Tag Archives: gluten free

Millet and Beets Upma

I love trying healthy grains (or seeds)  in different ways. Especially those I can substitute for rice.mu2Millet is a relatively unknown small, round, yellow (or white, gray or red) seed. Although the term millet refers to grains, it is not really a grain, but a seed. Millet is widely grown in India, Asia,  and parts of Africa. Certain forms of millet have high protein, minerals, iron and calcium compared to common grains such as rice and wheat. It is gluten free, and a good substitute for other grains such as rice, oats or couscous.It is a source of high energy,

This is my second time cooking it and I can tell you it is not the easiest to cook. It definitely takes longer and needs more preparation than other grains such as Amaranth and Quinoa. For details on preparation and how to cook millet, I found this site with good information.

Upma is a very traditional and popular south Indian breakfast item that I cook for brunch, quite often. I have a traditional recipe that we used at home and adapt it each time I alter the ingredients. Following my Upma series, here is another almost similar, but slightly different millet-based Upma.


1 cup organic, hulled millet, rinsed (soaked overnight if possible)
1 small onion or scallion, chopped
1/2 red beet, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
a small piece of ginger chopped
a handful of cashews ( you can also use peanuts)
1 tbsp channa dal
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp ghee (optional)
a few curry leaves

mu1In a pan, add oil, channa dal, urad dal, mustard seeds and cashews (or peanuts) and fry lightly till golden. Add chopped ginger, curry leaves and jalapeno and fry for a minute. Add onion and continue frying for 2-3 minutes. Add beets and tomatoes and fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add 2-3 cups water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and let simmer for 5-6 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse millet seeds and add.  Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes or until cooked, stirring often, and adding water as needed. Add 1tsp of ghee if desired and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove from flame and serve warm with a cup of tea or coffee.

mu2See Also:

Quinoa Upma
Amaranth Upma
Pearl Couscous Upma
Pearl Tapioca Upma
Red Rice Poha Upma
Upma and Pessarattu

In addition you can also make upma with bulghur wheat, Sooji (cream of rice) or Vermicelli.


Millet Nutrition with some recipes
Millet on Wikipedia
Let’s make some boiled Millet

Roasted Vegetable Lasagne

When I came across the original recipe in PBS Fresh Tastes, I was immediately interested in trying this out. This brought to mind ratatouille, which is one of my favorite recipes.  I like a colorful palate, and the contrast of colorful vegetables always excites me. Although this recipe is gluten free and vegan, you can easily use pasta and cheese if you so desire. You can use any mix of your favorite vegetables.

Here is how I made mine.l7


For the Tomato sauce:
4-6 ripe tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 yellow onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
salt and red pepper flakes to flavor

For the Lasagne
2 Japanese eggplants
2 Poblano peppers
1-2 red bell pepper
8-10 baby zucchini (you can also use 1-2 regular)
1/2 cup and a little more cashews
1 tbsp yeast
a pinch of nutmeg
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

The day before you plan to make the lasagne, soak the cashews in some water and place in the refrigerator.

l6To make the tomato sauce, bring a large pot of water to boil. Immerse the tomatoes and leave for 5-10 minutes. Remove from stove, rinse with cold water and peel off the skin. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Thinly slice the eggplant, zuchini,  and peppers. Lightly toss in oil and fresh ground pepper. Lay out two trays and line the sliced vegetables. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes. This gets rid of excess water in the vegetables.

l1Meanwhile, heat some oil in a pan on the stove. Add chopped onion and garlic and fry till translucent. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, salt and red pepper flakes. Mix and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens.

l2To make the white sauce, add soaked cashews to a blender, adding about 1/4 cup water ( a little more if necessary) and blend until smooth. Season with salt, yeast and nutmeg and pulse until smooth.

l3To make the lasagne, add half the tomato sauce to a baking pan. Lay out in layers, roasted eggplant, poblano peppers, and zucchini. Add another layer of tomato sauce and lay out more vegetables. Add a layer of white sauce. The white sauce in this recipe, is sufficient for one layer in a 9×4 baking dish. The only thing I would change if I make this again is to make more tomato sauce and to use 2 red bell peppers. I suggest using 8-10 tomatoes. Can add any left over sauce here. Pile alternately red bell peppers and zucchini on top.

l4Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake lasagne for 30-40 minutes until most of the moisture evaporates and it is cooked.

l5Serve warm. Makes 2-3 servings. Delicious!