Millet is a golden-colored, gluten-free whole grain that tends to be a little dry when cooked, like rice or quinoa, but becomes soft and creamy when simmered with extra liquid. The addition of coconut milk complements it perfectly and gives porridge a luxurious texture and richness that really is a step up from your average winter breakfast cereal.
Most days I stir frozen berries into this morning porridge right before removing it from the stove. This gives the berries just enough time to defrost without staining the batch purple. When I’m having guests for breakfast, or when something a little more presentable and festive is called for, I make a separate berry compote to top the porridge instead. Not only does the juicy compote look much prettier, but it also allows the delicate flavor of the berries to come through along with providing contrast with the creamy porridge.
Millet has a bitter coating similar to quinoa that needs to be washed off before cooking. I also opt for soaking it overnight to speed cooking time in the morning and ensure a creamy result.
Coconut Millet Porridge with Berry Compote
Makes 2 generous servings
For the porridge:
¾ cup millet, soaked overnight in 2 cups filtered water
½ cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
6 cardamom pods
Pinch sea salt
2½ cups filtered water
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk, plus more to serve
Coconut sugar or maple syrup to serve
For the blackberry compote:
2 cups (10-oz package) frozen blackberries
2 tablespoons pure apple juice
1½ teaspoons arrowroot powder
1. Make the porridge: Drain and rinse the millet. Place in a pot and add dried coconut, cardamom, salt, water and coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Porridge is ready when thick and creamy. Remove cardamom pods, re-cover pot and set aside until read to serve.
2. Make the compote: Add blackberries, cinnamon and apple juice to a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer 6 to 8 minutes or until berries have defrosted and softened. Dissolve arrowroot in 2 teaspoons of water and slowly stir into berries. Raise heat and continue stirring until mixture has returned to a simmer and thickened. Remove from heat.
3. Spoon porridge into bowls and sprinkle with coconut sugar or sweetener of choice, top with compote and a drizzle of coconut milk.
Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer in New York City. Her cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen will be available fall 2014. She blogs at Coconut & Quinoa.