Grains are a great way to make one pot meals that are refrigerator friendly to eat during the work week. I can amp it up with some chopped tomatoes and cucumbers and lightly dressed greens for a complete meal.  While this version is vegetarian, adding some grilled chicken or shrimp makes it a quick meal for meat lovers as well.

Adjust the seasonings with extra salt or freshly ground black pepper, a dash of lime or chaat masala can add freshness right before eating. I like to portion them into one cup servings and store in refrigerator or freezer for a quick lunch or dinner.

I know the list of ingredients looks intimidating, but most of the list comprises of various spices. If you do not have access to coriander powder, use a teaspoon or two of curry powder as a substitute. Remember that curry powders are of varying degrees of heat. Use with caution and stick to the milder versions initially.

Mild Medium Spicy  
1 1 1 cup dry millets
1-1 1/2 1-1 1/2 1-1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1.5 2 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 1.5 2 tablespoon coriander powder
1 1.5 2 tablespoon cumin powder
1/2 1 1.5 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1/2 1 1.5 tablespoon za’atar
1/2 1 1.5 tablespoon fresh black pepper
1-1 1/2 1-1 1/2 1-1 1/2 cups chopped mixed vegetables
1-1 1/2 1-1 1/2 1-1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
10-12 10-12 10-12 curry leaves finely chopped
1-2 1-2 1-2 teaspoon salt
1-2 1-2 1-2 cups chopped parsley and mint
2-3 2-3 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 - 2 1 - 2 1 - 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
  • Toast the millets in a dry pan for 5-10 minutes and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds, cumin powder and coriander powder and toast for a minute.
  • Add za’atar and black pepper and after 30 seconds, add onions and ginger-garlic paste.
  • Stir occasionally until the onions are soft and the ginger-garlic paste has lost the raw smell (about 10 minutes).
  • Add chopped vegetables and stir 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are cooked but not soggy. I like the vegetables to have a bit of a crunch.
  • Add cooked chickpeas and millets and stir until everything is mixed in. Turn to medium and heat and cover the pan for about 10 minutes.
  • Add chopped herbs right before eating.
  • Adjust for salt and lime/lemon juice.



Grain Vegetables Additional Spices Herbs
Millets Zucchini Alleppo chilies Za’atar Parsley
Buckwheat Yellow Squash White pepper Coriander powder Mint
Couscous Peppers Chopped green chilies Cumin powder Cilantro
Any small pasta Onions   Curry powder Oregano
Brown rice     Taco seasoning  
  • Toasting the millets, prevent it from clumping.
  • I usually make the grains the night before and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • Onions and pepper are always a great combination with any grains for a hearty meal, add taco seasoning instead of za’atar for a tex mex version.
  • Top with any grilled protein to cater to the meat lovers, or grilled fish for the pescetarians.


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