Ingredient Spotlight: Millet

February 11, 2018, 9:25 pm
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Food, like fashion, is cyclical, and the cures du jour in 2018 are decidedly old school. We’re witnessing more consumers adopting ancient ingredients and ways of eating, such as the paleo diet, in an attempt to optimise their health. Age-old grains are seeing a resurgence of interest, and we’ve already covered the likes of pinolekamut and new flour-milling device the Mini Mill in our feeds. A number of chefs and bloggers in the West have recently highlighted millet, the pseudo-grain that’s somewhat under-recognised here; over in Bengaluru, in India, however, it’s truly taking off. This gluten-free, easily digestible seed is high in minerals such as manganese, magnesium and calcium, as well as iron and B vitamins. When cooked, it has a soft, grain-like texture similar to couscous or bulgur wheat.

Once the food of the poor, millet is now resurfacing as a hip ingredient in the Karnatakan capital, where chefs are rediscovering it in line with worldwide trends, and serving it in some of the finest eateries in the area. Celebrity chef Abhijit Saha adds millet to everything from Middle Eastern dishes such as falafel and tabouleh, through multigrain pizza and biryani, to bisi bele bath – a local rice dish – and yam tikki. The next big step for millet could even see it turned into a Bengaluru beverage. Traditionally brewed from barley, beer made from millet could benefit local farmers as well as offer a new and exciting way of using the nutritious grain. It seems the humble ingredient is turning out to be a profitable sector for entrepreneurs in Bengaluru, who are looking at doubling their business volumes in the coming months. If it works, we could see its influence spread across the world.

 

Photo by Milada Vigerova

Content: courtesy of Flavour Feed

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