Adventures with Millet

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Last weekend I took my first foray in to cooking millet which is a gluten free grain.  I had used millet flakes in porridge before but never tried cooking the grain.  Apparently it is commonly used as bird seed but I didn’t let that put me off!  Inspired by a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe in his book Plenty which involved caramelising fennel in maple syrup, I decided to roast some fennel with olive oil and maple syrup to go with my millet.  I also added some kale and coconut flakes (seen in Heidi Swanson’s book Super Natural Every Day) and it turned out to make a nice healthy lunch.

I think I need a little more practice cooking millet as I found it hard to stop it sticking together but it still made a nice basis for this meal.  You could also use brown rice or quinoa.  This isn’t so much a recipe as a record of my experiments.  I’d encourage you to try your own flavours but the maple syrup definitely added a lovely subtle sweetness to the dish.  Maple syrup is always a good plan in my book.
Serves 2
100g (4oz) ½ cup millet
300ml or 1 ½ cups water
1 fennel bulb chopped and fronds removed
1 bunch of kale, chopped and stems removed
1 handful of unsweetened flaked coconut
1 x tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 x teaspoon maple syrup
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C, 400°F
Bring a pan of water to a boil and add the millet.  Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.  Fluff with a fork, cover with a lid and set aside to steam.
Meanwhile mix the oil and maple syrup together.  Place the fennel on a baking tray and toss in the oil/syrup mixture.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes then remove and add the kale and coconut.  Toss in the oil and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the coconut is toasted.  Try to avoid letting the kale become too brown and crisp by tossing it regularly.  Finally add everything to the millet and mix together.  Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.
I’d love to know how you like to cook with millet!


  1. I never quite know what to do with millet--so I end up just throwing it int he rice cooker and eating it with stews or stir-fries. I bet some kind of burger with millet would be good though!

    1. Ooh yes I can see it working in a burger and I think it is supposed to be good in baking too.