Thank you to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post!
Now that the weather is getting colder, I have been craving warm savory porridges for breakfast. I often make porridge with jasmine rice because that’s what I grew up with (see my basic congee recipe made with dried seafood and vegan congee recipe made with shiitake mushrooms). Recently, I’ve been making porridge with other types of grains and started to fall in love with millet porridge. Millet is a great for making porridge because it breaks down when you cook it for long enough.
In this millet porridge recipe, I added pumpkin puree to give the porridge subtle sweet flavor. The pumpkin also thickens the porridge, giving it a nice creamy consistency. Furthermore, the pumpkin puree also gives the porridge a beautiful orange hue.
You can eat this porridge any time of the day. If you are eating it for dinner, I recommend serving it with some type of protein for a complete meal, such as spiced fried paneer, salt and pepper tofu, or honey chili garlic shrimp.
WHAT IS MILLET?
While millet is technically a seed, it cooks just like a grain. It has a subtle sweet flavor and it cooks pretty quickly. Millet is also naturally gluten free. Known as 小米 (literally, little rice or little grain) in Chinese, millet is often cooked as a porridge in Chinese cuisine. Millet is also prevalent in other Asian cuisines as well.
I always buy Bob’s Red Mill’s millet because it is easy for me to find at the grocery store and I trust the quality of their products. Bob’s Red Mill also produces millet flour, which is great for gluten-free baking or other types of gluten-free cooking. I am working on a gluten-free scallion pancakes recipe and will definitely be experimenting with millet flour for that.
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN MILLET PORRIDGE
Using a large pot, sauté the aromatics in coconut oil over medium to medium-low heat. I like using virgin (or unrefined) coconut oil for flavor, but any kind of oil works for this recipe. Drawing inspiration from Indian cooking, I sauté cumin seeds in the oil for about 1 minute on. Be careful not to burn the cumin seeds. I think the cumin seeds complement the other flavors of the porridge well and I love biting into the seeds with every bite of the porridge. If you don’t have cumin seeds, you can use ground cumin but don’t sauté it in the beginning. Add the cumin at the same time as the ground coriander.
After sautéing the cumin seeds, add the sliced ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute to open up the flavors of the aromatics. You can also add other aromatics like 2 stalks of lemongrass (sliced into chunks), thick onion slices from 1/2 an onion, or a diced carrot. Just note that if you add more aromatics, you may need to fish them out when you serve the millet porridge.
ADD MILLET AND LIQUIDS
Next, add the rinsed millet (you only need to give it a quick rinse). Stir to coat the millet with the oil. Then, add the ground coriander, salt, vegetable broth, and water. For the stovetop, I recommend cooking 1 cup of millet with 7 cups of liquid. If you want to cook this in the Instant Pot, reduce the liquid by 1/2 cup. (As an aside, I prefer the consistency of the millet porridge when it’s cooked on the stovetop.)
Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the liquids to boil.
FINISH COOKING MILLET PORRIDGE
Reduce the heat to low and mix in a can of pumpkin puree. Let the millet porridge simmer on low for 15 minutes. Give the porridge a stir to ensure that it doesn’t scourch at the bottom of the pot. Cook the porridge for another 15 minutes.
Uncover the pot. The porridge will look quite runny, but give everything a stir. If the porridge still looks very thin, increase the heat to high and cook the porridge for another 5 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and let the millet porridge sit uncovered for 10 minutes. The porridge thickens as it cools.
Serve the pumpkin millet in bowls. I like eating it with a drizzle of chili oil, sliced scallions, and fried shallots. You can refrigerate any leftovers and reheat them in a saucepan or the microwave. The liquids will separate from the porridge after a while. Give everything a stir before you reheat the porridge.
I roasted kabocha mostly for photos. Slice the kabocha in half. Use half of the squash for roasting and use the other half for something else. Then, use a vegetable peeler to peel the outer skin. Slice the kabocha into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices and toss with olive oil, salt, ground coriander, red chili flakes, and black pepper. Finally, roast the squash on a lined baking sheet at 375ºF for about 25 minutes, until fork tender.
LOOKING FOR MORE PORRIDGE RECIPES?
- Basic Congee Recipe (Jook) – flavored with dried seafood, ginger, and garlic
- Vegan Congee Recipe – flavored with shiitake mushrooms, lemongrass, ginger, and garlic
Pumpkin Millet Porridge
- 2 tablespoons virgin or unrefined coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, (see note 1)
- 2 inch piece of ginger, sliced
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 1 cup millet, rinsed
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, add more to taste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 1 (15-ounce) can of pumpkin puree
To Serve (Optional)
- chili oil
- chili flakes
- sliced scallions
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium to medium-low heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast for about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Next, add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Transfer the rinsed millet to the pot. Stir to coat the millet with the oil. Next, add the coriander and salt and stir everything together. Pour the broth and water into the pot.
- Cover the pot with the lid, increase the heat to medium-high and bring the liquids to boil.
- Uncover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Mix in the pumpkin puree. Cover the pot and let the porridge simmer for 15 minutes.
- Give the porridge a stir to ensure that it doesn’t scorch at the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes more.
- The porridge might look runny when you first uncover the pot. Give everything a stir and the porridge should look thicker. If it still looks watery, cook the porridge on high heat another 5 minutes. Then, let the porridge cool, uncovered, for 10 minutes. The porridge thickens as it cools.
- Serve the millet porridge in bowls. Enjoy it with chili oil, chili flakes, and sliced scallions, if you like.
- You can substitute the cumin seeds with 1 teaspoon to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin. Add the ground cumin the same time that you add the coriander.
- Instant Pot Method: You will use slightly less liquid if you cook the porridge in the Instant Pot. Select “SAUTE” and heat the pot for about 1 minute. Add the coconut oil and then the cumin seeds. Sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Next, add the millet, coriander, salt, 4 cups broth, 2.5 cups water, and pumpkin puree. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and select “MANUAL.” Cook the millet porridge on high for 25 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Then, release any residual pressure through the pressure valve. If the porridge looks runny, let the porridge cool, uncovered for 10 minutes. The porridge thickens as it cools.