Recipes from the native kitchen – series 2

Eating local and thinking global is a great way to eat fresh, healthy, naturally occurring produce from your native surroundings. Eating like a ‘locavore’ is the easiest way to reward your body with the best nutrition and the freshest food there is!



On popular demand, I am back with a few more of my favourite millet and flaxseed recipes! If you haven’t seen my previous posts on native eating, see here and here.

Kodo millet (harka) lemon rice

What it is – Compared to all other millets, kodo millet mimics rice to the largest extent. Rice is a staple food in India, and we make so many versions of it. Almost every rice recipe can be substituted with kodo millet – khichadi, pulao, bisibele bhath, tamarind rice, curd rice or any other variation that you can think of. Kodo millet is also a great everyday alternative for rice, to accompany dals, rasams, sambars or curds.


What you will need
1 measure kodo millet (all measurements for 2 tbsp. of millet)
1 tbsp. groundnut oil (or an flavourless oil)
1/4th tsp. mustard seeds
1/4th tsp. split black lentil (urad dal)
1/4th tsp. split chickpea lentil (chana dal)
1/4th tsp. pinch of asafoetida
2-3 dry red chilies,
2 chopped green chilies
1/4th tsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. groundnuts
1 sprig curry leaves, separated, washed and dried
1 large onion, chopped fine
½ cup fresh green peas
Salt and sugar (or jaggery) to taste
Juice of half a lime
½ cup grated fresh coconut
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped, for garnish

Cook the millet in a pressure cooker with 4 measures of water for every 1 measure of millet. Allow it to cool.

In a non-stick pan, heat some oil. Add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, a pinch of asafoetida, dry red chilies, green chilies, turmeric, groundnuts, curry leaves, onions and green peas. Sauté till the onions are translucent. Season the mixture with salt and some jaggery. Add the cooked millet. Mix gently. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add juice of lime, fresh coconut and garnish with fresh coriander.


Corn meal/Polenta (makkai dalia) salad

What it is – Makkai dalia need not be the boring porridge ingredient that it is. I often use it in salads, or as an alternative for Couscous. It’s flavour compliments continental ingredients, and so makkai dalia can be used as a carb to accompany Mediterranean curries or grilled meat with sauces.


What you will need
1 measure of makkai dalia (all measurements for 2 tbsp. of millet)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cooked, and drained chickpeas (cooked with salt)
½ red bell pepper, finely diced
½ yellow bell pepper, finely diced
8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 sprigs mint leaves, washed and separated
Juice of half a lime
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Cook the dalia in a pressure cooker with 3 measures of water for every 1 measure of dalia. When still warm, use a fork to loosen and separate the grains. Add extra virgin olive oil, chickpeas, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, whole mint leaves, juice of lime, salt and pepper. Mix gently.

Serve with tagine veggies or have it as a salad.



Flaxseed chutney powder

What it is – Another great way to incorporate flaxseed into your daily diet – chutney powders are a must-have for every South-Indian. Tasty side-kicks to go with dosas, idlis, vadas, rotis or rice, the flaxseed chutney powder is a complete winner at the breakfast table. I add it to sandwiches, vegetables, Indian curries or eat it with akkirottis/thalipets (see recipe here).


What you will need
6-7 dry red chilies
100g flaxseed
1 tsp. groundnut oil (or any flavourless oil)
Salt to taste
Sugar, as per taste
1 dried tamarind

In a dry, non-stick pan, add the flaxseed. Roast on a medium flame till it begins to splutter and continue roasting till the crackling stops. Keep aside and allow it to cool.

In a non-stick pan, add 1/2 tsp. oil and roast the red chilies. Add it to the roasted flaxseed.

In a non-stick pan, add 1/2 tsp. oil and roast the tamarind. Allow it to cool. Add to the roasted flaxseed. Add salt and sugar to taste and grind to a coarse powder. Store in an air-tight container to prevent the flaxseed from becoming rancid (shelf-life of 3 weeks).



Proso millet (baraguupma

The proso millet can be used to make millet versions of several classic Indian dishes. Its flavour and texture are best suited for making a millet upma (porridge) or pongal (rice and lentil runny porridge).

What it is ­– Upma is an Indian breakfast porridge made with semolina. Semolina is a form of wheat; so this recipe is a gluten-free, fibre-rich alternative to the usual upma. I always add veggies to my upma for more nutrition. It also keeps me fuller for longer. A really convenient breakfast option – yummy when had hot with a few drops of ghee!

What you will need
1 measure proso millet (all measurements for 2 tbsp of millet)
1 tbsp. groundnut oil (or any flavourless oil)
1/4th tsp. mustard seeds
1/4th tsp. cumin seeds
1/4th tsp. asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves, washed and separated
2 green chilies, chopped
1 medium onion, diced fine
1 tomato, diced fine
1 medium carrot, diced fine
½ green bell pepper, diced fine
Salt and sugar to taste
1/4th cup fresh grated coconut
1 tsp. ghee
Some fresh coriander for garnish
Sev or spicy mixture for serving 

Cook the millet in the pressure cooker with 3 measures of water for every 1 measure of millet.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chilies and onions. Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes, until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook well. Add the chopped carrots and green peppers. Season the mixture with salt and sugar.

Add the cooked millet. Stir, cover and cook for a few minutes. Sprinkle some water if needed. Add fresh coriander, fresh coconut and 1 tsp. ghee. Serve warm.

Proso millet (baragu) pongal

What it is – A pongal or kichadi is a one-pot solution for lazy dinners or sick days in bed. Ideally made with a 1:1 proportion of rice to lentil, this porridge-like meal is a standard recipe in every Indian home. The proso millet is perfect for substituting rice in this recipe – with a lower carb, higher fibre content, this recipe is millet goals in one pot.


What you will need
1/2 cup proso millet
1/2 cup yellow lentils
Salt and sugar to taste

2 tbsp. ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
8-10 whole peppercorns
2 dry red chilies, halved
2 green chilies, cut into 1 inch pieces
4-6 curry leaves, whole
A pinch of asafoetida
A pinch of turmeric
1/2 inch piece of ginger, julienned
10-12 groundnuts

In a pressure cooker, add the ghee and the rest of the seasoning. Now, add the washed millet and lentils. Add 3.5 cups of water. Add salt and sugar to taste. Pressure cook with 2 whistles. Serve with some more ghee, pappad, pickle and natural yoghurt (dahi).



I hope that you will recreate these recipes at home and enjoy living the healthy, tasty, millet life. Until next time, XOXO

One Comment Add yours

  1. Wholesome and sumptuous recepies. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s