Last time made this millet salad, I served it to the lunch club. It got so popular that even non-members wanted the recipe. This time, I brought it as a side dish at a friend’s house for a barbecue. The verdict? Deliciously crunchy with a kick!
Few people are familiar with millet. Growing up, my mom’s “millet aux tomates” was one of my favourite dishes. It was basically a casserole of millet and roasted tomatoes with thyme. I loved the crunch of the grain and the tartness of the tomatoes together.
Millet is a tiny grain that is a staple in African diets. It is just about the same size as quinoa, a South American grain, but their texture differ when cooked. I find that millet is crunchier and more filling, while quinoa feels lighter and fluffier. On the picture below, you can find millet at the top, with amaranth on the left and quinoa on the right side.
Nutritionally, millet is high in vitamin B and a good source of nutrients such as magnesium and phosphorus. It is also suitable for people on gluten-free diets.
African Millet Salad
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, julienned
- 2 tbsp chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup millet
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
In medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil and sauté the onion until golden and soft. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a minute, then add paprika, black pepper, allspice and cayenne and cook for one more minute.
Wash millet quickly and drain. Add to the pan and stir, coating the grains and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. When all the liquid is absorbed and the grain is tender, cover and take off the heat for 10 minutes to steam. Scrape the cooked millet into a bowl and cover, then let cool.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil with the lemon juice and brown sugar in a small bowl. Stir the corn, bell pepper, tomato and parsley into the cooked millet mixture, then drizzle the dressing over it. Stir to coat. Serve topped with the peanuts.