If you’ve never tried millet, you are missing out! Millet is a highly nutritious, gluten-free grain that is extremely delicious with my warming aubergine, mushroom and broccoli curry.
The season for hot recipes is officially back! Truth be told, I eat hot food all year round, but in late autumn and winter, they are a must! The weather in England is usually erratic, and as usual, the temperature has dropped significantly over the last few days without any warning, so rude! I’ve officially turned on the heating in my apartment, but that alone is not going to cut it. I need all of the hot food I can get to keep me warm, so it’s time to start cooking stews, curries, and everything hot and spicy!
I’m excited to share my aubergine, broccoli and mushroom curry recipe with you. I’ve served it alongside millet, often referred to as a ‘super cereal’.
What is so special about millet?
Millet is grown extensively in Africa and Asia. It is especially prevalent in India and Nigeria since it is a staple food for considerable proportions of the population. There are different types of millet, including Finger, Foxtail, Kodo, Proso and Pearl. However, finger and pearl millet are the most widely consumed varieties.
Millet is rich in protein and fibre, providing 14.5g and 7.0g, respectively of each nutrient per 100g. Millet contains the highest calcium content among all cereals (344mg / 100g). However, it is essential to note that millet also contains phytates, tannins, polyphenols, trypsin inhibitory factors, which are considered “anti-nutrients”. These compounds in moderate amounts are also considered to be nutraceuticals because, in adequate quantities, they are protective against chronic diseases like cancer and also promote healthy ageing. They also have anti-mutagenic, anti-oestrogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties that might be potentially beneficial in preventing or minimising the risk of diseases.
Due to its high fibre and polyphenol content, regular consumption of millet is known to reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus and digestive disorders.
How to cook millet
Cook in a lidded saucepan, using one part millet to two parts boiling water, topping with water if necessary. Cook for 15 minutes until the grains are tender and beginning to lose their shape. They will be al dente at this point, but if you prefer, you can cook them for longer for a fluffier appearance.
You can toast the raw millet seeds for a few minutes before cooking to intensify their flavour.
Many of us who live in cold climates are deficient in vitamin D, but vitamin D deficiency can also occur even with adequate sun exposure. It can occur in people who consume foods that are not fortified with vitamin D or in those who have problems absorbing vitamin D from their diet.
In the winter, when sunlight is scarce, it is imperative to eat foods that are rich in vitamin D. Mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation are a great source of vitamin D. Per 100g of fresh weight, UV-exposed mushrooms provide at least 10µg of vitamin D. You can find these mushrooms in many supermarkets in the UK. I usually get mine from Tesco.
Fibre is the one nutrient that many of us (vegans exempted) fail to get adequate quantities of. Fibre is vital for digestive health, and it plays a huge role in lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. We should all aim for at least 30g of fibre per day. If you’re not used to eating up to this amount of fibre, I would highly recommend you slowly increase your intake. Eating too much of it at once can cause bloating and digestive discomfort
Millet and broccoli are excellent sources of fibre.
Essential amino acids are those that we can only obtain through diet. Plant proteins generally have lower levels of essential amino acids than meat proteins. Methionine is one of the essential amino acids that is particularly deficient in plant foods. However, millet contains considerable amounts of this amino acid.
Millet is a highly nutritious, gluten-free grain that is extremely delicious with my warming aubergine, mushroom and broccoli curry.
- 250g millet, cooked according to the instructions above
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 1 large aubergine, cut into medium cubes
- 175g fresh broccoli florets
- 2 small shallots, finely diced
- 2 fat garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 large chilli, finely chopped (optional)
- 200ml coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 small curry leaves
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 30g fresh coriander, stalks and leaves separated then chopped
- Heat two tablespoons of olive or coconut oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds begin to pop and become fragrant, add the chopped shallots, Fry for 1-2 minutes until softened then add the ground spices (turmeric, ginger, curry powder and ground coriander), chilli and chopped coriander stalks. Fry for 1 minute then add the tomato paste. If the pan gets too dry, add a very small splash of water and continue to fry, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the aubergine and mix well to combine. Fry for 2 minutes to allow the aubergine soak up the spices then add the vegetable stock and around 300ml of warm water. Cook on a medium heat for 6 minutes or until the aubergines are slightly softened and the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Stir in the broccoli florets, cook for two minutes then add the mushrooms and coconut milk. Adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and black pepper. Cook for 3 minutes then add then the chopped coriander leaves. Stir well then take the pan off the heat.
- Spoon a generous amount of the curry over the millet and garnish with extra coriander if desired.
Keywords: Aubergine, Curry, Broccoli, Vegetables, Vegan, Plant-based
- Devi PB, et al (2014) Health benefits of finger millet (Eleusine coracana L.) polyphenols and dietary fibre: a review. Journal of Food Science & Technology 51(6): 1021-1040
- Krajcovicova-Kudlackova, et al (2005) Health benefits and risks of plants proteins. Bratisl Lek Listy. 106(6-7): 231-234
- Kam J, et al (2016) Dietary interventions for type 2 diabetes: how millet comes to help. Frontiers in plant science. 7: 1454
- Cardwell G, et al (2018) A review of mushrooms as a potential source of dietary vitamin D. Nutrients 10(10): 1498