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  Age on Sunday   10 Dec 2017  FOXTAILED by the Conti trail

FOXTAILED by the Conti trail

Published : Dec 10, 2017, 7:49 am IST
Updated : Dec 10, 2017, 7:49 am IST

The wholesome, nutritious and gluten-free millet has been the staple of the working class in many countries for years.

House Smoked Chicken and baby pineapple salad with Crispy Foxtail Millet.
 House Smoked Chicken and baby pineapple salad with Crispy Foxtail Millet.

The ordinary foxtail millet has found its place in the sun and the cuisine map of the world. While indigenous usage dates centuries ago as the poor man’s robust meal, the appearance of foxtail millet in Western and Indian cuisine has a similarity, it was more a basic porridge. Today, it is fast becoming a huge healthy phenomenon. Millets have been mentioned in some of the oldest Yajurveda texts, identifying foxtail millet (priyangava), Barnyard millet (aanava) and black finger millet (shyaamaka), indicating that millet consumption was very common, pre-dating to 4500 BC, during the Indian Bronze Age. Today, people affected by gluten-related disorders, such as coeliac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy who need a gluten-free diet, can replace gluten-containing cereals in their diet with millet. But if ordinary staples are not your thing, you can just as easily rustle up a gluten-free delicious Continental spread with these recipes that highlight the millet in all its glory!

House Smoked Chicken and baby pineapple salad with Crispy Foxtail Millet

(Recipe serves 2)
For the dressing:
Roasted coriander (crushed) 1 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp
Malt vinegar 1 tbsp
White wine vinegar 1 tsp
Brown sugar 1 tbsp
Garlic (chopped) 1 tsp
Dijon mustard 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Olive oil 200 ml

Combine all ingredients except the oil in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until the ingredients are emulsified into a homogenous mixture. 
For the crispy millet
Foxtail millet 50 gm
Salt to taste

Soak the millet in warm water with salt for an hour. Strain and dry on a paper towel. Heat oil to 250C. Quickly fry the soaked millet in the oil. Take care not to leave it in for long.
For the smoked chicken
Chicken breast 1 no
Assortment of spices (peppercorn, as needed
Bay leaf, anise, cinnamon) Butter (melted) 2 tbsp Charcoal one block
Gently sear chicken breast on all sides till brown. Place in a large container. In a small bowl, place the burning charcoal sprinkled with the spices. Keep the bowl inside the large container.
While working quickly pour the hot melted butter on the charcoal and immediately cover the container with a foil.
Let the breast smoke for about half an hour or until fully cooked.
For the salad
Mixed lettuce leaves 1 big bowl
Diced pineapple 50 gm 
Cherry tomatoes (halved) 6 nos
Smoked chicken (diced) 50 gm
Roasted coriander dressing as required 
Crispy millet as required
Olive oil as required
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss leaves, pineapple and cherry tomatoes with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
Gently mix dressing into the salad, and serve on a plate.
Sprinkle the crispy millet on top of the salad just before serving.

Spinach stuffed millet ravioli with primavera sauce

(Recipe serves 2)
For Pasta Dough
Semolina flour 50 gm
Millet flour 150 gm
Egg yolk 6 nos
Whole egg 1 no

Add ingredients together in a bowl, mix and form a dough. Make sheets with a pasta machine or a rolling pin.

For Stuffing
Spinach (blanched and chopped) 100 gm    
Ricotta cheese 50 gm
Garlic (chopped) 1 tsp
Nutmeg powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Spinach stuffed millet ravioli with primavera sauce

Combine ingredients, except the garlic in a bowl.
Gently sauté garlic and add to the mixture and mix well.
Stuff mixture in the rolled out pasta sheets, into desired shapes and store covered with damp cloth until ready to use. Blanch for three minutes to cook.

For the Sauce
Eggplant (julienned) 20 gm 
Zucchini (julienned) 20 gm 
Asparagus (shaved)  20 gm
Snow peas (julienned) 20 gm
Fresh peas 20 gm 
Shallots (chopped) 1 tbsp
Garlic (chopped) 1 tsp
Basil pesto 1 tbsp
Sun-dried tomato pesto 1 tbsp
Cream 100 ml
Butter 10 gm
Parmesan cheese (grated) 10 gm
Parsley as needed
Salt and pepper to taste    
Sauté the garlic and onion in a pan with olive oil.
Add vegetables one by one and sauté till almost cooked.
Add cream to the pan, and bring to a gentle simmer.
Once the mixture has reduced a little, take off heat, stir in butter, cheese and pesto.
Adjust seasoning as needed and toss the cooked pasta with the sauce.

The Tipster

Unlike paddy, all millet absorbs water even after they are cooked. So cook your millet an hour in advance. Sprinkle some water and let it sit with the lid closed tight, this helps quench at least part of its thirst giving the cooked grain a softer texture.

— Recipes courtesy Executive Chef Ramasamy Selvaraju, who delved into his cauldron of European cuisine to bring the ordinary millet to your plate.

Tags: foxtail millet, food and recipes