Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

Understanding millets: From portion to hydration (plus a special recipe)

Understand that every millet needs a proper soaking time of minimum 6-8 hours. So, plan your menu and make sure you soak your millets every day

milletUnderstand portion, hydration and sticking to one-grain ideas. (Courtesy: Shalini Rajani)

Following a specific protocol with millets can get boring. But you cannot be eating Ambali (fermented millet porridge) every day and neither can your meals be boring. But trust me when I say that the transition from wheat to no wheat can be interesting and smooth — something I often stress upon in my six-week millet journey.

Around 97 per cent of the total world population is gluten-sensitive; only one per cent is gluten-intolerant. When people switch to millets, they follow a specific protocol recommended as per their health condition.  What stresses them out is eating the same millet for continuous two-three days. And this is where I have started sharing a lot of meal plans with my participants. I would like to give a few tips here too.

*Understand that every millet needs a proper soaking time of minimum 6-8 hours. So, plan your menu and make sure you soak your millets every day. This will save your time and effort to get that perfectly cooked grain.

*Do not consume Ambali (the fermented porridge) more than thrice in 10 days. Too much of anything isn’t good. Even if it is good bacteria.

*Stop using processed millet flours, millet vermicelli, millet flakes, et al. A Gluten-free journey is not a millet journey. Stick to whole grains and make your own flours.

*Understand portion, hydration and sticking to one-grain ideas.

*You can have just one meal with grains and rest of the meals prefer grain-free if you are a beginner on millet journey. Start with just 6 meals per week and gradually increase.

Sharing my kodo millet menu from yesterday. It wasn’t difficult at all to try out interesting stuff with one millet. I soaked six fists of kodo millet for my family’s entire day’s consumption. I began my day with steamed Kodo Millet Mexican Salad. It was easy and I would like to share this recipe with you all here. I steamed one part for salad and as a substitute for rice for lunch. I ground the other part into a fine batter. Assembled that batter with gluten-free sourdough discard that was lying in my fridge. And rustled up a quick Focaccia. The leftover steamed millet was used up as millet kebab for the dinner and was paired up with a simple beetroot amla soup. I was sorted, I did not compromise on taste, I was gluten-free for the entire day, had one kind of grain and was much lighter and happier. Did I mention that because I planned well on time, I saved my time too?


That’s what the millet journey is all about. I wish to reach out to more people to come to this path, embrace these grains not as medicine but as fun meals. Millets are fun after all.

Mexican Salad Mexican Salad with Kodo Millet and Kodo Millet Sourdough Bread


Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • ½ cup Steamed Kodo Millet
  • ½ cup Kidney Beans
  • ¼ cup Steamed Corns
  • 8-10 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Fresh herbs like Mint, Coriander, Cilantro, Parsley, etc
  • 1 tsp Dried Herbs (I used crushed Rosemary and Oregano)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar (or any unprocessed Sugar)
  • Juice of half Lemon


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  1. Thoroughly wash and soak Kodo millet for 6-8 hours. Once soaked, steam it and allow it to cool.
  2. Now in a mixing bowl, start adding kidney beans, sweet corn, tomatoes.
  3. In a mortar and pestle, crush dried herbs with olive oil, sugar and salt. Mix and add to the salad. Mix it all well.
  4. Add fresh herbs and top it up with lemon juice.
  5. Try consuming this salad fresh and pair it with a slice of bread or just barbequed veggies.
  6. Enjoy, refer to the video attached.

Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups.

First published on: 25-07-2021 at 06:20:04 pm
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