Lamb and Millet Pilaf

In my childhood I liked baked millet porridge, hot from the oven with butter and sugar and a glass of cold milk. It was a meal and a desert in one dish. I remember difficulties in finding millet 15-10 years ago. Now, with more awareness of gluten free diets, and an abundance of new naturally gluten free products  appearing on the market, millet is easily available. I wanted to try it in a savoury dish. Lamb and millet pilaf with vegetables is an easy dish to cook in one pot. You can throw any protein, vegetables and spices you like and the dish will not disappoint.

milletpilaf-5

Ingredients:

  • 300-400g diced lamb
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 cup of millet (I used organic one)
  • pinch of fennel seeds
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 table spoon barberries
  • 2 thyme sticks
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 2 tea spoon of my own garlic and chilli paste (can be substituted with 2-3 cloves of garlic and hot chilli to taste)
  • 1 tea spoon of smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 table spoon of cold pressed olive oil
  • unsalted butter (optional)

Preparation:

  • dice and chop vegetables
  • warm olive oil in casserole pan (non stick variety is better)
  • add fennel seeds
  • add onions and carrots, lightly fry them
  • add lamb and celery, fry the mix 3-5 min on medium heat
  • add red capsicum, use salt and pepper for seasoning
  • add garlic and chilli paste, add thyme sticks
  • completely cover lamb and vegetables with boiling water, put the lid on and simmer for 30-40min
  • add millet, stir it with meat and vegetables
  • cook, covered with lid, for 15-20min, until nearly done, but still with a bite in it
  • turn the heat off,  cover casserole dish with kitchen towel, put a lid over it and let pilaf rest for 12-15min

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  • fluff pilaf with a wooden spoon or serving fork, add some unsalted butter for extra taste

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I forgot to measure the water, but it worked well for exactly the type of millet I wanted. Not overcooked and like wet risotto or porridge, which, however, would not change the taste. But to have each millet grain fully cooked with just some texture to it, was really what I wanted to achieve. Compared to similar quinoa pilaf, I often make, millet pilaf has more texture and is more chewy. I loved also an extra depth to the taste, but it was more due to the spice mix and barberries I used. Overall, if you like meat and vegetables cooked with grains of any kind, you might enjoy millet, too. I used boiling water, but any chicken or vegetable stock can be used to add even more flavour. I have found, that with lamb, I prefer not to use any stock to have lamb flavour coming through.

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