What is millet?

Worthy of far more than its bird food label, millet actually ranks as the sixth most important grain in the world, sustaining more than a third of the world’s population. It was one of the first grains to be domesticated and was a staple in Africa and Asia for thousands of years. It remains popular on both continents and in Eastern Europe and has a mild corn flavour. Add pearled millet as it is to cakes and muffins, whole millet to salads and stews, ground millet to cereals and unleavened bread, or pop it as a snack. Millet is gluten free and easy to digest. It is a good source of manganese and also contains a moderate amount of dietary fibre, as well as minerals zinc, copper and phosphorus, and various phytochemicals.

How to prepare millet

Toasting millet before adding any liquid enhances the nuttiness of the grain.

How to cook millet

Use 1 part millet to 3½ parts water. Boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender or longer if you prefer a more porridge-like consistency.

How to store millet

With a relatively short shelf life, millet keeps best in an airtight container in a cool larder, or for longer if frozen.

Alternatives to millet

Try quinoa instead.