A quick & easy whole grain side dish that packs in the flavor! An African Spiced Carrot Millet recipe that’s gluten-free, vegan, and top 8 allergy-free. Fluffy millet with carrot puree, carrot greens, cilantro, and fragrant savory African spices!
A whole grain that I’ve always loved is millet. Soft and fluffy, with a slight nutty bite when you toast it in a dry pan before boiling. Its gluten-free heartiness is satisfying to say the least. As a blank slate, it’s perfect for really dressing up with flavor and serving as a perfect side dish. I remember being so excited about this recipe, in love with it, and then…never posted it here for y’all! We’re ending the madness right now!
I think one of my favorite things about cooking is playing with a combination of spices and herbs. Spices can either elevate a dish or make it a sad mess. There’s an art to proper seasoning, not only per cuisine, but general taste and satisfaction. When cooks say “a dash of this”, a pinch of that”, that’s really what we mean. I measure spices and herbs by eye and generally know by now, what 1/2 a teaspoon looks like.
Since cooking has become my job, I do end up measuring more accurately when I know I’ll be presenting a specifically spiced dish to you. I know not everyone is as confident in the kitchen and timid around flavor. But have no fear! I’ll always guide you in the right direction and the more your cook and play around in the kitchen, the more confidence you gain and risks you’ll end up taking!
As I’m typing up this post, I’m cooking at the same time (a delicious recipe that has my mouth watering!) The seasoning is the most important part of the dish and once I figured out the essential spices and herbs needed, the amounts needed to be figured out, but more as a ratio than an exact science. That’s the thing with a recipe. You can season to your preferences as long as you keep the essential spices and herbs intact. If something calls for 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, you can reduce that to 1/2, even 1/4 if garlic bothers you. YOU, have control!
As for this African Spiced Carrot Millet, the spices are essential for that “African-inspired” taste! We have the typical garlic, onion, but also cumin, paprika, coriander, cilantro, and a hefty dose of beautifully golden turmeric (always more for color than taste in cooking!) These spices work so well with this iconic grain of African (millet) and the subtle sweet flavor of carrots! I fell in love with the color first and foremost in this carrot millet. The color comes from the carrot puree, but also that golden yellow turmeric; both create such a lovely orange color! It’s super moist and fluffy with the puree and cooked millet. If I had added some nooch, we could have had a “mac & cheese” type dish! Don’t worry though, this is a savory millet dish, no “cheeze” in sight, but packed with hidden veggies all the same 😉
African Spiced Carrot Millet
- Toast the millet in a small pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes until slightly golden brown.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the toasted millet. Cover the pot and cook on low for about 20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the millet is fluffy.
- Now add all the rest of the ingredients to the cooked millet and mix well to combine.
- Serve with extra cilantro or carrot top greens to garnish.
A pretty quick and easy, hands-off side dish you can whip up on any weeknight, but still experience some elevated flavors! Gluten-free, vegan, allergy-free, no sugar or oil, just whole grain goodness with a veggie-packed carrot punch! All that’s left is for you to get in the kitchen and dive into that spice cabinet!
So tell me:
+ Are you confident with your seasoning abilities or do you like exact measurements?
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