Just one more dish from my childhood – potato balls filled with meat or fruits. My grandma used to fill them with blueberries and strawberries or plums and then serve with sweet cream – how heavenly tasty was that! Typically they are made of boiled mashed potatoes and wheat flour or mashed boiled and raw potatoes with potato starch flour. Potatoes are quite often present on my plate so I searched for an alternative.
I thought of trying millet since it is a good source of some very important nutrients, including copper, manganese, phosphorus, but especially magnesium – a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion.
The phosphorus from millet participate in the structure of every cell in the body. It plays a role in formation of the mineral matrix of bone. The phosphorus is an essential component of numerous other life-critical compounds including adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the molecule that is the energy currency of the body. Phosphorus is an important component of nucleic acids, the building blocks of the genetic code. In addition, the metabolism of lipids relies on phosphorus, and phosphorus is an essential component of lipid-containing structures such as cell membranes and nervous system structures.
- Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nuts free
- Only 2-3 main ingredients
- Nutritious (rich in magnesium)
- The meat-filled balls are a good source of iron
- Very easy to make
Ingredients (for 3-4 persons /about 20 balls)
- Millet – 400 g (1 ½ of a cup)
- Water – 2x the volume of millet – 1 ½ of a cup of millet needs 3 cups of water
- Tapioca flour – a couple of spoons for dough (depends on consistency of the boiled millet; I used 3 spoons) and about 1 cup for rolling the balls
- Optional: egg – one raw
- Salt – ½ of a tea spoon to the dough
- Filling: I used ground meat (around 250 g) with dry herbs but anything would do – stay creative!
- Fat – to fry ground meat
- Salty boiling water to cook raw balls after they are formed
- A bowls – to mix the dough
- A plate – to form and store the balls
- A spoon – to scoop a dough to your hand
- A kitchen pot – to boil the balls
- A slotted spoon – to fish the boiled balls out of the boiling water
- A kitchen processor – to grind boiled millet (you can also use fork or your hand)
- It’s very important to wash your millet before cooking. Otherwise it can end up quite bitter!
- If you don’t have kitchen processor you can mash the millet with your hand or fork
- You can replace tapioca flour with potato starch flour (or any other starchy flour)
- You can probably make them from mashed potatoes with gluten free universal flour but then they are less nutritious
- Boil water and add washed millet to it. Wash millet under cold running water. Afterwards, wash it with hot tap water. Only then, you can boil millet in a clean batch of water. Use 3 cups of water per 1 ½ of a cup of millet. Let it boil on a small stove burner until millet uptakes all the water (about 10-15 min). Afterwards switch off the fire and let it rest under the cover for another 10-15 minutes.
- In a meantime, fry the meat (if that is your filling). Do not forget to add spices/salt.
- Place the boiled millet in a kitchen processor and pulse it a couple of times. You should obtain smooth mashed dough.
- Place millet with one raw egg and 2-3 spoons of tapioca flour in a bowl and mix together (use your hand or a spatula). If the consistency is too lose you need to add more flour. You should get in the end elastic sticky dough.
- Take a big plate and cover it with tapioca flour. Take some of the flour in your hands (sorry, you need to get a bit dirty when making this dish :D). Then, scoop some of the dough (you could use spoon or your hand) and flatten it in your palm. Try to make it round and not to thin/not to thick. Sprinkle some of the tapioca flour on both sides of the round ‘pancake’ in your palm.
- Scoop some of the filling (like the fried ground meat) in the middle of the dough and try to close it. Slowly and gently make a ball out of it. After a couple, it will be very easy. Keep going until all the balls are done. Make sure, the surface is well sprinkled with flour.
- In a meantime, boil a pot of salty water.
- Place gently all balls in the boiling water and boil on a small stove burner. Wait until the balls start floating just under the surface of the water. It is a sign that the balls are ready.
- The meat-filled balls taste best with a sauce or with fried onion.
Have fun making your own filled millet balls :-) You won’t regret making them! Let me know how it worked out for you,