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Millet Salad Picnic

In Recipes on 6 June 2019 at 1:12 am

Thanks to the kind of friends you can make and ask for help in the same breath, the 5th annual Peace, Justice and You(th) camp featured freshly made millet salad. On one day notice Sireesha got foxtail millet and garbanzo beans, cooked them and brought them to the Kiddie Camp (yes that is what it is called) and on site, several parents jumped in to chop the veggies.  Lo and behold by noon lunch was ready.   Apart from the millet salad we had hummus, bread sliced tomato, cucumber and carrot and plenty of fruit.

Putting together the salad at the picnic table!

Till now I have mainly used millet in idli, dosa, kichdi … basically in lieu of rice.  Well here I discovered a new kind of recipe which combines millet with plenty of fresh raw veggies for a perfect outdoor meal with old and new friends. We used foxtail millet.  You can try the same recipe with other kinds of millet such as proso millet, which is the kind of millet sold in mainstream US grocery stores and labelled simply “millet.”  It is sometimes called “pearled millet” – not to be confused with pearl millet aka bajra.  “Pearled” indicates that the outer husk and at least part of the outer bran layer has been removed.

Millet Salad Picnic

  • Servings: 6
  • Print



  • 1½ cups millet
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • juice of 2-3 lemons
  • 3TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp freshly crushed black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint and/or catnip
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2-3 cups chopped fresh greens such as spinach, kale, arugula, chard, etc
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped onion (as garnish)


  1. Add 1 tsp salt to water. Add millet and cook.  Allow to cool.  Break up clumps. 
  2. Cook garbanzo beans separately.  Allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ½ tsp salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and oil
  4. Stir in chopped herbs
  5. Add the rest of the vegetables, starting with the greens and ending with the tomato and cucumber.
  6. Toss to coat, scooping from the bottom to mix and evenly distribute the seasonings
  7. Gently stir in cooked millet and garbanzo beans.
  8. Taste and add salt or lemon juice if needed.
  9. Keep chopped onions in a separate bowl to add while serving.  Do not mix the onions into the main bowl unless you expect to finish it all in the same meal / same day.

Picnic at 5th annual Peace Justice and You(th) conference features millet salad!


TO get 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans you need to start with ⅔ cup dry garbanzo beans.   (More conveniently, make a larger quantity of beans and use the rest for something else.)  

Soak the beans in water 6-8 hours or overnight.  If you need them sooner, you can bring water to a boil, turn off the stove, and let the beans soak in that water for 2 hours.  Then cook in a tightly covered pot for 1 hour or in a stovetop pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles (you should be able to smell the beans).  If you have an electric pressure cooker, follow its instructions.

To cook millet – put 1 cup millet and 2 cups water in a pot and put a lid on it.  To ensure that the salt is evenly distributed in the salad I am recommending that you add ½ tsp salt to the water when cooking the millet.  The other ½ tsp you can add to the chickpeas or to the herbs.

Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for ~15 minutes till just cooked.  You can also cook millet in a rice cooker. Pressure cooker also works but tends to make the millet mushy.

Best eaten the same day or next day.

Different combinations of greens and herbs allow for endless variety.  You can also try various kinds of millet – so far I have used foxtail and proso.  I might try Kamut or spelt next.   In lieu of garbanzo I once used adzuki beans (a word of caution: adzuki beans are very soft and do not retain their shape like garbanzos do).  And yesterday when I made it I had no cucumber handy but I did have corn and it went in very well.

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