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.
(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
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.