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January 18, 2011

Pasta: Adyga Millet Spoon Bread

Despite its name, this dish has nothing to do with macaroni or even Italian cuisine. This is the bread of my people- Adyga [pronounced: ah-dyh-ga], or else known Circassians. It is an ancient recipe that our forefathers, or rather foreMOTHERS were making for ages.
The grain used is millet. It is wide known as fodder, but it is totally suitable for humans! And it's full of nutrients, too! Packed with proteins and vitamins, such as vitamin B, niacin, B6 and folic acid, minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, it contains no gluten and although it could not be used for regular breads, it could easily replace any grain in your pantry.
Circassians had been cultivating this grain perhaps for as long as the history knows of them. They used it in soups, as breakfast cereal and to make this unique bread- Pasta, which was served with practically everything: meat dishes, poultry, cheese...
Regardless of its deep rooted history, this dish is very easy to make. There are very few ways to cook Adyga Pasta, but they all call for not more than 3 ingredients: water, millet and flour. I cook it without any flour. Note that pasta is never cooked with salt! The hardest part of cooking pasta is the cleanup!

Adyga Pasta
1 cups Millet picked and rinsed in cold water
3 cups water
Hand pick millet for any unhulled grain, wash with cold tap water and drain. Use a hard anodized stock pot (or any pot you use to cook rice in, but not Tefal), pour millet and water, cover and bring to boil over hight heat. Once boiled, take the top off, lower the heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes or until grain is all cooked and most of the water is evaporated, stirring with a wooden spoon (if you don't stir, pasta will end up on the floor!). If water evaporates before the grain is cooked, add 1/4 cup more at a time until millet is cooked. Remove from the pot into a pan (I used lasagna pan) and tamp down with a wooden spoon or wet hands. I personally prefer hands! (beware, it is hot) Let cool. Usually when it cools down a crust appears on top. Usually it's not edible. To avoid it, cover pasta with a layer of cling wrap while it's still warm. Once cooled down, cut pasta into 2 inch strips and serve warm or cold.

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