Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cooking Millets

I have sweet/sugar problems. I can't completely stop eating sweets. It is shameful even the kids have been recruited to watch my sugar addiction. Anyway staying off sugar completely is never going to happen. Instead there is one thing I can do. Reduce the carbohydrates. Instead of just alternating between rice and wheat I have decided to try a variety of grains and seeds that I can get my hands on.

Cattail Millet

Back home in KonguNadu before rice became popular in the 50s several kinds of millets were part of the diet. Once rice took over especially the white rice most of these other grains simply fell of the radar. When we were kids pearl millet was cooked and made into balls and kept soaked in water to be eaten during the hot summer afternoons. This was my grandfather mostly and we kids mostly kept away from it. While pearl millet was the most common one back home. Here in the US the millet that is available is cattail millet or Kambu.

Soak the millet and then cook in boiling water.

I bought some millet from Whole Foods a month ago. It cooks pretty quickly and just as easily substitute it for rice. The millet by itself does not have any taste. Perhaps for taste buds used to glucose as in rice getting used to millet might be a little difficult. With a spicy curry on the side that problem can be easily overcome.

Cookeing Millet
Preparation Time:10 + 30 (soaking time) minutes
Cooking Time:20 minutes
  1. 1 cup of millet (Cattail millet)
  2. 2 - 3/12 cups of water (the amount of water depends on how long the millet is soaked)
Stove Top Method - soaked
  1. Soak the millet in plenty of water for about 30 minutes at least. Wash in several changes of water.
  2. Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil. Keep 1/2 cup of water aside. Add the washed millet to the boiling water, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes first in medium heat. Stir with a spoon and cook for another 10 minutes in medium low heat.
  3. If the millet is still whole at this point add the reserved 1/2 cup of water. (I did not need it.) When the water is all absorbed turn off the heat. Keep covered for another 5-10 minutes before serving.
  4. Note: Watch the millet as it is cooking, if the waters get too low and if the millet is not cooked add the reserved water.
Pressure Cooker Method - unsoaked
  • Wash the millet is several changes of water.
  • In a pressure cooker add the millet and 3 1/2 cups of water and cook for 3-4 whistles.
  • Let the pressure subside naturally and then open and fluff the cooked millet.
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    1. loved eating Millet while we were in Japan. here in Kolkata we hardly get to see any whole grain, such a pity. otherwise would have loved to join you in this. The meal looks delish

      1. That is indeed sad Sayantani. Maybe a semi rural area might have them?

    2. I've been having millets on and off, tried several of them. Ragi is too heavy to have in place of rice. I have come to prefer foxtail millet and little millet (sama). I found barnyard millet too difficult to cook, as in it cooks too fast. I don't much worry about the taste as it's just a vehicle for me to eat the curry with, it's not all that different from rice, really.

      1. I agree, ragi as in idlies, porridge, dosai, roti might work better. Ragi kali was also made in those days. I have never tried eating ragi like rice though.

        I have never tried barnyard millet or fox tail millet. Just goes to show how varied the millet world is.

      2. ISG here's just one thought -- if you're looking to sub out rice for something else -- barley is a good start. Not sure where it falls on the glycemic index but it's tasty and I have been regularly subbing out half my rice with this.

        Millet = sama? wow -- I may have a bag of this in my stash I brought from Mass ;)

      3. Sama is also a kind of millet. Time to cook it up :)

        Barley of course. I have made soup with it. It will be tried soon. I don't care too much about glycemic index but a chance to sub out rice.

        Hope school along good.


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