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How to Cook Millet Perfectly:
When it comes to millet recipes, people still face difficulty. But if we know the proper way and techniques to cook millet, it becomes easy. The removal of anti-nutritional compounds from the millet is a mandatory requirement prior to its consumption otherwise it can create serious health hazards. From ancient times, different techniques and treatments have been given to millet grains at the household level to make them suitable for human consumption. They include soaking, heating, roasting, fermentation, cooking, etc
The right technique to cook millet is to go with measurement. If the measurement of millet grains and water is perfect, we get the perfect right-cooked millets. Let us follow some tips before and after cooking millet.
Soaking of Millet:
When both parents are working, there is always a hurry in cooking breakfast or lunch. So, we decide what to cook the next day before going to bed. We always soak the millet overnight and it becomes easy and fast to cook. The best thing is that soaking millet for 6-8 hours breaks down the phytic acid and it becomes easy to digest. If you are planning to cook millet, remember to soak it overnight.
Measurement of Grains and Water:
We require water as per the Millet Recipe we plan to cook. Let me give you the exact measurement for different millet recipes that I have learned from my experience.
Millet Rice – 1:2 (Millet: Water)
Millet Upma with Vegetables – 1:2.5
Millet Khichdi with Pulses and Vegetables – 1:3
Millet Pongal/Porridge – 1:4 (Millet: Water)
Generally, millet requires about 20-25 minutes for cooking. If you are cooking in a pressure cooker, you need to go for 2 whistles on a medium flame, and if in an earthen pot/vessel you need to cook for 12-13 minutes on medium flame by covering the pot with a lid. After 12-13 minutes turn off the gas and give a resting time of 10 minutes. Resting time makes the millet fluffy.
How to cook Millet in a Pressure Cooker:
When you are cooking in a pressure cooker for up to 2 whistles, you need to allow it to rest for 10 minutes or so to release pressure. This method gives a nice texture and makes the millet fluffy. To get a better idea, you can go through the video below. In this video, I have made Proso Millet Upma. It was really tasty and yummy. All the members of our family enjoyed it.
How to cook Millet in Pot:
Millets can also be cooked in an earthen pot. To give you a glimpse, let us watch the video below, where I have cooked Barnyard Millet upma for breakfast. It was very simple and easy and I am sure after watching it you can too do it nicely at your home.
Learning how to cook millet and its opportunities:
I see a lot of opportunities in teaching people how to cook millet and start the millet journey. Nowadays you can find lots of videos and blogs on the internet about millet recipes. Let me introduce someone who does a workshop on Cooking with millet and she has been connected to people from more than 36 countries.
Shalini Rajani, founder of Crazy Kadchi and a Millet Coach, holds an innovative millet cooking workshop for all groups. She has been conducting millet workshops for more than 8 years. Started her journey with healthy food and healthy cooking but she could find people suffering from gluten tolerance and people started moving towards vegan foods. There were incidents where more people were suffering from diabetes even kids were facing the problem of diabetes. Understanding millet in a better way, she realized that Millet is the future, especially in the world of culinary.
Shalini did her B.Sc(Hons) in Chemistry and after graduation, she has done a course on multimedia. Then joined Journalism in Mass Communication at Aligarh Muslim University and was the gold medalist. After post-graduation landed in Advertising and worked as a Copywriter. She left the job when she was a Copy Supervisor.
Shalini was always into cooking and experimenting with foods and then she realized that she might be a writer by profession but a Chef by heart. Although she does not possess any culinary degree but participated in the Master Chef India season 4 in 2012. In this competition, she cleared a few rounds and from there she decided to take her journey further. It was at that stage of her life when she used all the learnings, skills, and knowledge she gained from B.Sc(Chemistry), Multimedia, Advertising, and Communication in her Millet Journey Workshop.
Previously she was conducting the workshop in offline mode and during the COVID pandemic; she started a 6 weeks Millet Journey and then moved to 10 weeks. In her workshop, she brings the millet grains in an interesting way so that people do not think of it as sick people’s food.
In her workshop she teaches the basics of millet grains, making the participants understand the different types of millet and the importance of millet in a very systematic way. During the 10 weeks journey, she teaches how to soak millet, make millet flour at home, millet rice, biriyani, noodles, pasta, rusks, cakes, biscuits, cookies, different types of bread, millet salads, and many more. In addition to that, she conducts one-to-one sessions to understand the participant’s health problems if any, guides them accordingly, and also shares pre-recorded unedited videos. She also gives a complimentary session on gut health and shares how to make an ambali recipe interesting, sourdough starter, baking with millet, and provides recipe booklets.
She shares with her participants that removing phytates, oxalates, and other anti-nutrients from millet is a very important step and this can be done by properly washing and soaking. She believes that millet is for everyone and healing with millet is possible but people need to understand the technique of bringing millet into the regular diet.
In 2021 Shalini took her Millet Journey workshop to 24 countries and 46 cities across the globe. She simply says ‘‘Millets are Fun’’. In addition to her workshop, she writes for ‘‘’’ The Indian Express’’’’ where she shares interesting Millet recipes.
If you are interested to join her millet workshop and start your millet journey, you can connect with her on Instagram
Hope this blog was interesting for you. If you found it useful, please let me know in the comment section below. I will be happy to hear from you. All this for today, hoping to see you soon in my next post.
Author: Tapas Chandra Roy, A Certified Farm Advisor on Millets, ‘Promoting Millets from Farm to Plate’ and an Author of the book -” Millet Business Ideas-Empowering Millet Startups”. In a mission to take the forgotten grains- Millets to Millions. To remain updated on my blogs on Millets please subscribe to my newsletter and for any queries please feel free to write to [email protected]