This Millet Salad with Spiced Chickpeas is delicious and super tasty. It could work as a main course or a side salad. You my think of bird food when you look at this tiny cereal, but it actually has been a food staple for hundreds of years in Africa and Asia. Currently is becoming one of the favourite ingrefients to go when you have celiac friends coming over for dinner.
But actually, millet is much more than just a substitute. It is rich in protein, however, it doesn’t contain all essential amino acids. You just need to pair it with beans or other pulses, so you will provide to your body the adequate amounts of amino acids.
Millet is an alkaline ingredients, so it increases our pH, helps digestion and compensate the acidifying effects of a bad diet. It is rich in fiber and therefore helps to control diabetes since it is absorbed more slowly without forming peaks of glycemia.
Contains lots of vitamins and minerals. It is high in B1 that strengthens mental activity, coordination and depression, folic acid prefenting anemia. It is rich in magnesium which allows to improve the muscular tone and the nervous system and the phosphorus that it contains is essential in the bones formation and helps a good intellectual and memory performance.
Nutritional facts appart, and as said before, millet is an ancestral cereal. Chinese and Russians used it for porridge, with milk and sugar or with vegetable stews and soups. In India millet flour is used to make the traditional flat bread, ‘rotis’. In Japan they make awaokoshi, a cereal bar made with puffed millet. But by far, Western Africa is the region with the highest consumption of millet.
Nowadays millet can be used to make veggie burgers, for salads, in porridge and millet flour for any kind of baking.
How to cook millet
The easiest way to cook millet is soaking it overnight to remove any bitter taste. Rinse millet with cold water and then put in a saucepan with 2.5/3 parts of water or broth. When boiling reduce the heat to low and let cooking millet until all water is absorved, 25 minutes aproximately.
Today I cook mine light and fluffy. Mix it with spicy chickpeas, feta cheese, peppers and delicious olives. You will take this ‘bird food’ to heaven 🙂
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 400 gr chickpeas cooked
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 175 gr millet
- 500 ml water or vegetable stock
- red peppers diced
- 200 gr feta cheese crumbled
- 10 olives
In a bowl mix garlic cloves and spices. Add olive oil, chickpeas and sliced onions, mix it throw to chickpeas get well coated.
Heat a pan and add chickpeas, reduce to medium heat and fried chickpeas until golden.
Rinse millet (which has soaked overnight) and add to a saucepan with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat and leave it simmering until water is absorved (25 minutes aprox). Remove from heat, cover and leave it rest.
In a bowl mix millet, chickpeas, peppers, feta cheese and olives. Taste to check if needs a bit more of seasoning