Millet Pilaf

The second dish which Minoo prepared in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen for the grain theme recipe is Millet Pilaf. Millet is often associated with bird feed in North America but is gaining acceptance into the human diet. Minoo told us that the incorporation of millet will made a very creamy mash potatoes.


This Millet Pilaf is another vegetarian recipe if you substitute butter with vegetable oil. Pilafs are open to a wide range of variations; any and all the vegetables may be substituted as desired or to to fit the season.


  • 1 1/3 cups millet, rinse and drain
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, one thinly sliced, one diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: this recipe is adapted from Kevin Turner


Minoo specifically demonstrated how to cut up a butternut squash the proper way because some of the squashes are hard and you can easily cut your fingers if the knife slips. One tip which Minoo shared is to microwave the squash for a few minutes to soften the squash before cutting. You may use a peeler or paring knife to peel the skin.

Millet-Pilaf-2 ==> Millet-Pilaf-3 ==> Millet-Pilaf-5
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Millet-Pilaf-9Heat 1/2 of the butter in a large skillet and fry the onion rings over medium heat until they are golden brown.
Millet-Pilaf-16Remove the onion to a plate and keep them in a warm place.
Millet-Pilaf-11In the same skillet, saute the diced onion and chopped ginger with the remaining butter until the onion is translucent.

Add the potato, cauliflower and squash and saute until they are lightly browned.

Add the rinsed and drained millet and garlic and stir everything around for a few minutes.

Millet-Pilaf-13In another small pan, Minoo heats the mustard seeds and cumin seeds in a teaspoon of oil until the mustard seeds start to pop.
Millet-Pilaf-14Add the spices to the millet pilaf. The frying of the spices should have been in place before we fry the diced onions. Frying the spices will bring out more flavour. Minoo would rather do the extra step to bring out the flavour rather than just add the unfried spices into the mixture.
Millet-Pilaf-15Add enough water to cover the ingredients, season with salt and pepper and simmer; stirring and forking up the millet from time to time to keep it light and separated for 20 to 30 minutes or until everything is tender.

Remove from the heat, cover it tightly and let the millet steam for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and turn out onto a warmed serving platter and scatter the caramelized onions over the top.

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