Ever tried it? Millet is the sort of food the Smurfs might eat – full of bounce and sufficiently mythical. Think creamy couscous meets blank canvas. It loves a spice with muscle, and is garlic’s most faithful mistress.
This grain is best known for its nutritional chops, and not for its timid taste. 500g should set you back €2, providing immodest amounts of B vitamins and cardio-loving magnesium. B vitamins act like spark plugs in the body, most important for new parents and idle cabinet ministers. B6 in particular helps to optimise your chances of reaching Snoozeville by helping produce the sleepy hormone melatonin. No B6, no zeds.
Despite playing a central role on many dinner plates across the globe, we Irish have yet to be convinced of millet’s charm. Lets remedy that.
You could serve this mash alongside roast chicken instead of potatoes, or as a bed for curries. This recipe is terrific for young children – easy to digest, non-allergenic, highly nutritious and very economical. They might prefer you leave out the garlic, but do load it in for adults. Raw garlic is nature’s best antibiotic, and conversation stopper.
1/2 cup millet grain
1 & 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (broken from its head)
1 & 1/2 cups chicken or veg stock
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut or olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
Sea salt flakes to taste
Turmeric will give a wonderful 70’s glow
Sweet curry powder will deliver comforting warmth
Cumin powder should boost its exoticism
Herbs like thyme and parsley can add extra nutrients and make it look very swanky
In a heavy-based saucepan, bring the millet, cauliflower and stock to the boil. Reduce to a low heat, cover tightly, and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the millet soaks up all the liquid and looks fluffy. Remove from heat, and keep the lid securely on for a further 10 minutes. This allows the ingredients to continue gently steaming without burning the base of your saucepan.
Once it looks ready, start mashing with enough olive oil and raw garlic to your liking. Finish with a light flurry of flakes, black pepper and fresh herbs if you have them.