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Simplified International Flavours

warm salad of pearl millet, peas and asparagus

Pearl millet, high in protein, fiber and essential nutrients makes a great base for a healthy, green, warm salad with crunchy asparagus and minty peas, and the herbal notes of thyme and earthy cumin.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pearl millet (whole bajra)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-3 stems fresh herbs (thyme or rosemary) (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon whole cumin
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 heaped tablespoon)
  • ½ a small onion, finely chopped (about 3-4 tablespoons)
  • ½ cup of frozen or fresh peas
  • 4 fresh stems green asparagus
  • a pinch of sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ a red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 20 pieces pistachio, shelled and halved
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Pearl millet, high in protein, fiber and essential nutrients makes a great base for a healthy, green, warm salad with crunchy asparagus and minty peas, and the herbal notes of thyme and earthy cumin.

Instructions

  • 1. Wash and soak pearl millet for for 3-4 hours, or overnight.
  • 2. Place millet in a saucepan. Add 2 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt, herb stems and bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover pan, and cook for 25-30 minutes until soft. Stir occasionally. Strain, if there is excess liquid, remove herb stems if used, and keep millet aside.
  • 3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add cumin, whole black peppercorns, garlic and onion. When onion becomes translucent (about 1 minute), add peas and asparagus to pan with pinch of sugar and ¼ cup water. Immediately cover for 1 -2 minutes until vegetables are soft. Do not brown.
  • 4. Add cooked millet, lime juice and thyme to vegetables in pan on low heat. Allow liquid to be absorbed while stirring for 2-3 minutes.
  • 5. Remove millet and asparagus mixture to serving bowl, mixing in ¾ of the pistachio pieces. Add roasted red pepper, chopped mint and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 6. Check seasonings. Garnish with remaining pistachio. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Serves: 4
    Ingredients: 19

    Prep Time: About 4 hours, including soaking time
    Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Critical Ingredients

Critical Ingredients: If you don’t have millet, this will work well with barley too, but cooking time will vary for barley. If you don’t have thyme handy, skip it and add mint, parsley or mixed herbs instead. I like to use whatever herbs I have on hand to add flavor to the millet; bay leaves also work well while boiling. In fact, it’s a great way not to waste and use stems of fresh herbs. And the millet is so flavorful, you need to add fewer fragrant herbs and spices to the salad!!

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Anuja Kohli Mariwala

An engineer, home cook, Pilates instructor, Education Consultant and mother of four.

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