Make Ahead

Jeweled Millet

February  6, 2013
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

The best side dish ever, this will please even your non-healthy friends! Packed with spicy, crunchy chickpeas, nutty almonds and sweet, caramelized onions, this combination transforms millet. If you’re not 100% vegan, eat this with a large spoonful of plain yogurt. —Weird & Ravenous

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup millet
  • Coarse salt
  • one 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1/4 cup blanched and sliced almonds
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into thin half-moons
  • Small handful cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  1. Place the millet in a saucepan with 1 ½ cups of water and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer until the millet is just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chickpeas on the prepared pan and drizzle with a glug of olive oil and the harissa. Sprinkle the mixture with a big pinch of salt and, using your hands, evenly coat the chickpeas. Roast, stirring now and then, until a bit crispy, about 20 minutes. Set the chickpeas aside.
  3. Heat a thin layer of olive oil (about 3 or 4 tablespoons) in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the almonds to the hot oil and cook, stirring now and then, until they’re browned and fragrant, just a few minutes. Transfer the almonds to a plate, leaving the extra oil in the pan.
  4. Place the onions into the leftover-almond-oil and cook, stirring now and then, until dark brown and quite soft, about 15 minutes. Set the onions aside.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the millet, chickpeas, almonds, onions and cilantro. Season the mixture to taste with salt and eat warm or at room temperature. It’s even good cold to be honest.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Clifford Robinson
    Clifford Robinson
  • Franca
  • beccaoco
  • Tom Dusky
    Tom Dusky
  • Alexandra Bégin
    Alexandra Bégin
Cleo Brock-Abraham and Julia Turshen are the two best friends behind Weird & Ravenous, a production company that makes fresh content about food and the relationships it inspires. With a careful understanding of the many factors that go into preparing a meaningful meal, Weird & Ravenous is stirring the pot.

26 Reviews

elspeths September 17, 2022
I'm going to do that annoying thing where I tell you that I didn't actually quite make this recipe, but I'm reviewing it anyway. Normally, I wouldn't do that, but I was *so* happy with what I wound up with, that I wanted to share.

What I kept basically the same:
Roasting the chickpeas, which added such an amazing texture, never would have thought it would have made such a difference, but it was totally worth heating up the oven for. Didn't have harissa, so I left that out and just went with salt and olive oil.
Caramelized onions, I used three medium sized onions.
Almonds, I used whole ones, since that's what I had, and just threw them in with the onions towards the end of their cooking time.

What I really changed:
I didn't have millet, so I used 1 cup of whole bulgur cooked with 2 cups of water and a mushroom stock cube.

Served it with some strained yogurt and a tomato salad, and it was amazing, which is something I never say about my own cooking. Next time, I'd maybe add some dried fruit to the onions when I throw in the almonds (apricots, or those sour dried plums you get in Persian cooking), and maybe some roasted butternut squash if I'm really feeling like making a meal of it.
Erin A. November 25, 2018
I made this recipe tonight. My first time cooking millet. I love the combinations of ingredients, but it seems like it is missing something, perhaps acid. The suggestion of the yogurt dressing is a good one. I served mine with a bright salad.
Steven May 11, 2018
Any substitutions for cilantro or harissa? My wife dislikes the former, and I havent seen the latter in stores. Otherwise, it sounds good.
Claire March 12, 2019
I use parsley for every recipe that lists cilantro, and it always works. And Harissa is a Moroccan hot sauce, so any hot sauce you like is fine.
Nancy July 28, 2016
What, no nutritional info? Disappointed....
judy April 13, 2016
I'm a fan of millet and use it in place of quinoa--less expensive and a No. American Grain. This looks really good. I wonder if I tossed in a few mixed roasted vegetables like carrot and peppers and beets and fennel if that would round it out? Going to give this a try this week.
Clifford R. September 10, 2015
I just tried this as a lunch for two today. It's a really nice dish, over all, but the chickpeas especially turn out well. I recommend serving it with (additional) cilantro and a yogurt/lemon/garlic dressing on the side. I will definitely be making it again.
Gisele73 April 21, 2015
This was really fantastic--every ingredient deliciously contributing to the common good. If I were to double the recipe, which I definitely want to do, I might fry the almonds in one pan and the onions in another. Although I'm sure the almonds lent a nice flavor to the onions that fried next in the same oil, I'd rather wash two pans than pick 1/2 cup of almonds out of the hot oil.
Franca May 23, 2014
We had this for supper. It was lovely.
beccaoco January 27, 2014
This is amazing. It's full of flavor and texture, healthy, AND it looks beautiful when prepared! Frying an egg (lightly) and laying it on top was an awesome idea! Although, the side dish stood tall on it's own. A must try for anyone with good taste! :)
Tom D. November 26, 2013
Harissa (Arabic: ??????) is a Tunisian hot chili sauce whose main ingredients are red roasted peppers, serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seed, red chili powder, caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil. It is most closely associated with Tunisia, Libya and Algeria[1] but recently also making inroads into Morocco according to Moroccan food expert Paula Wolfert.[2] It can also be found in countries with strong Arab presence such as France or Germany. In Israel harissa is a common topping for falafel.
Tom D. November 26, 2013
what is harissa?
Alexandra B. July 8, 2013
Wow. This is going to become a staple for me. I've never liked chickpeas so much. THANK-YOU!

PS: I used flat leaf parsley instead of coriander and Siracha instead of Harissa. STILL DELICIOUS!
MandyJene March 2, 2013
So perfect! I added a fried egg on top and some chilli powder to the chickpeas. Its comfort food for a cold night.
Zdenka M. March 1, 2013
Simply delicious! My children loved the crunchy chickpeas and me and my husband added extra peri-peri sauce (did not have harissa).
Vstarr71 February 25, 2013
Yum! Made this with quinoa (did not have millet) and green onions. So good. Will top it with shrimp and homemade Harissa for dinner tonight!
ChezHenry February 14, 2013
I made this last night to accompany a Sweet & Sour Marinated fish from the "Jerusalem" Cookbook. It was a huge hit. Some modifications: I cooked the Millet in homemade chicken stock (much as you'd do with rice, etc). I had some very fine organic Millet that I purchased here in NYC at the famous Kalyustans. I've never cooked with millet before (have baked with it) and it wound up being a bit overdone, but no big issue. I think it was very fine and very fresh, next time i'll check in on it. Additionally I used fresh chickpeas, that I soaked and cooked prior to roasting. I'm a big fan of fresh chickpeas and I had some time-they were beautiful smaller chickpeas from Tuscany, very nice when roasted. Lastly I did a melange of three herbs to finish it off, chopped parsley, mint and cilantro. I actually did 4X the recipe for a large pot luck, and it was a huge hit. I served it with some cucumbers in yogurt, also out of the Jerusalem cookbook. Much thanks.
ChezHenry February 14, 2013
Sorry, lastly I also hit it with some high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil prior to tossing it all together.
ChezHenry February 14, 2013
And when I say "fresh" chickpeas, I meant to say "dried" chickpeas that I reconstituted and cooked!
Weird &. February 14, 2013
um....this meal sounds delicious. wow.
loubaby February 13, 2013
I love trying different grains; haven't had millet in awhile...had it in a bread and loved it...will try this..thanks so mucb
Weird &. February 14, 2013
let us know how it goes!
gingerroot February 9, 2013
This sounds fantastic. I recently bought some millet and now I know what I'm making with it.
Weird &. February 9, 2013
yay! let us know how you like it!
gingerroot February 14, 2013
I made a modified version tonight using what I had on hand (no chickpeas, so subbed organic chicken for protein; no harissa, so approximated a spice mixture and cooked it with the chicken; added some chard at the end) and it was amazing. I will definitely make it as written soon! I can easily see this in the weeknight rotation.
Weird &. February 14, 2013
chicken and chard = awesome!