Gluten-free Bazargan/Middle Eastern grain salad
This is my gluten-free take on a delicious Middle Eastern bulgar wheat salad by Claudia Roden. Instead of wheat, I use millet (naturally gluten-free). Everyone takes seconds when I serve it at a buffet or barbeque. I love having it for leftovers too and it keeps for several days. Serve it with some protein such as roast chicken, a bean salad or some felafels, and a large green salad or some wilted spinach leaves dressed with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
330g/1½ mugs whole millet grains (from wholefood stores)
800ml/3 mugs boiling water, filtered if possible
1 large onion, red if possible
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
110g tomato puree
Juice of 1 lemon
A bunch of fresh mint, or 1 tbs dried
1 rounded tsp ground cumin
1 rounded tsp ground coriander
1 level tsp ground allspice
110g raw walnuts and/or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1. Add boiling water and millet to a large saucepan, cover with a lid and simmer on a medium heat until the water has been absorbed completely. Fork it up a little to break up the grains.
2. While the millet is cooking, peel and chop the onion and add to a large bowl with the olive oil, tomato puree, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, allspice, nuts and mint.
3. When the millet is cooked, allow it cool down so its tepid or cold. Then add to the rest of the ingredients and mix gently with a fork, avoiding mashing the grains, which should remain distinct from each other.
4. If you have time, leave this sit for an hour, or even overnight, for the flavours to develop.
Why this is good for you:
Herbs and spices are packed with beneficial antioxidants which prevent food from spoiling. A high intake of spices helps delay aging and is linked to lower incidence of skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Cumin and coriander help soothe and repair the digestive system while mint is anti-spasmodic, helping prevent cramps, gas and spasms in the bowel.