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Millet Vegetable Pulav

As the weather outside starts getting chilly, our craving for warm comfort foods will be on the rise too. This is one such meal that my family turns to on such days. It falls somewhere between a coconut rice and a vegetable pulav. Originally made with basmati rice, but ever since we have fallen in love with the nutty texture of the millet over the past year, we substitute rice with millet on many dishes. It is a wholesome meal with millet being a protein rich carb, and with addition of the veggies, coconut milk and coconut oil you get the whole deal of protein, good carb, good fat and vitamins.

  • Pearl millet - 1 cup (preferably soaked for 3-4 hours)
  • Homemade coconut milk - 1 cup (recipe here)
  • Homemade tomato paste - 2 Tbs. (see notes below)
  • Green beans - 2 cups (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • Carrot - 1 medium (diced into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • Onion - 1 medium (diced into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Spice mix - 1 batch (recipe below)
  • Minced ginger and garlic - 1 Tbs. each
  • Cold pressed virgin coconut oil - 1 Tbs.
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Chopped cilantro - 1/2 cup

  • Add millet along with a cup of water, half of spice mix, half of minced ginger/garlic, bay leaf and salt to a pressure cooker or sauce pan and cook till water is absorbed. 
  • Millet will only be cooked 3/4th. Rest will be done along with the veggies.
  • Heat coconut oil on medium heat in a bigger pan and add diced onion and remaining ginger/garlic sauté for a few seconds. 
  • Add the tomato paste, diced veggies, remaining spice mix, turmeric and mix well. 
  • Add coconut milk cooked millet and simmer on medium heat till liquid is absorbed. 
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm.

Note 1: I am doing this in 2 steps to avoid overcooking the veggies. Another way to achieve that is to use a rice cooker for the whole process. That way you can start adding the veggies and coconut milk once millet is 3/4th cooked

Note 2: to make tomato paste, simmer tomatoes on low-medium heat till liquids are reduced. Purée in blender and store refrigerated for up to a week. You could also use fresh finely chopped tomatoes. 

Spice mix:
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
  • Cloves - 5
  • Cardamom - 6
  • Black pepper -10
  • Grind everything to a powder using a coffee/ spice grinder.
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  1. This looks and sounds so good! I'm a little confused about the spice mix. How many teaspoons of cloves, cardamon, and black pepper? (I just have the ground versions of the spices.)

    1. Thanks Christiana :-)
      For spices, I would start with 1/4 tsp of ground cloves and 1/2 tsp each of cardamom & pepper. If you feel like you want more flavor, you can add more towards end of cooking.


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