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Have a Millet a day...serve up some Kodo Millet Vegetable Biryani

Kodo Millet is one of the positive millets or 'Siridhanyaalu' since it is easy to digest, rich in antioxidants, prevents the occurrence of lifestyle diseases, reduces knee and joint pain, and helps regularise menstruation in women, as described by the Millet Man of India, Dr. Khadar. These humble grains are a powerhouse of nutrients and I decided to dedicate a meal to millets by preparing some Vegetarian Biryani, using these millets instead of rice.

Millets must be soaked overnight or a minimum of 6 hrs if you need them the same day.

There is no turning back if you savor this dish...

Vegetable Kodo Millet Biryani Serves 2


1 cup Kodo millet

1 cup water for soaking

11/2 tbsp ghee or cold-pressed cooking oil of your choice

1 large onion, sliced thinly

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 green cardamoms

1 black cardamom

2-3 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 small stick of cinnamon

½ cup diced carrots

½ cup white mushrooms, diced

¼ cup peppers – green, yellow or red

½ cup green beans

¼ cup green peas

¼ tbsp ginger paste, freshly grated

¼ tbsp garlic paste, freshly minced

¼ tsp ground turmeric

¼ tsp ground Kashmiri red chilies

½ tsp ground garam masala

A handful of fresh mint leaves

A handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped

2 tbsp fresh tomato puree

1 tbsp fresh cream (optional)

Salt to taste

To Prepare :

1. Soak the Kodo millet in water overnight or at least 6 hours. It is very important to soak the millets. Please don’t miss out on this step. Prepare in advance.

2. In an Instapot, on sauté mode, or a pan/ pressure cooker, heat ghee or oil, and add all the onions till they turn brown and caramelized.

3. Remove half of the onions and add the whole garam masalas. Let them crackle and add the ginger and garlic paste. Cook for 2 minutes and switch off the instapot. If you are using a pan, decrease the gas to low.

4. Add the vegetables, ground masalas, tomato puree, cream, herbs, and ½ tsp salt.

5. Mix very well.

6. Drain the Kodo millet well and add to the instapot, pressure cooker, or pan and mix.

7. Add water so that it just covers the vegetables and millet. And add 2 tsp of salt or as per your choice.

8. Close the Instapot . Set at low pressure for 5 minutes. When done let it rest for 5 minutes and then manually release and open. Don’t spoon the millet. Let it rest for another 5 minutes and then fluff it and dish out.

9. In a pan, increase the flame cover and cook till the millet and vegetables get done. Let it rest and fluff before dishing it out.

10. If using a pressure cooker too, and cook for 2-3 whistles. Leave to rest for 5 minutes and open the lid and let it again rest for another 5 minutes.

11. Enjoy with Raita and pickle.

Millets should always be left to rest after cooking so that it gets its structure and you are able to spoon it well onto a dish.

You may use vegetables of your choice.


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