I’ve recently become smitten with millet. It’s extremely versatile, nutty, sweet and incredibly nutritious. Even Ella loves it. We eat is as a breakfast porridge, as a side dish in place of polenta, and in patties such as these. In this version, the golden cakes are laced with curry powder, scallions, carrots, peas, garlic and ginger, and are served with a cooling cucumber and mint raita (but for you vegans out there, you can certainly nix the raita and omit the egg from the recipe—the results are still delicious).
The process is simple, but like many things in life, it takes a bit of planning (planning is so important when cooking from scratch, but more on that in another post!). I soak the millet either overnight in the refrigerator or all day on the counter (see my note on soaking grains below; this is not necessary, but if you have the time, it’s worth it). I then cook the millet with the vegetables and spices, shape the mixture into patties, and sauté them until golden and crisp. Since the whole process takes a bit of time, I like to make the millet and shape the patties the day before, then cook them off the following night.
In fact, this has become my go-to dinner for busy Mondays: I’ll prep the patties on Sunday; pop them in the fridge; and come Monday I have a quick and nutritious meal at my fingertips. I serve the patties with a simple green salad, or with a shredded carrot salad seasoned with ground cumin, coriander, garlic, lemon and a handful of herbs (scallions, mint, cilantro… whatever I have). The cakes are warm and slightly spicy, the raita is creamy and refreshing, and the salad adds the perfect amount of crunch. All in all, the meal is colorful, nutritious and utterly addicting.
Soaking grains: If you have the time, it’s a good idea to soak your grains (millet, rice, quinoa, etc) for 8-24 hours before cooking them. This reduces the phytic acid in the grains, which is an enzyme- and mineral-inhibitor that blocks the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body. When the grains have been soaked, our bodies can absorb all of those beneficial nutrients. After soaking, rinse the grains, and then cook them as usual.
Curried Millet Patties
- 3-4 tablespoons organic , unrefined (extra virgin) coconut oil, divided
- 5 green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot , shredded on large holes of a box grater
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon sea salt , plus additional for seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 cup millet , soaked 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup cooked peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 large egg , lightly beaten
- Raita for serving (optional)
In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the green onions, shredded carrot, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until tender. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the millet and stir well. Pour in 3 cups water, and add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, 15-20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and fold in the peas. Let sit, stirring every now and then, until the mixture is cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Add the beaten egg and mix well.
Line a pan with wax paper. With damp hands, form 10-12 tightly-packed patties, roughly 3 inches in diameter. Place the patties on the prepared pan. Do Ahead: The patties can be covered with a sheet of wax paper then plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. Pat dry with a paper towel before sautéing.
Heat 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil in a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties until golden brown on both sides, about 3-6 minutes per side (you may need to do this in batches, adding additional coconut oil, if necessary). Remove patties from pan and sprinkle immediately with sea salt. Serve warm with raita alongside, if you wish.
- 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic , smashed to paste or grated on microplane
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
- 2 scallions , minced
- ½ cup finely chopped cucumber (remove seeds or use seedless)
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Sea salt
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt. Let sit 10 minutes before serving to let the flavors meld. Do Ahead: The raita can be made 24 hours in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.