Millet is a wonderful grain.
It has a long and interesting history : according to Wikipedia:
“Some of the earliest evidence of millet cultivation in China was found at Cishan (north). Cishan dates for common millet husk phytoliths and biomolecular components have been identified around 8300–6700 BC in storage pits along with remains of pit-houses, pottery, and stone tools related to millet cultivation. Evidence at Cishan for foxtail millet dates back to around 6500 BC. A 4,000-year-old well-preserved bowl containing well-preserved noodles made from foxtail millet and broomcorn millet was found at the Lajia archaeological site in China.
Palaeoethnobotanists have found evidence of the cultivation of millet in the Korean Peninsula dating to the Middle Jeulmun pottery period (around 3500–2000 BC). Millet continued to be an important element in the intensive, multicropping agriculture of the Mumun pottery period (about 1500–300 BC) in Korea. Millets and their wild ancestors, such as barnyard grass and panic grass, were also cultivated in Japan during the Jōmon period some time after 4000 BC.
Millet made its way from China to the Black Sea region of Europe by 5000 BC.The cultivation of common millet as the earliest dry crop in East Asia has been attributed to its resistance to drought, and this has been suggested to have aided its spread.
Pearl Millet was domesticated in the Sahel region of West Africa, where it’s wild ancestors are found. Evidence for the cultivation of Pearl Millet in Mali dates back to 2500 BC,and Pearl Millet is found in South Asia by 2300 BC.”
It’s not difficult to cook, but it can turn sticky or soggy if it’s not cooked properly. Millet is also rich in minerals, particularly magnesium, and can offer many health benefits. It’s easy to digest, versatile to use, and is a great addition to a varied vegan diet.
Below is my recipe for baked millet and cauliflower croquettes, delicately spiced, and served two ways: with a fruity salad or in a spicy tomato and pea sauce.
MILLET AND CAULIFLOWER CROQUETTES
Makes 10-12 croquettes
- 225gms. millet
- 500ml water
- 1 small leek (approx 150gms.)
- 500 gms. cauliflower (leaves and tough stalks removed)
- 4tsps. coriander seeds – finely ground
- 2 tsps. cumin seeds – finely ground
- 1 tsp. chilli powder
- 2cms. ginger – finely grated
- 1.5 tsps. salt
- 1-2 tbs. olive oil
- 100gms. raisins
- 20gms. plain flour ( I used chickpea/besan flour)
- 2 tbs. linseed / flaxseed
- Juice 1 small lemon
- 2 tbs. tamari/soy
- 2 tbs. tahini
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 200ml. water
- Wash the millet thoroughly and drain.
- Place a heavy saucepan on a medium high heat.
- When the pan is hot, add the millet.
- Dry roast for 4-5 mins. Stir constantly. Continue to stir until the millet becomes completely dry, and then rattles in the pan, and then begins to pop. It will have a sweet nutty fragrance. Avoid burning.
- Add 500ml. cold water.
- Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, (use a diffuser if necessary) cover, and cook gently for 30 mins.
- Remove from heat and allow to stand, covered, for 10 mins.
- Fluff up the millet with a fork, then set aside.
- Wash and finely grate the cauliflower. I blitzed it on pulse in a food processor.
- Wash and slice the leek into rings. 2-3ml. thick.
- In a wide pan, heat 1 tbs. oil.
- Fry leek slices for 1 min.
- Add grated cauliflower and saute for a further 4-5 mins.
- Add grated ginger. Saute for 1 min.
- Add chilli, coriander and cumin powder. Saute 1 min.
- Remove from heat.
- Mix raisins and 20 gms. flour together in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, combine millet, sauteed cauliflower mix, and then add flour-coated raisins and mix well.
- In a blender, grind: 2tbs. linseeds. Add juice 1 lemon, 2tbs. tamari/soy, 2tbs. tahini, 2tsps. cinnamon and 200 ml. water. Blend well and leave to stand 10 mins.
- Add linseed mixture to millet and cauliflower. Combine evenly.
- On a floured board, divide the mix and form 10-12 croquettes: approx 6cms. diameter and 2-3 cms. deep.
- Lay out on a baking tray lined with oiled baking parchment.
- Lightly spray or baste the croquettes with olive oil.
- Garnish with pumpkin + sesame seeds.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven: Gas Mk7. / 220C for 30 – 40 mins until golden brown.
A fruity salad: Dice melon. Peel and dice cucumber. Add pomegranate seeds + Sliced radishes. Dress with a dash of lemon juice and a sprinkling of cinnamon. And maybe a drizzle of tahini too….
Or: serve with a sauce of fried onions, tomato passata, garlic and chilli flakes, salt + pepper and a handful of frozen peas. Serve piping hot.
Thanks for reading