Recently, ancient grains like millet have become quite popular in the United States. But they are also pricey, to be found in health food stores and the like. I always get a thrill when I can buy foods like that very cheaply in the village markets where I live. For about five pounds of millet I pay about $1. :-) Millet is nutritious, supplying you with potassium, iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium. 100 grams of millet contains 11grams of protein - that's almost as much as two eggs. It is also gluten free.

If you buy grains or seeds in a village market, they will need to be washed and sorted. The women in my West African location have a very nifty and efficient technique for this, which is quite impossible to explain. But if you live in a place where millet is grown, I would guess the women will be able to show you how they do this.

Here's three of our favorite millet recipes.

1. Breakfast cereal
For this I toast the millet in a dry pot until it is golden. Then I grind it coarsely. (I use a small metal hand grinder). In the morning, I will cook about two cups of meal with about six cups of water and a bit of salt. Cook for about 20 minutes. Serve with milk and sweetener of choice.

2. Millet pancakes
For this, I use raw, finely ground millet flour. Replace all purpose flour with millet flour in any pancake recipe. Even better if you substitute yogurt or sour milk for the milk.

3. Curry over millet
My favorite! Reminds me of bulghur wheat and couscous.

Toast 2 cups of millet in a bit of oil until slightly browned. Add about 6 cups of water and some salt and simmer for about an hour, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and let steam for about 30 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve with curry of your choice.

I have also made banana bread using millet flour, I have sprouted millet, and I have read that millet will pop like popcorn but I have not had success with that for some reason. Have you used millet? Let us know if you have any creative ideas!


Meet Lysanne: I am a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mommy to two little girls aged 4 and 1.5, and I am currently living in rural West Africa. Language and culture learning has us immersed in small village life right now, and that means some unique challenges and lots of wonderful times.

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  • We use millet as part of a mix of grains for the porridge we eat almost every morning. And yes, it does pop, into nice compact, crunchy little puffs, which in my opinion are even better than popcorn. Since I don't have an oven I roast my grains in a skillet over low heat. The last batch of millet I roasted was popping so much I had to stop roasting it before it was very dark. :-) Kinda fun to snack while you roast your grains.

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