There's no better time like now to welcome millets into your kitchen.
Notably, India is already the country being the largest producer and second largest exporter of millets.
Often referred to as a superfood and ‘smart food’, millets are not only good for your health but for the planet too. A powerhouse of nutrients, millets can help lower cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and the risk of heart disease.
The biggest health benefit of adding a variety of millets (like ragi, bajra, jowar) to our diets would be the high amount of dietary fibre found in them that directly feeds the symbiotic flora of bacteria in our gut.
They are high in protein, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and are naturally gluten-free.
They also have anti-inflammatory and can help protect against various diseases. Additionally, they can improve digestion and help with weight management.
The best part? They’re an easy ingredient to experiment with in your kitchen. Millets cook fairly fast. In fact, foxtail millets cook as fast as quinoa or brown rice. To make a gluten-free dough for recipes like millet chapati or millet bread, it’s all mixed in a matter of minutes.
Sometimes my friends call me the lazy chef for always cooking with millets as it’s so easy and fast to cook with them.
Fun fact: Millet grains are one of the oldest food that was consumed by humans.
Here are five recipes to cook with millets, a versatile and gluten-free grain, that you’ll fall in love with:
Millet Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Time: 45 minutes
170 gm ragi
2.5 gm baking powder
0.6 gm baking soda
125 gm jaggery
60 gm coconut oil
60 gm tahini
55 gm water
5 gm vanilla
120 gm dark chocolate chunks
In a bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients. Now mix the wet with the dry until smooth. Add chocolate chunks and mix well to combine.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Shape into 50 grams of flat cookies and bake at 180C for 20 to 25 minutes turning halfway.
Once the bottom is golden brown, transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool for 15 minutes before storing in an air-tight box for up to 4 days.
Time: 60 minutes
1 cup ragi or jowar flour
1 tbsp psyllium husk
½ tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
Add the dry ingredients to a glass/ceramic bowl and mix well. Add hot water and use a spoon to mix well into a dough. Add more flour if the dough is sticky and knead it into a smooth dough. Let it cool for 10 minutes before shaping.
Take a handful of dough, about 45-60 grams, and use a rolling pin to shape a thin round tortilla. Optionally use a plate to round the edges.
Cook on a hot pan for one minute on one side and around 30 seconds on the other. Store in a hot case to maintain softness.
Millet Wrap Assembly
3 red onion slices
3 tomato slices
3 cucumber slices
2 tbsp smoky cheddar-style cheese
2 tbsp coleslaw
1 tsp ketchup
1 tortilla bread
1 burger patty
2-4 mixed greens (rocket, lettuce, baby spinach)
Place a tortilla on a work surface. Place the greens, add onion, tomato, and cucumber, followed by burger mayo or tahini carrot slaw. Crush the burger patty in two and place it on top of the vegetables. Add the ketchup.
To roll the burrito, lift the backside of the tortilla and roll it over the fillings. Tuck it under the filling, fold the sides and roll it. Place the roll on a pan or a griller and cook from all sides. Serve it with a crunchy side salad, muhammara, and/or multi-seed crackers.
Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
2 frozen bananas
1 ½ cup soy milk
6 dates, pitted
2 tbsp ragi/finger millet flour
In a blender, add all the ingredients and blend until smooth.
Millet Burger Patty
Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 5 burger patties
200 grams beetroot, grated
½ cup foxtail millet, soaked, drained, and cooked with 1 cup of water
2 tbsp mint, chopped
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp veg bouillon powder
Oil for frying
In a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well. Shape into five equal-sized burger patties.
Place them on an iron skillet and fry the burgers on medium heat, around 3 minutes on each side. Serve fresh.
#ProTip: Burger Mayo Mix
Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 burgers
4 tbsp cashew paste
1 tbsp BBQ sauce (optional)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp ketchup
Whisk! Store for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Time: 60 minutes
Yield: 2 sheets or 280 grams
115 grams finger millet flour
65 grams sunflower seeds
65 grams sesame seeds
40 grams flaxseed
40 grams of pumpkin seeds
1.4 grams psyllium husk
40 grams sunflower oil
1 cup boiling water
⅛ tsp salt
½ tsp salt (sprinkle evenly before baking)
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, add hot water, and form a slightly sticky dough. You can avoid oil and replace it with 20 ml of water.
Place a handful of the dough onto parchment paper, cover with another parchment paper, and roll into a flat sheet.
Remove the top parchment and use a knife to cut it into the desired shape. Bake at 160C for 20-25 minutes or until crispy. Enjoy with dips/spreads of your choice.