How to Cook Millet (Pilaf-style or Porridge-style) On The Hob In Less Than 25 Minutes
This is a tale of two bowls of millet, pilaf-style and porridge-style. A tale that spans three decades and two continents. A tale that begins in Africa with millet sold in street markets, piled high in jute sacks and doled out by the street vendors in cut-out Peak Milk Condensed Evaporated Milk 160ml cans, re-purposed into crude measuring cups. And one that ends with pre-packaged, pre-measured packets of millet retailed in the large supermarkets, the likes of Whole Foods Market et al.
This is a story that revolves around the cooking of millet. From smouldering fire-wood blackened earthenware cauldrons in Nasarawa state of Northern Nigeria, where millet was cooked to perfection from intuition and memory, without a measuring cup in sight, to the neatly packaged bag of millet with precise instructions on how much liquid to add to produce the perfect steamy plate of millet in my alpine pantry in Switzerland.
Growing up in Africa, you just knew how much water to add to the pot of millet to produce the “right” kind of millet dish you were after. No measuring cups, no fancy gadgets. Just a good eye and “the feel” for how much liquid was just enough. I didn’t have the eye, nor the feel, but the older ladies all just kind of had it..
When I discovered a packet of millet at my local supermarket the other day, it brought back nostalgic memories of Africa and I was determined to introduce my DD (Dear Daughter) and my DS (Dear Son) to millet. Of course, it was super handy to have instructions written out on the packet. I thought, what could possibly go wrong?
I decided to adhere to the cooking instructions on the packet, even though instinct was screaming out at me that the proportions in the instructions did not feel right. You know that saying “trust your instinct” right? Well, on this occasion, I decided to ignore my instinct, and give it a go, and boy, I ended up with a hideous paste that lacked any texture or appeal. Made a note to self – trust your goddamned instincts!
If you have been following my previous posts, you know how I feel about millet already. Suffice to say, millet is a nutritious gluten-free grain that can be enjoyed in meals as a substitute for rice. Its’ versatility lends itself to varied uses – as a breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or brunch, depending on its mode of preparation. Millet can be prepared pilaf-style, which works very well when incorporating millet in salad bowls. It can also be prepared porridge-style. Whatever method you choose, millet is very simple and quick to prepare. Just be prepared to invest approximately five minutes of your time to get your pan of millet on the hob.
Recipe and video link below. Let me know how you get on!
Is this recipe right for you?
Take care and catch you next week!