling water. This will cause the water to boil much more vigorously and so it is important to do this very slowly and carefully.
  4. Add a pinch of sea salt, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Note: If cooking millet with other whole grains, then cook for at least 45 minutes.

Millet recipes - porridge style

Millet is more often eaten, however, as a soft porridge like how the Chinese eat rice porridge or how Westerners eat oat porridge. In this case, there is no need to pre-toast the millet, just cook it with water. Startting with basic porridge-style millet recipes, we can have endless variations.


  1. Bring water and millet to the boil in a heavy pot.
  2. Add sea salt, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Note: If cooking millet with other whole grains, then cook for at least 45 minutes.

European style millet recipes

In Europe and Central Asia, millet is eaten as a breakfast porridge by the Russians, Germans, Romanians and other. It is usually prepared with milk and sugar or honey. Here is one of the basic Russian millet recipes:


  1. Bring water and millet to the boil in a heavy pot.
  2. Add sea salt, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add milk, sugar and butter and continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the millet does not stick to the bottom of the pan.


  1. This being a sweet porridge, you can eat it much the same way you eat oats porridge - that is, with raisins, cranberries and other dried fruits, or topped with lightly toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or chopped nuts.
  2. For an Asian version, use coconut milk instead of cow's milk. It's healthier - contrary to what many nutritionists might tell you.
  3. Try also porridge millet recipes using, say, 1 cup millet with 1 cup rolled oats, or steel cut oats. If using steel cut oats, cook for at least 30 minutes.

Baked millet porridge with pumpkin

An even more elaborate variation of Russian porridge millet recipes involve cooking millet with pumpkin and, after the basic porridge is ready, baking it in the oven until it develops a golden crust. This is said to be particularly good for cold winter mornings.


  1. Bring water and milk to the boil in a heavy pot.
  2. Add millet and sea salt, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. While millet is cooking, fry the pumkin pieces with about half of the butter fo 10 to 15 minutes, until cooked through.
  4. Preheat oven to 180ÂșC. Add a bit of the remaining butter to a clay pot or baking dish, and warm in the oven for 23 minutes. Remove and turn the pot around so that the melted butter coats the entire bottom and all sides.
  5. Add cooked millet and pumpkin. Mix well, return to oven and bake for 20 munutes until a golden crust forms. Serve with the remaining butter, allowed to melt on top.

Chinese porridge millet recipes

Chinese style porridge millet recipes are much less elaborate than the Russian style presented above. They are also less rich, without milk, butter and sweeteners like sugar, honey or even raisins or other dried fruit.

The style is more of a plain porridge to be eaten with other dishes, the way rice porridge is eaten by the Chinese. It has just the natural sweetness of the millet and other added ingredients like pumpkin or sweet potato.

So just follow the basic millet porridge recipe above, using about 8 cups water to 2 cups millet.

For variations, I sometimes add one or more of the following:

Millet 'mashed potatoes'

One of the more unusual millet recipes is this "mashed potato" made without potatoes, but using millet and cauliflower. I learned it in macrobiotic cooking, which discourages the use of potatoes. I am now less restrictive about eating potatoes, but still recommend this because it tastes rather nice.

There are many variations of mashed potato millet recipes on the Internet. Some use 2 cups millet to one cup cauliflower, others use one cup millet to 2 cups cauliflower. Yet others are vague, saying "one head cauliflower", which could mean anything from about 400 grams to over 1 kilogram.

These are also elsborate variations of "mashed potato" millet recipes that include onion, garlic, olive oil and other ingredients. Personally I prefer this simple version - with more cauliflower than millet - but feel free to vary it whichever way:


  1. In a heavy pot, bring water and cauliflower to a boil.
  2. Add millet and sea salt or, if using white miso, add this in the last few minutes of cooking.
  3. Cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Season with black pepper and mash the millet and cauliflower with a potato masher.
  5. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.


  1. Form the millet "mashed potatoes" into cutlets and pan fry till golden brown.
  2. Cook millet and pumpkin or sweet potato as above and mash.


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'Foods of the gods'
Macrobiotic view of grains
Benefits of barley
Barley water
Chinese barley / hato mugi / Job's tears
Pearl barley
What is millet?
Millet recipes
Benefits of oats
Nutritional value of oats
Steel cut oats
Steel cut oats cooking
Benefits of brown rice
How to cook brown rice
What is sticky rice?
Types of rice