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Sunday, September 28, 2008

September 24, 2008: Millet munchables

When I read that the theme of the 2nd Let It Grain blog event was millet, I made myself a stern mental note to join in. I've had a bag of millet in the pantry for well over a month, you see, and not used it at all. Thankfully, Lucy of Nourish Me had recently come up with just the kind of recipe to get me excited about it! The millet is cooked with brown rice in tea rather than water, mixed with tahini and herbs and rolled into balls, and finally plopped into a soup or fried into patties.

I tried the latter approach. Even with a heat diffuser my grains cooked hotter and faster than they should have, and I added more water to cook them longer. This wasn't the greatest of ideas, with my grain mixture ending up rather mushy. Even so, the patties held together well in the pan and we were rewarded with some rather rich, nutty nuggets. We ate them with a salad lightly dressed with pomegranate molasses, and they worked well with this fresh and tangy contrast. The rooibos tea didn't shine through, but I'm keen to try cooking millet and other grains in it again, perhaps constraining the other flavours they have to compete with.

Millet munchables
(one permutation of Lucy's "amaranth and brown rice cooked in rooibos tea")

1 1/2 cups rooibos tea, strained
1/4 cup millet
1/2 cup brown rice
sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon tamari
1/2 tablespoon butter or oil
small handful of celery leaves
vegetable oil, for frying

Put the tea, millet and rice into a saucepan with a pinch of sea salt. Bring it all to the boil, but then turn it down to the lowest heat possible - Lucy suggests using a diffuser. Cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed - Lucy reckons 40-45 minutes but my grains were parched before 30 minutes were up! Either way let the cooked grains rest off the heat, lid still on, for 5 minutes.

Add all the other ingredients (except the frying oil) and combine well. Roll generous tablespoons of the mixture lightly in your hands and then flatten them slightly to form patties. Fry the patties in a little oil until golden brown on each side.


  1. I can beat that! I've had a bag of millet sitting in my cupboard for well over a year now. Do I win a prize or something??

    Also.. did I spy Michael in Carlton Safeway on Saturday?

  2. I also have a much neglected bag of millet and have been looking at millet recipes - some interesting patties on Tasty Palettes blog recently. My experience is that millet can turn mushy rather easily but these look rather tasty

  3. Thanks Cindy (and Lucy) for an interesting recipe. I'll be making it this week for sure. Rooibos is far and away my favourite tea. It was the first herbal tea that I found actually pleasurable to drink (as opposed to being medicinal). It's even better with soy milk and honey. Bonus points for your recipe containing yummy millet and tahini!

  4. Wow, that looks really good! I think I'll have to find me some millet and have a go

  5. Ooo! I LOVE Millet and I love patties even more. Will definitely have to try these!

  6. They're like little balls of happy.

  7. Lily, the prize is another bag of millet - you probably don't want it. :-D And yep, that would've been Michael! He was hastily shopping for an upcoming zucchini recipe.

    Johanna, I was relieved to read another millet blog post that commented on it going mushy. I suppose it actually becomes a good patty binder in this recipe!

    Hi Dmargster! I'm a rooibos fan too - had a great one with vanilla last weekend. I reckon the best part of this recipe, though, is the tahini flavour in the warm patties.

    Hiya Maffy! Lucy also suggested amaranth as an alternative, so take your pick. :-)

    I hope they hit the spot, Vegetation. :-)

    Bunches, these made me all kinds of happy when the patties actually held together in the frypan!

  8. Ha! Yeah.. you can keep the prize.

    Next time you or Michael are in that store on Saturday or Sunday, come and say hi! I'm the short blonde girl working in the deli. I'll give you samples of olives, or something ;)

  9. Oh, cool! I'll definitely keep an eye out for you if I'm there on the weekend. :-)