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Recipe: Pan-fried Millet Cakes

A lunch or dinner idea that’s quick, easy, healthy and agriculturally sustainable…does it get any better? Oh yeah, tasty as well.

February 4, 2015

Pan-fried Millet Cake I

Everyone should have a good millet recipe up their sleeve. This gluten-free pseudo-grain, which is actually a seed, (read more about it and other whole grains here) is easy to cook, ready in less than half an hour and highly nutritious. Millet is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, protein and antioxidants. It’s been shown to control blood sugar levels, reduce triglycerides (a type of fat) in the bloodstream, and lower cholesterol. All of this makes it especially beneficial for those concerned about the onset of diabetes and heart disease.

It’s also, importantly, a sustainable crop which requires much less water to cultivate than wheat, and will grow without chemical fertilizers. We all could use a little more millet in our lives.

These pan-fried millet cakes are one of my favorite ways to prepare millet. Think of the cooked millet as a blank canvas. I’ve added sun-dried tomatoes and parsley to this recipe, but the variations are limitless. Play with different herb and/or spice combinations, opt for roasted peppers or olives instead of the sun-dried tomatoes, stir in chickpeas, lentils, pesto, nuts, dried fruit or feta before pan-frying…

Quick and easy meal idea: Make a large batch of the millet cakes at one time and store them, already shaped, covered in the fridge for the week. Pull out what you need to heat and sear off just before serving. Add a side of roasted vegetables and a flavorful sauce for the cakes to make a complete meal. Thanks to a friend who brought it to my attention, I’m currently in love with this genius kale- and leek-based sauce from Jamie Oliver. That’s what I’ve served them with in the photo.

The exterior of these little pan-fried millet cakes produce a satisfying crunch. In fact, if you’ll allow a few small bits of millet to fall off the cakes and fry on their own, you’ll have made crunchy pseudo-croutons out of your pseudo-grains.

Pan-fried Millet Cake-2 I



Pan-fried Millet Cakes
Recipe type: Plant-based, Gluten-free, First or Main Course
Serves: 4-6
  • 2½ cups Water or Vegetable Stock
  • 1 cup Millet, rinsed well
  • Sea Salt
  • Handful of soft Sun-dried Tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Few sprigs Parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Black Pepper
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Bring the water or stock to a boil. Meanwhile, place a medium saucepan with a fitted lid over med-high heat. Add the millet to toast, stirring occasionally, until it begins to smell like popcorn. Once this happens, turn the heat up to high and slowly pour in the boiled liquid (there will be a lot of steam, so keep delicate body parts out of the way).
  2. Once the millet reaches a boil, stir in a good pinch of salt then cover the pan and reduce to low heat. Allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes. The millet is fully cooked once all the liquid is absorbed and little craters have formed on its surface. At this point, remove the millet to a bowl and allow to sit until it's cool enough to handle.
  3. Once cool, stir the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and a little black pepper into the millet. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Once you're happy with the flavors, use your hands to form little cakes, you should get 15-20 from one recipe.
  4. To pan-fry the cakes, heat a frying pan over med-high heat. Once hot, pour in a good drizzle of oil then place as many cakes into the pan as will fit without touching one another. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until a nice golden crust forms on the bottom, then flip the cakes and do the same on the reverse. Pull the cakes from the pan as soon as both sides are crispy and golden, then serve soon after.

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