Some time back, I had a happy accident when I overcooked millet. I thought I didn’t have enough water, so I kept adding water and cooking for longer. Once I realized what I had done, it was too late. The millet clumped together and could not be used for the salad I had intended it to be used for. However, the clumpy/sticky mess I created was perfect for frying. I shredded cheese, added a few herbs, and cracked in egg in the mixture- the result was the start of this recipe. These millet cakes can be eaten on their own with a sauce but I like the lightness of the greens in lemon dressing to pair with the bit of kick from the cajun seasoning. These cakes are best eaten right after making (so they are still crisp).
Cajun Millet Cakes
Slightly overcooked millet creates the perfect base for these spicy grain cakes. Eat by themselves, tossed in a salad, or paired with a dip.
- 1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup uncooked millet
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons millet flour
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning (this recipe, minus salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1 to 2 tablespoons neutral oil for frying
- 3 to 4 handfuls baby greens
- 1/4 cup sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Bring the vegetable broth and millet to a boil. Reduce to a low heat, cover, and let cook for 22 to 24 minutes. Stir the millet starting at about 15 minutes. When done, the water should be absorbed and the millet should clump together when stirred. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- In a food processor, pulse garlic until minced. Add in red onion and parsley, pulsing again until both are in small pieces. Add in the millet, millet flour, seasoning, salt, and baking powder. Pulse until everything is well combined. Add in the egg and pulse until incorporated. Mixture will be fairly wet. Allow to rest while heating skillet.
- Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat (you will want to adjust as you go along). Add in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Wet your hands and scoop out roughly 3 tablespoons of millet mixture and shape into a 1/4" patty. Place in the skillet and repeat until the skillet is full. Let cook for roughly 3 to 4 minutes, until the patty is crisp and browning. Flip and repeat on the other side. Patty should be crisp on the outside and warm on the inside. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining mixture, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
- To assemble the salad, place greens and onions in a bowl. Whisk together the olive, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour over the greens and toss until the greens are coated. Add in the millet cakes right before serving.
Millet has been one of my favorite grains to experiment with because it is versatile- both in flavor and capability. I’m working on methods for other grains to make cakes similar to this (or like these brown rice ones), but a few easy ways to switch these up:
Cheese: Adding a sharp, shredded cheddar into the cakes creates a lovely, melted cheese after cooking. Or, you can add a tangy feta for a bit more saltiness.
Spices: Play around with the spice mixtures- I’ve just added a bit of garlic powder and smoked paprika before in place of the cajun spices but so many combinations will work.
Eggs: Instead of tossing these millet cakes in a salad, serve them with a fried egg for breakfast (a favorite of mine).
I have a grain hoarding problem in that I keep too many on hand at all times. I’m overly stocked. However, for people who are just starting out or just want a few key grains to keep on hand, I always tell them to pick up millet. It’s quick cooking, doesn’t have as strong of flavor as quinoa, and can be used in so many different ways. A few of my favorite millet recipes: