Millet also known as proso, is a type of grain that had been raised by humans for food for over 7000 years. As millet is a type of grass plant, not related to wheat it is gluten free and is suitable for people with gluten intolerance. 100 grams of raw millet yields a whopping 11 grams of protein making it not suitable for low protein diets. Other than high protein content millet is rich in fiber (8.5g per 100g) and also is an excellent source of vitamin B6, folate, niacin, iron, vitamin B2, manganese, phosphorous, iron.
So how do we eat this wild beast?
Simplest way is to boil it and serve as a replacement for rice in any dish calling for rice. Best cooking proportion is 1 part grain to 2 parts water or milk.
Here is one of typical Russian dishes for you to try millet –
Kasha* with mushrooms and onions.
1 cup (250 mL) millet, well rinsed and drained
2 cups (500 mL) water
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large Portobello mushroom, finely chopped
3 Tbsp (45 mL) canola oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) ground black pepper
In a small saucepan, cover millet in water. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, until all water is absorbed and millet is fluffy and soft.
In a frying pan, heat canola oil with black pepper. Saute onions with mushrooms until onions turn golden brown. Season with salt.
In a large bowl, gently toss together the cooked millet, mushroom and onion. Serve hot as a main course or as a side dish.
Makes 6 servings.
*kasha – in Russian cuisine it is a name of a dish, not a grain. It is similar to pilaf or plain steamed rice, that can be prepared not only from buckwheat but form a wide variety of different grains, including millet.