Foxtail millet is a nutritious substitute for rice. It is more fibrous and has a higher mineral content than rice. But, do not expect foxtail millet to taste like white rice. The first time I cooked foxtail millet biryani, I tried preparing it exactly how I would do for rice. It was a bit disappointing, however, after having read the recipe given below and a couple of successful trials later, I perfected the art of making pretty appetizing foxtail millet biryani.
And then I chanced upon Slurrp Farm Millet White Paper. I read about a nutritionist and a food blogger Nandita Iyer. An interesting story. She'd discovered the magic of millets in her quest for healthy, delicious meals. She says, “I wasn’t fond of eating white rice through the week. I picked a few types of millets and found it interesting. I started with foxtail millet and would then order different millets each time.” Saffron Trail, Iyer’s uber-popular blog abounds in millet recipes, from foxtail millet and basil patties to ragi ginger cookies.
I was inspired!
I have always been a fan of millets, as my little one's weaning food was all the easy recipes made using ragi (finger millet), but most people (including myself) thought - millets are boring and tasteless food for adults.
Here's the recipe for vegetable (and chicken) biryani recipe using foxtail millet you can make for lunch or dinner.
Recipe of Foxtail Millet Vegetable Or Chicken Biryani:
1. 1 1/2 Cups Foxtail Millet
2. 2 Onions, sliced
3. 2 Carrots, 1/2 inch pieces
4. 15 French beans, 1/2 inch pieces
5. One cup green peas shelled
6. Salt – as desired
7. 8 Pods of green cardamons
8. One black cardamom – 1. cloves – 15
9. 1/2 Inch stick of cinnamon
10. One bay leaf
11. 1/2 Tsp caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
12. 1 1/2 Tsp ginger-garlic paste
13. One tsp turmeric powder
14. One tsp red chili powder
15. One tsp coriander powder
16. One cup tomatoes
17. One tsp garam masala powder
18. One tsp lemon juice
17. 2 Tsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
18. 2 Tsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
Foxtail Millet Vegetable Biryani / Chicken Biryani Preparation Method:
1. Boil Foxtail millet in four cups of salted boiling water with cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon, until three-fourth is done.
2. Drain excess water and set aside.
3. Boil all the chopped vegetables and keep aside.
4. Add green cardamoms, cloves, black cardamom, and cinnamon along with bay leaf and caraway seeds and roast in a thick bottom pan.
5. Add tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, deep-fried onions, carrot, French beans, and boiled green peas.
6. Sprinkle salt, cover, and cook on medium heat for two minutes.
7. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, and mix well. Simmer for two minutes.
8. Arrange a layer of millet at the top over that arrange half the cooked vegetables.
9. Sprinkle fried onions, lemon juice, food color mixed in milk garam masala powder, the coriander leaves and the mint leaves.
10. Cover with a lid and cook. Let it stand for five minutes. Serve hot.
NOTE: For chicken biryani - in the place of vegetables, chicken is to be substituted, the rest of the procedure is just the same.
This recipe has been extracted from IIMR Recipe Book. It is a part of the initiative "Millet Recipes - A Healthy Choice" put together by ICAR- Indian Institue of Millets Research. The main force behind this program includes: B Dayakar Rao, Vishala AD, GD Arlene Christina, and VA Tonapi.