Nutritious and tasty, millet stir fry makes a light refreshing meal. In this millet recipe, I have cooked chena millets (Proso millets) with plenty of vegetables to make a healthy vegetarian stir fry or should I call it a millet pilaf? 🙂
If you still haven’t discovered the wonderful world of millets, you have to start soon. Given the versatility of millets, you will have fun cooking with millets. Whole millets can easily replace rice, couscous, bulgur and other grains. Millet flour is a great alternative for wheat flour. Millets are amongst the most nourishing grains. They are highly alkaline and naturally gluten free. They are easy to digest and in India, millet porridge is highly recommended for babies as well.
The chena millet I have used in this simple stir fry recipe comes from the plains of Rajasthan. I love the slightly sweet earthy flavour and the fluffy, grainy texture of this little millet. The closest cousin for texture would be couscous.
While they are the oldest grains, I wouldn’t be wrong to say that my generation completely skipped growing up on millet, which is why we also lack recipes with millets. I find it quite interesting to find old traditional millet recipes and also adapting common rice and wheat recipes with millets for a healthier alternative like in this stir fry recipe or bajre ki roti instead of regular wheat chapati.
If you like this recipe, it will be great if you can leave a rating and/or a comment!
Millet stir fry with vegetables
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 1 cup proso millet cheena millet or little millet
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch ginger grated
- 1 green chilli slit in half and seeds removed
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables I have used carrots, french beans, red and green bell pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- Salt to taste
- red pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp oil
- fresh coriander leaves
- Wash the millets in a fine sieve under running water. Soak for 10 mins while you prepare the vegetables.
- Heat oil in a deep pot. When the oil is hot, add garlic, green chilli and ginger. Sauté for a minute.
- Add chopped onions, other vegetables and all the spices. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
- Drain the millets and add to the pot. Add 2 cups of water (you can also use vegetable stock for added flavour) and cook on medium high till there is a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook covered, with a little opening, till all the water is absorbed and the millet is cooked through.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with lightly spiced homemade yogurt.
- Different millets can take different amount of water to cook. Chena millet (proso or little millet) takes two but some may take 3 times water.
- I have used slit green chilli without its seeds to keep the heat low. For a spicier stir fry, finely chop the chillies.
- If you are adding stock, make sure to check on salt as stock usually has lot of salt.
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I hope you try this a millet-y twist on the popular veg fried rice. I am sure you will enjoy it. There is no hard and fast rule to the vegetables that can be added to this recipe. Just make sure to add a mix of soft and crunchy vegetables. Send me a question, a picture, leave a comment or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Would love to start a conversation, share recipes, cooking experiences and food stories from India and around the world.
Dominique | Perchance to Cook
Is it crazy that I’ve never cooked with millet before?! This looks so healthy and yummy, though. I’m going to do some research on millet and get cooking! Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks Dominique! Millets are really easy to cook with and can be an alternative to so many grains, especially if you are looking for gluten-free options!. You might also find this little glossary of millets helpful in your research -https://www.myweekendkitchen.in/millets-grains-glossary-english-hindi/
I plan to open a small eatery where I only serve dishes made out of millets. It could be vegetarian or non vegetarian or with just eggs. Could you point me in the right direction.
That’s a great idea and good luck! I can possibly help you with recipes of local millets in the region where you plan to open your eatery. We do have one such restaurant in Udaipur that started with the concept of serving only millets but given the economics of running a business, they had to start serving other grains also.. Let me know if you would like to connect more deeply on this.
And lots of best wishes!
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
I love the variety of flavors in here. This looks like a fun alternative to fried rice!
Thanks Rachelle! Millets surely do make a fun and healthy alternative to rice 🙂
Amazingly simple and a healthy recipe. Love this millet recipe and am surely trying this soon.
Thanks Aditi! 🙂
This dish looks so fresh and healthy. I have a similar dish that I make with bulgur wheat. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Analida for your love and rating!
I should try it with Bulgar too 🙂 I have cooked bulgar burgers but didn’t make a stir fry with it yet!
I have yet to cook with millet. I used millet flour, but not the grain. It looks like a great alternative to the other grains, it looks good and I bet it tastes wonderful with all the veggies!
I surely does taste wonderful and the best part is there is no hard and fast recipe rule for which veggies to use 🙂
Claire @ The Simple, Sweet Life
I’ve never cooked with millets before, but this looks too amazing to pass up! Can’t wait to give them a try!
Elaine @ Dishes Delish
I love millet! Your recipe looks so delicious! It is funny that even though it is an old grain, most people haven’t tried it. I can’t wait to try your recipe!
It is funny and also sad. In India, we traditionally had no wheat crop and the grain was only millet, but it now needs a revival!
I’ve cooked with millet a few times and really enjoy it. Love the healthy and flavorful dish you’ve created with it here!
Millets are so healthy and this recipe sure looks yum! Need to try millets this way too.
and thanks for your rating! I also need to learn a lot more recipes with millets. 🙂 It is always fun to explore new ways of cooking.
Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen
I love adding yogurt on top of dishes – I don’t think I’ve ever done it with a stir fry though. This looks delicious!
In Indian cuisine, we often add a simple yogurt sauce (called raita) with a lot of dishes 🙂
I have never tried millet. I am going to have to look into this, I love healthy grains and trying new foods!
I love trying out new grains and food too! 🙂
I love trying new grains, so excited about this! Thanks for sharing:)
Thanks Tina for your feedback and the rating 🙂
amazing recipe. thanks for sharing it. i would love to try it.
Do let me know if you have any questions. Would love to see how it went!
Doesn’t it look too much yummy?
Thanks, Susan! 🙂
This recipe works out well. But the author /chef seems to have missed out a very important point.
Proso millet needs at least a 30 mins cooking time to become fluffy & eatable.
Thanks for your feedback, Sandhya…
For me, this recipe actually cooked in about 15 minutes. Maybe soaking the millet helps in reducing cook time? or maybe there are different varieties of Proso millet? Just like there are so many rice varieties with each having their own cook time… Time one was soft and fluffy after all the water was absorbed and that took about 15 mins. Right now I do not have proso millet at home to try again and update but will definitely make it again as soon as I can buy them again 🙂
Hi! I am absolutely new to this world of millets. N at a stage where I am just reading about it. I don’t know about any millet other than ragi, jowar n bajra.
Can you help me with local names or rather Hindi names as I live in north India. It would be easier when I go to my local market to buy these.
I totally hear you 🙂 I was right there a few years ago when the nutritionist told us to eliminate wheat from our diet. I had heard of Jowar and Ragi and eaten only Bajra till then. So it took a lot of learning and reading and experimenting to become comfortable with cooking with millets.
Here is my list of millets with names in both English and Hindi to help you. To start with I would suggest, Ragi, Jowar, and Bajra are great and also easily available in most places these days. Here are some millet recipes that I have posted on the blog. If you have any question, do reach out and I will be happy to help you make the switch!
Hope this helps