Recipes for Life

Cook. Eat well. Be happy.

Basic Millet

Creamy millet porridge

The millet (Poaceae) family is a group of ancient gluten-free cereal grains that has been cultivated for more than 10,000 years.  Familiar in the U.S. as the small, light-colored spherical component of birdseed, millet is a staple food crop across India, Africa, and Asia. The nutritious, silica-rich grain grows quickly in hot, dry areas with relatively low soil fertility. In Nigera, millet is fermented into a traditional porridge called ogi, which makes up a significant part of the diet.

Millet is an economical, delicious and flavorful grain that can stand alone as either a creamy porridge or fluffy side dish. It can also be added to stir fries, salads, soups and casseroles. Like most grains, millet should be soaked, fermented or sprouted to enhance its nutritional value. It can also be toasted prior to cooking for a warmer, nutty flavor.


Prep time:

5 minutes hands on time

Soak time:

Overnight (8-12 hours)

Cook time:

Time to boil + 45 minutes (hands off simmering time)


2 cups organic millet

4 cups filtered water (for soaking)

1 teaspoon unrefined, good quality salt

4 cups filtered water (for cooking)


Large ceramic bowl/Stovetop safe glass or earthenware cooking pot with lid

Mesh strainer

Four quart cooking pot with a tight fitting lid.


Step 1. Rinse

Place the millet in the bowl or non-reactive (ideally pyrex or glazed earthen) cooking pot. Sort through the millet, removing any foreign debris. Then, add enough water to cover the grain by about 1 inch. Agitate the millet with your hand for about 30 seconds. Drain. Add more water and repeat until the water runs clear, usually two-three times.

Step 2. Soak

To the rinsed and drained millet, add the 4 cups of filtered water. Soak in a warm place overnight (7-12 hours).

Step 3. Cook 

Drain and rinse the millet and place it in a cooking pot with a tight fitting lid (if it isn't already there). Add 4 cups filtered water. Bring to a boil uncovered. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface and discard.

Stir in the salt. Cover and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Simmer without removing the lid for 30-45 minutes.

When done, fluff with a fork. If the millet sticks at the bottom, add a dash of water, remove from heat and replace the lid for about 5 minutes.

Serve warm with tamari, butter, gomashio, nori or kombu flakes.