Learn how to prepare millet, a delicious and slightly nutty grain. We'll show you selection and soaking tips, cooking techniques, and flavor ideas too!
Millet is an interesting gluten-free little round yellow nutritious grain -- actually a seed -- with a tiny dot on one side (this is where it was attached to the stalk it was growing on).
Once many years ago, when feeling adventurous, I decided to give millet a try. But I overcooked it, and it turned out extremely dry.
Then, one fateful day, I tried one more time. This time I attempted a millet loaf (sort of like meatloaf but made with millet). It turned out tender and delicious, and I've been enjoying this power-packed grain ever since.
While millet may be unfamiliar to many Americans, it's a grain that's used widely throughout the hot and dry parts of the world. It has a slightly nutty flavor, and it lends an interesting texture to your meals. It's a tasty and fun little grain, and one that you should really learn how to cook properly so it can be a part of your regular diet.
Here's what you'll discover below:
When selecting millet, and if you have the option, always choose organic. Organics tend to contain more nutrients and less pesticides, and will help your recipes just taste better!
Millet has a naturally hard, indigestible covering which is removed (or "hulled") before being made available for human consumption. So when you select your millet it will already be hulled and ready to go!
Always take a little sniff of millet before purchasing, as you should with any grain. If it smells stale or musty, pass on it.
Store in a cool, dry place. I like to use the freezer to store all my grains, unless we vacuum pack it -- then it can be stored for a very long time without refrigeration.
"WELL DONE!!!! I am trying millet for the first time and I was looking for advice on how to prepare it. Your information is exactly what I was looking for. Keep up the good work! I'm going to bookmark your page. :)
-- Julie M., Waipahu, Hawaii
There are a couple schools of thought about the prep of millet before cooking.
Some, myself included, believe it is best to pre-soak all grains like millet before cooking. To do this, simply soak your millet in 3-4 times the amount of water overnight (or at least 6 hours). This is simply to help make the grain more digestible so you can get at the nutrients inside.
The instructions throughout our site are for pre-soaked millet unless otherwise noted. And pre-soaking really changes the cooking time as well -- your millet will be done much sooner than if you did not pre-soak.
But some people don't feel this step is necessary. I recommend you do your own research and come to your own conclusions.
But if you do NOT want to pre-soak your millet, or you're in a huge hurry and forgot, then you can simply rinse well in a mesh strainer, and drain.
Here are the cooking techniques we use and recommend for millet.
Click the one you'd like to learn more about for complete cooking instructions.
Learn how to make millet recipes by using your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly.