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February 19, 2010

Spicy Mexi Millet

Are you familiar with millet? Until recently, my eyes passed over it at the store many times without giving it a second thought.

At closer look I found out a few very interesting things about millet:
  1.  It is a grain-like plant, the edible portion being the seeds.
  2. Millet is a significant part of the diet in parts of Asia and Africa.
  3. This crop does well in hot dry climates, where wheat and rice might not.
  4. Just like the trendy seed quinoa, it is suitable for people following a gluten-free diet.
  5. These seeds are made up of nearly 15% protein, along with being high in fiber, and containing minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. 
  6. If you don't end up liking millet, you can serve it up in your backyard bird feeder or make beanbags with it.
After my first experience with millet I have decided that I will not be using it as bird seed. Millet can be eaten porridge-style for breakfast, it shines as a substitute for rice and other grains in side dishes, it is a common wheat substitute in gluten-free breads, and it can also be made into sweet dishes like pudding. Now I just wonder why a grain with such potential to appear in any meal of the day, and even dessert, doesn't get more press. 

I have only just begun experimenting with millet in my kitchen, but I am off to a great start with this Spicy Mexi Millet (thanks Jessy!). This dish is like Spanish rice, and it is great as a hearty side dish. I stuffed peppers with it one night, and another night served it burrito-style atop sauteed cabbage with a drizzle of queso and avocado slices. 

I think this is the start of a beautiful relationship.

Spicy Mexi Millet
(adapted from happyveganface)

½ cup uncooked millet
1 cup water
1 cup cooked black beans (or pinto or kidney beans)
1 green pepper, diced small
1 small yellow onion, diced small
1 carrot, grated
1 large tomato, diced small
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded, finely diced
juice from ½ a lime

Place dry millet in a small pot and toast over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add in the water and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer about 15-18 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.

Spray a large skillet generously with cooking spray, and heat over medium high. Toss in the green pepper and onions and saute for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in garlic and jalapenos, and saute for another minute. Mix in your beans, carrots, and spices and cook for another 2 minutes. Last, stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. 

Add the cooked millet to the skillet, stir in the lime juice and tomato paste, and serve.

Makes about 5-6 side dish servings, or stuffs an equal amount of peppers or tortillas.


  1. I have not tried millet yet. So thank you for the review! I just happen to have some poblanos waiting to be stuffed. Perhaps I'll be making a Whole Foods trip tomorrow for some millet and trying out this recipe. Love getting new ideas and inspirations!

  2. Millet is my husband's favorite grain. He loves the stuff. Glad you tried it and like it too.

    It also makes a great stuffing for veggies. If you have leftover Mexi millet it would be great used that way.


  3. I've only ever used millet mixed in with quinoa to make patties. I've never tried it on its own but sounds like I should!

  4. Millet is something I have never tried. I don't know why actually. Perhaps, I just haven't noticed it. I think I would plump for your second dish, with all that lovely avocado. Mmmmmm!

  5. I love millet! It's one of my favorite grains.

  6. I've never tried millet! I need to put that one on my list, because it always looks so good!

  7. Milled has been one of the first grains I tried out after going vegetarian 20 years ago. I always have a bag of it around and I even make porridge with it. Jessy's recipes are awesome, I need to try that MexiMillet.

  8. More of your tasty genius! This sounds AMAZING, thank you for another fabulous recipe.

  9. I've never had millet, but if I saw these dishes on the menu, I would be tempted.

  10. I've heard a lot about millet lately. You make it look so yummy I'll have to try it!

  11. That looks great! I have never tried millet, only used it to feed the birds, but it's now on my shortlist of new things to try.

  12. I have not tried millet but I need to:)

  13. Millet is one grain I don't have too much experience with either... I love this zesty, spicy way you've prepared this, Sarah... a must-try! :o)

  14. I use finger millet regularly but have never used just plain millet ! This looks like a great way to start :-)

  15. hooray, Sarah! i'm so glad you like millet and i'm also superhappyfaced you tried our recipe and enjoyed it, too! thanks so much for the shout-out! you are too sweet! i remember a few months ago my dad was asking about what new grains he should try (having finally tried quinoa) - i suggested millet and he said, "jes, i feed that stuff to the birds in the backyard!" he has yet to try it, but i'm so glad you gave it a whirl. i also love it as a breakfast porridge; simmering cooked millet in almond milk and tossing in some ground flax seeds, chopped dried fruit, and a little brown rice syrup. so yum! i never thought to enjoy this over sauteed cabbage and smothered in a cheezy sauce - you're brilliant, and the next time we make spicy mexi millet i'm totally enjoying it Sarah Style! mmmmmm!

  16. I really love millet, but rarely make it since I'm not ever really sure what to make with it. I'm always happy to find new recipes, though! Thanks for this one, it's a good reason to buy more of that little grain!

  17. looks great! I've never tried millet before.

  18. mmmm, I love that Millet rhymes with skillet in the recipe.

    I love making millet bars for breakfast on the go and snacking. so easy!

  19. Nice idea for millet - I have found it always sticks to the pan when I cook it so I suspect it is less popular than rice because it is not quite as userfriendly - but would be happy to find it is just me - I have a bit of a love hate relationship with millet flour but am sure I can overcome it


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