This millet tabbouleh salad is a wholesome and hearty meal in a bowl. It is easy to prep early and put together for a packed lunch or a sit-down dinner. Made with kodu millet as the grain base, it is naturally gluten-free and vegan.
Tabbouleh pronounced /ˈtæbuːleɪ/ is derived from the Arabic word tābil, meaning ‘seasoning’. And it so beautifully relates to its origin word. The key ingredient of a tabbouleh recipe is fresh herbs. The recipe uses a lot of parsley (with a little mint). It lends a beautiful aromatic freshness to the salad.
Flat or Curly Parsley for Tabbouleh?
You can use either flat or curly parsley for the recipe. But having tried both, my personal preference is to make it with curly parsley. Curly parsley retains its volume even after being chopped finely. It adds a lot of volume as well as freshness to the salad.
And my husband may disagree, but being able to make tabbouleh with fresh parsley was the primary reason why we planted curly parsley in our farm in the first place.
Millet Tabbouleh Salad
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 1/2 cup kodu millet
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1 tsp sea salt divided
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped curly parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 tbsp lemon juice to taste
- 1 clove garlic pressed or minced
To Cook the Millet
- Soak the kodu millet in 2 cups water an hour or two before cooking.
- Drain the soaked kodu millet. Add to a pan, add 1.5 cups water and some salt. Cook covered until tender and the water is over. Set aside to cool.
For the Dressing
- In a small glass jar or bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, and about 1⁄2 tsp salt and pepper. Set aside.
Assemble the Salad
- Add the cooled millet, chopped parsley, mint and tomatoes in a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing into the salad and stir to combine.
- Check for seasoning and adjust to taste.
Traditionally, Tabbouleh salad has lots of fresh parsley, some mint, tomatoes, bulgur and a simple lemon-olive oil dressing.
The recipe and the dish have travelled to almost every part of the world and beautifully adapted themselves to local produce and tastes. It is truly a potpourri of flavors and textures all coming together in a wholesome satisfying meal.
Some common variations to the traditional recipe:
- The grain base: Bulgur is cracked wheat and is not gluten-free. Millets and other gluten-free grains like quinoa are good choices for making gluten-free tabbouleh salad recipes.
- Add more fresh ingredients like cucumber, zucchini etc to the bowl.
- One can also add some roasted seeds and nuts to add to the texture and protein content.
Millets adds nutrition as well as an Indian variation to the recipe. I have used Kodu millet in this recipe. Other millets like foxtail millet, pearl millet and little millet also go well.
If you try this recipe, do let me know your own twists and variations to the recipe!