Cook Millets perfectly in pressure cooker without pre soaking, as a substitute for rice and in other recipes using millets.
Usually I pre soak it for 20 to 30 mins before cooking which I always manage to forget as I'm the only one who eats millets for lunch.
I came to know of this hack from my husband’s aunt when she visited us. She is a diabetic and doesn’t take rice.
Normally Proso Millet (pani varagu) is my preferred choice to replace rice in lunch. But I had only foxtail millet at hand and I was surprised when she cooked it for both of us within few minutes without bothering to pre soak it.
But it was open cooking and I prefer my cooking to be supervision free. I especially hate having to open the lid and taking a sneak peak to check if the food is cooked or not and dislike looking at the clock to check on time.
What are Millets & why eat them?
Millets are coarse, small sized, ancient grains. These small grains are power packed with nutrients . They are high in fiber, rich in essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Millets are naturally gluten-free, alkaline, non-allergenic and they are thus easily digestible.
Also, the staple food of ancient India was millet, not rice like we tend to believe.
Millets are Diabetic Friendly
Rice is a simple carbohydrate, high in glycemic index, which releases the glucose into the blood immediately after we eat. This leads to sudden sugar spikes which are bad for people who are diabetic.
That is why diabetic people are advised to consume food, where the carbs are complex in nature.
Millets are complex carbs, that releases the glucose slowly & steadily into the blood over a period of time unlike rice.
Millets have low glycemic index, making them an ideal rice substitute, good for cholesterol, diabetes and weight loss.
Best way to cook Millets
Of all the millets, it is said that, ragi (finger millet) and thinai (foxtail millet) are the most thirsty fellows and that is one of the reason why millet is pre soaked for some time prior to cooking.
You can follow this method to cook millets perfectly in pressure cooker whether it is a single variety of millet or a mix of millets. You can also follow this method to cook them in an electric rice cooker or microwave.
I have cooked with single millet and a mix of 2 millets without pre soaking both in pressure cooker and in electric rice cooker and every time they came out perfect without an issue.
Cooking Millets in Microwave
When cooking millets in a microwave, use a microwave safe bowl, preferably a pyrex dish and cover the bowl partly with a lid while cooking.
Cook at 50% power of your machine for the first 10 to 15 mins and then at 100% for the remaining time or until the millets are fully cooked.
In both open pan cooking and microwave, it should take 20 - 25 mins to cook 1 cup of millet.
You can store the cooked millets in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days without losing its freshness while maintaining the texture.
As the millets are very small, storing them beyond that will change their texture, alter the taste and some may even find it unpalatable.
It is best to eat millets hot or warm. As the millets cool down, they tend to dry out and it will be very difficult to even swallow.
However, you can always sprinkle some water over them and reheat it in a microwave or steam for some time.
As I get well cleaned, organic millets, I don't wash them before cooking.
But if the millets you use have any dirt, wash it well and then spread it on a clean cloth to dry it out partially before using them.
Water Ratio to cook Millets
The water used will depend on your preferred consistency and the choice of recipe.
- If you are cooking millets as a replacement for rice in lunch or to make pulao, and prefer the grains to be separate, the ratio of millet to water is 1:2
- If you want the millets to be soft and not grainy or using them to make khichdi, the ratio is 1:3
- If you are going to make pongal or a thick porridge, then the ratio is 1:4
Is watching video more your jam?, then watch how to cook millets perfectly in pressure cooker video.
More Millet Recipes
See more Millet Recipes
How to Cook Millets perfectly in Pressure Cooker
- Millets of any variety - ½ cup
- Salt - 1 pinch optional
- Water - 1 cup to 1-¼ cups
- I used Foxtail millet (thinai or kangni). You can use any variety of millet or a mix of millets too.
- Heat a pan and dry roast the millet for 1-2 min till it feels hot to your touch and fragrant.
- Roast over low flame without changing its color. The roasting time will increase if the quantity of the millets increase.
- Transfer it to a pressure cooker. You can roast the millet directly in the pressure cooker itself instead of using a pan.
- Add water, salt (if using), mix well, close the lid and cook over medium flame for 3 whistles.
- After the pressure is released, open the lid and fluff with a fork.
- Serve hot or warm.
- Use 1 cup water, if you want the grains to be separate else use 1-¼ cups water (which I do), if you want the millets to be soft and easy to swallow.