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Millet Biryani

Photo by Vinita Punjabi


  • 1 cup foxtail millet, washed and soaked in 2 cups of water for 5-6 hours, or overnight
  • 1 cup washed and cooked soy nuggets, with water squeezed out
  • 2 tsp mustard (rai) seeds
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 30 g ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp dry red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 nos. (1″ pc) cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2½ cups boiling hot water
  • ½ tsp unrefined salt (or to taste)
  • 6 cups finely chopped leafy greens (radish/ beetroot/ spinach/ rocket leaves/ coriander etc.)
  • Juice of 1 lemon


Heat a pot and add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once they sputter, add onions and cumin seeds. Sauté until the onions turn translucent. Add garlic and ginger and sauté on low heat, until fragrant.

Then, add turmeric, garam masala, chilli flakes, cinnamon and cloves. Continue to sauté, until the onions turn light brown. Add tomatoes and keep stirring. Add soy nuggets and millet and stir for 5 minutes. Add vinegar and stir again. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat with the lid on. Cook for 10-20 minutes, until the millets become soft. Stir in the leafy greens. Add lemon juice, stir and allow to rest covered, for about 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork.

Delicious millet biryani is ready to serve!

Serves 4


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