This excellent millet porridge with tofu scramble is a super breakfast bowl packed with goodness. It is sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free and low calorie and the turmeric powder adds not only a dash of color but also flavor and a generous amount of anti-inflammatory and digestive properties.
Of all the breakfast bowls on the site, this millet porridge is one of the most complete. It has proteins, grains, veggies and good anti-oxidants.
About millet and its origins
Millet is usually considered an “ancient grain” like quinoa or buckwheat, although it is technically a seed, and it originated between Asia (mostly China) and Africa, depending on the sub-type of millet you are referring to.
The oldest remains found date from pre-historic times, 6000 BC to be precise, and were found in China. The grass is drought resistant and has a very short season, growing from seed to plant in 45 days and required little care and became a really popular crop, both for human consumption and as fodder for animals (especially birds).
Fun fact about millet: Because millet can thrive with little to no water, and almost no care, it became a favorite crop of nomads who simply threw the seeds onto a field from their high horses (literally) and then returned a few weeks later to collect their crops.
Sadly, millets have progressively been replaced by higher yielding crops like rice and wheat which is why they are not as popular as they once were. They remain a staple food in the desert areas of north Africa and Asia and are one of the most important crops in India and China. And because of their health benefits they are starting to be reincorporated into posh menus.
I like millet because it is similar to polenta, cooks really fast, is gluten-free, it is quite neutral in flavor (so it can take any topping) and it is very affordable. You can see it as similarly amazing as quinoa, but at a much lower price. These are some of the same reasons why it became such a popular crop in places like India.
This millet porridge recipe comes to the rescue with a delicious combination that is quite easy to put together and provides some variation to your usual breakfast recipes.
The benefits of millet and this recipe
I have told you a bit already about the benefits of millet porridge but let me go a bit further and see if I convince you to try it.
Most of the millet you will find in the supermarket is of the foxtail variety and looks like tiny, round yellow seeds that fluff up with water to a soft texture which can even be mashed into a paste similar to mashed potatoes.
To me, millet has a similar taste to potatoes, others thing it resembles corn, so take an average and you have a corny potato taste. Interesting.
As I mentioned above, millet is one of the best breakfast foods there is that has been proven to provide lots of health benefits, from lowering cholesterol to sugar levels. In more practical terms, millet is gluten-free, sugar-free, very low in fat, and high in fiber (10%) and protein (10%).
This makes it a great alternative for celiacs and those who are trying to control their sugar levels and to add variety to their diets (something which I always advocate for).
And beyond the main ingredient, this savory millet porridge is a great recipe because it complements this grain with leafy green spinach (high in iron), bright yellow turmeric powder and ginger and vegan tofu protein. What’s not to love?
Turmeric has recently been discovered in the West as a fantastic health supplement (hello turmeric lattes). But before it became a 2016 hippie-go-lucky drink, it was well-known to Ayurveda professionals and a common Indian bedtime drink called haldi doodh praised for the natural antibiotic properties of its main element, curcumin.
Turmeric and ginger are anti-inflammatory and aid digestion. Garlic is great for the heart, to reduce cholesterol, to fight colds and to keep vampires away! All three are fantastic immune-boosting ingredients to any dish and a great way to start the day.
My mother in law always reminds me turmeric is one of the reasons the Indian immune system is (arguably) so strong. She would add turmeric to anything and in fact has it daily with a spoonful of honey and some garlic cloves. I wanted to add her wisdom to this recipe, while making it taste nice and not give me the garlic breath nobody wants.
So this turmeric millet porridge with tofu scramble has all the benefits of a turmeric latte, the great protein boost of tofu, the ancient properties of millet and some veggies for a dish that will set you out for the day full of energy.
What I love about this turmeric millet porridge recipe
The health benefits and nutritional value of this recipe are clear and beyond that, I love how easy and quick this recipe is to put together, especially since millet is quick to cook and accessible.
I also love the comforting taste, so easy to digest and eat and so tummy-warming that I can start the day knowing I filled my body with good things.
Recipe: Turmeric millet porridge bowl
Have a look at the recipe below to replicate this turmeric millet porridge recipe with tofu scramble. I made this one vegan, but you can replace the tofu with regular egg scramble if you prefer. There are a few more replacement ideas below.
This high protein, vegan millet turmeric bowl with scrambled tofu, mushrooms and spinach is a creamy treat loved by everyone and packed with two superfoods: immunity boosting ginger and anti-inflammatory turmeric powder.
You can customise the toppings and vegetables based on what you have in the fridge to make a year-round bowl.
- 1/4 cup Uncooked millet
- 1 cup Oyster mushrooms
- 1 cup Unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup Mashed tofu
- 1 cup Spinach
- 1 tbsp Chopped onion
- 2 tbsp Chopped ginger
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp Spring onion
- 1 tbsp Turmeric pwder
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 pinch Black pepper
- 1 tbsp Dried shallot
- CHOP: Prepare all the vegetables by slicing the garlic cloves, the spring onion and the garlic into small pieces. Dice the mushrooms and cut the spinach leaves. Keep ingredients separately.
- MASH: To make tofu scramble, you need to smash the tofu with a fork until it crumbles into pieces that look like scrambled egg. Set aside.
- FRY: In a pan, lightly fry the garlic, ginger, spring onion for 1-2 min until the garlic starts to turn golden, then add the mushrooms and keep stirring for another 5min until the mushrooms soften, add the tofu scramble and sprinkle the turmeric powder, pepper and salt. Keep stirring for 3-4 min more until it is all properly combined. Add the spinach and turn the heat off while you continue stirring so they only very lightly cook and the stalks remain crunchy.
- BOIL: Toast the millet for 2-3min in a pan until it turned golden then add the coconut milk and continue stirring for 5min to make sure clumps don't form in the millet. Turn the heat off and let the millet rest for 5min with the cover on. If the end consistency is too dry, add some more hot coconut milk (heat it in the microwave) and continue stirring. You want the millet to be creamy and not dry, else it will become really bland.
- ASSEMBLE: In a bowl, pour the millet and then the turmeric scramble. Sprinkle with some fried shallot and maybe some slices of japaleno, sweet chilli sauce or tabasco. I like to add toasted sesame seeds too.
Creaminess: Millet can be quite dry if you don't cook it with enough liquid so make sure you add enough after it is cooked. Instead of coconut milk, you can also cook it with broth made with boiling water and a quarter of a cube for a cleared and cleaner bowl. If you are ok with the dish being vegetarian (rather than vegan), you can also add some butter to the millet before you pour the scramble.
Vegetables: The spinach adds a bit of color, iron and crunch as they are added at the end and not fully cooked. You can replace them with any leafy green you have.
Other spices: To give the dish an Indian flavor, you can add chilli or masala powder with the turmeric.
Cook it together: You can combined the toppings with the millet and mix it all before serving, rather than assembling both in the bowl.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 272mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 6gSugar: 4gProtein: 17g
Values may vary depending on ingredients and brands used.
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Possible variations to this turmeric millet porridge
This recipe can be varied by changing a few of the ingredients. Here are a few creative ideas to try:
- Make it eggy: You can replace the tofu scramble with egg scramble but cook it separately. Or make it a fry egg for an extra dose of morning goodness.
- Use broth: I used coconut milk because I think it goes fantastically with the tofu and the turmeric, but you can also use broth cubes. If you do, watch out for the seasoning and reduce the salt. Coconut milk is quite sweet and requires more salt but broth cubes are already salty in nature.
- Get leafy: You can use any leafy greens for this recipe, but you could also add some broccoli which goes very well with turmeric. Cut it in small pieces and add it before the tofu because broccoli takes longer to cook that spinach.
- Oaternative: You could replace this recipe with steel cut oats.
Make this recipe with <250 kcal
The calories in this dish are pretty split among he ingredients, but the olive oil used to cook it is the most caloric. Here is what you can do to reduce the calories:
- Reduce 50-70 Kcal: Use spray olive oil to minimise the amount used or use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon, which should be more than enough if your pans are properly non-stick.
- Reduce 50 kcal: By reducing the amount of tofu from half a cup to a quarter.
So, to make this recipe 250kcal you should reduce the amount of olive oil and tofu.