Exotic flavours abound in both of these dishes! I like to eat them together as a meal because the flavours compliment each other so well. But they can be served individually as a side dish to accompany other main courses. They can also be made ahead and served at room temperature, which makes them ideal for picnics and potlucks.
Millet is a gluten-free grain and easily digested. It is considered an alkaline food and one of the least allergenic grains available. Millet contains high levels of several key minerals and nutrients, including B-complex vitamins, thiamine, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. It is also high in fiber and protein and is well balanced in essential amino acids (source).
This versatile little grain can be cooked firm, similar to couscous, or soft and mushy similar to polenta. The consistency is determined by the length of cooking time and the liquid to grain ratio. The longer it is cooked in stock or water, the softer it becomes.
The flavours and textures in this recipe are reminiscent of a Moroccan couscous. Millet takes longer to cook than couscous but I highly recommend becoming familiar with cooking this grain, as it is a great one to switch things up with every now and again.
Serves 6 -8, as a side dish
- 1-cup millet
- 3-cups vegetable stock, or water
- ½ cup dried currants
- ½ cup pine nuts, pine nuts
- 2-3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
- 1/3 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp. Celtic or pink Himalayan salt
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Lightly toast the millet for about 3 minutes in a dry frying pan or until millet becomes fragrant and lightly golden brown. Watch out for the few grains that pop!
Add the stock and salt. Cover and simmer gently until millet is cooked, about 20-30 minutes.
Test for doneness – the millet should be firm and dry, but cooked. If it is crunchy and tastes a bit chalky, cook it a little longer, adding a bit more liquid a few tablespoons at a time if necessary. Alternatively, if the millet is cooked and there is liquid in the pan, drain the excess liquid away.
Transfer the cooked millet to a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste, and serve. In this recipe, its the mint that brings the flavours together for me! Love it!
Generally, I like the taste of carrots without any added seasonings – especially when they are in season and locally grown. Can’t beat that fresh sweet taste! However, I am making an exception for this recipe! These carrots really are truly delicious and pair so well with the flavours in the millet above. This is an incredibly fast and easy recipe too!
Serves 6 -8, as a side dish
- 1 kg carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
- 1/3-cup water
- 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped.
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
Place the prepared carrots, water and salt in a medium sized saucepan and cook partially covered until carrots are tender but not over done; about 5-7 minutes. Drain off any excess water and transfer carrots to a large bow. Mix in the remaining ingredients and adjust the seasoning. These carrots are equally good served hot or at room temperature.