Have you ever heard of millet? It’s an ancient grain that is commonly served in India and east Asia, but in the US is less common. When it does appear, it is usually combined with other grains. Millet grains are small and round and have a delicate flavor, think: a smaller gluten-free version of couscous. Their texture is also unique – it’s a bit crunchy, even when cooked. So if you’re a fan of al dente pasta, you might enjoy millet over another softer grain like rice or quinoa. As an added bonus, it’s also high in antioxidants and magnesium!
I decided to delve into millet because it’s one of the few grains that is allowable on a very strict candida diet I am following. The slightly crunchy texture of the millet and small size of the grains gave me the idea to make it into millet cakes, held together with egg or flaxseed if you’re making a vegan version. Because millet’s flavor is so subtle, it’s an easy grain to season – it quickly takes on whatever flavors and spices you mix it with. In this recipe, the onions, carrots and curry powder ended up being a delicious combination that complemented the taste and texture of the millet well. If you feel like making it more of a lunch accompaniment, you could also scramble in the egg and make millet “fried rice” with the same ingredients. Enjoy!
Ingredients (makes 8 cakes):
1 cup millet, rinsed
2 cups water
salt and pepper
3 teaspoons vegetable oil (we prefer coconut oil)
1/2 of an onion, sliced
6 ounces baby spinach, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten (vegan version: ¼ cup ground flaxseed)
1. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine millet, water, and ½ teaspoon salt in medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until grains are tender and liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Off heat, let millet sit, covered, for 10 minutes; transfer to a large bowl.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion slices and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach and carrots and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in curry powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl with millet and wipe out now-empty skillet with paper towels.
4. Stir eggs (or flax + almond milk) into millet mixture until well combined. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, packing firmly into ½-inch-thick cakes, and place on prepared sheet. Refrigerate cakes until chilled and firm, about 30 minutes.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Gently lay cakes in skillet and cook until deep golden brown and crisp on both sides, 10 to 14 minutes, turning gently halfway through cooking.