Pearl Millet The Prestigious Food For The Poor!

The millet grains originated in the Sahel region of Africa and in parts of the western India with a botanical name known as the Pennisetum Glaucum also regarded worldwide as one of the most important among the millet families of Poaceae, having a common name of Bajra, Bajri, Bajrus, pearl millet and generally called Gero in Hausa tribal regions of Northern Nigeria.
The Pearl millet grains is a tiny seeded cereal crop, that is naturally of the color gray, grayish brown, grayish white, purple, yellowish brown or white while the color of the endosperm are either white, yellow and gray, whereas the spikelet can be seen with or without long bristles; a nutritious cereal crop that is fast gaining popularity as healthier alternative to the various starchy grains such as rice, maize or sorghum. The protein and fat in the millet grains are much more potent than what is found in other grains such as the maize or rice; importantly making it a dietary source for vital nutrients requirements for the whole body and also a very important staple especially for the vegetarians living on vegan diets and people on special diets.
The millet grains ranks sixth in importance based on world cultivation and production; abundant in nutrients than many other cereal crops, serves as a very significant nutritional source and importantly supporting food security for billions of people living in poverty globally. A major source of dietary energy for a larger number of the less privileged often called the pheasants or poor people, thus an energy giver to laborers and farm workers at a very low cost; the many reason why it is regarded as the poor-mans food, thereby turning the millet to become the perfect food for the masses. The millet grains is suited for the arid regions with very harsh weather and hot season, making it a climate-smart crop for its tolerance to drought, heat, different soil types and efficient water uses because it’s thrives well to give a good harvest irrespective of the weather; it is an adapting crop to drought prone areas just like the northeast Nigeria where it performs better than other cereal crops, highly tolerant to high temperature, adaptable to poor soil, low vulnerability to insect, pest and crop diseases, above everything else it is high in nutrients. The pearl millet grain is similar to the biological value of the rice and wheat, with its cultivation confined to poor and marginal land areas with no chemicals needed for an improved yield when compared to other crops like rice, sorghum or maize.
Traditionally in rural communities the millet grains are processed and milled by hand pounding using the mortar and pestle by one to about five women pounding a single mortar filled with millet grains with five alternating pestles hitting the grains systematically without any two of the pestle hitting the wrong spot, amazing right? Oh yes, thereby making it absolutely necessary for de-bran machines to help with fast dehulling of the grains in order to process and produce high quality millet cereals.
The millet grains are used in a variety of food with various processing methods applied according to the tribal regions or traditional cuisines which range from the thin or thick gruels to the fermented or unfermented beverages while some tribal regions are famous for the used of the ancient grains in the malting or brewing of the local beer or wines called burukutu.
It is a source of straw for grazing, providing husk or chaff used as feeds for the animals, known globally as the birds foods, its hay and cobs are incorporated into animal feeds while the crop residue and the green plants provide raw materials for buildings, fencing, thatching, basket making, ropes and a source of fuel.

The Cultural Significance Of Millet-Gero In Northeast Nigeria
The millet grains may not be the favorite for the rich people in the community because it is seldom seen as a meal served in their homes whereas it constitutes the major staple in daily meals of the poor people in regional communities across northern Nigeria, irrespective of the realities on ground the millet is a most provided and presented grain that is so prestigous above every grain in the land during the sadakat known as charity offerings after a departed soul has transitioned from the human body. A cultural rite that must be observed after the death of anyone before the body is commited to mother-earth, is the sharing of the raw millet paste called “gumba” in northern Nigeria; the immediate female family members must pound the millet grains traditionally using mortar and pestle to de-bran the millet first. The preparation starts off with several women pounding the grains until the chaff is separated from the inner endosperm; it is wash in water severally until clean then the water is strained. The washed millet is again pour into the mortar and the women would pound until it is a smooth paste, sugar is added and pound together in order to blend and sweeten the millet paste.
The deceased female relatives would provide large colorful trays, on which the sweeten millet paste is scooped and shaped into round balls, after which it is again arranged on smaller trays until there are no space left; the loaded tray is taken round and shared among mourners to signify the act of good deed in the giving of charity know as sadakat for the deceased. It is eaten raw in its natural form without cooking and without any added ingredients except the sugar as a sweetener; giving it out before burial is believed to help the deceased gain a smooth passage into the next world.

Pearl Millet The Prestigious Food For The Poor!
Pearl Millet The Prestigious Food For The Poor!

The Traditional Method Of Separating Millet Grains From Chaff:- Mai Tsurfe Mai Dhutsa
Inna-Halima is a busy mother and wife who cater for all her family members by making a significant contribution through income she brought in to compliment the families upkeep, and this she achieved with her strength and skills to de-husk the pearl millets known as gero or hatsi in northern Nigeria; the millet-gero is a staple food of northern Nigeria which is tagged as the poor-man’s food but the millet-gero is far from the food for the poor in today’s food scarcity, now only the middle class and the rich can reach out to purchase the precious millet pearl.
The over a decade insurgency crisis in the northeast has turned many a housewife to head of households, taking over the responsibilities of searching for and doing menial job in order to feed and survive with their families. Inna-Halima is not an exception, waking up to work as early as the sunrise by walking all over the neighborhood streets in search of families needing the manual method of processing and dehulling the millet-gero with the use of mortar and pestle which is so tasking as well as exacting a lot of energy. Inna-Halima’s skills are not classified and to make known her job, she must advertise and announce what it entails as she walks around; screaming at the top of her voice, “Ga mai tsurfe, ina bina ko dutsa”, she rants and continuously chant all over the streets. On a sunny day after walking several miles with no job to do she finds the shelter of the Neem tree to sit and rest, getting under the shades with her feet she clears a spot to spread out her veil, removing her slippers that has followed many a painful paths through thorns, stones and the heats of the hot sun. She sat down and picks up the slippers, carefully she ties the rope which she used to secure and keep the two slips together. She removes her second wrapper, that she used as covering and to also hold her back strapped baby in place; sleeping soundly with no care to the going on in the world and not a thought about his mother’s hard way of life. Inna-Halima carefully makes a quick baby bed with the wrapper, and lay down her sleeping child then covered him up with her veil, thinking about what is going to happen if she did not find a job for the day to buy some food items for her kids, she sigh sadly and says “Allah Ka yi budi” meaning Allah open the doors. Miraculously, over her head she heard a gentle voice saying, “ki na tsurfe ne?”, meaning can you de-hull the grains?. Quickly she looks up into the beautiful gentle eyes of a girl-child, she smiles and nodding her head, she says “ina yi” meaning “yes I do!” The kid pointed to a large gate just adjacent to where she sat, she quickly pick her sleeping child, wore her now shredded slippers, picks her jute bag and followed the kid into the house.
Inna-Halima exclaimed in surprise seeing such affluence when her families live in abject poverty, and going to bed on most nights hungry. Hajiya Mariam, majestically came out from one of the many doors, wearing a black hijab with golden slippers and golden after wear over the black gown, a shimmering golden veils covers her long hair, on her ears are large round gold earrings, with gold rings on her slim fingers and gold bangles hugging her slim wrist; simply dressed but expensively adorned from her head to toe, she is gorgeously stunning but what really touched Inna-Halima was her kind voice. They exchange greetings quickly and she pointed out several bags of the millet-gero arranged on the terrace or verandah for de-hulling, Hajia Mariam then informs her that if she is fast and does a good job she would be considered for other household duties but first she must prove and show how hard working she is, starting with pounding the pearl millet grains known as gero in northern Nigeria.
A place was given to Inna-Halima to make her baby comfortable, water and food were provided for her, then she was shown the section in the household where pounding takes place, close to where the bags of grains where kept but what really amazes Inna-Halima was the mortar which was push into a shallow dug out hole to keep the base of the mortar stable whilst pounding; bowls, basins, aluminum trays and raffia round mats popularly called feifei in Hausa used for blowing out the grains whilst standing against the wind direction in order to separate the grains from the chaffs. Water is also available for use, a large circular raffia mat with its edges curved upwards are provided which are specially hand-woven for drying food grains.
After the bargaining on what is to be paid her for the job at hand, an agreement was reach that she can de-hull in small quantities until all the millet grains has been de-bran. Meanwhile, one might wish to ask why are the grains not taken to the heavy duty machines for dehulling and the cultural reasons given are that the taste of the hand hulled millet differs due to the fact that none of the gas or machine oil used in the heavy duty de-hulling machines gets mixed into the millet grains thereby changing its tastes and giving a completely different flavor.
Inna-Halima scoop some of the millet-gero grains into the mortar, sprinkle some water to saturate the grains then allow the water to soak in for just a few minutes. She stirs the now wetted millet grains for the water to coat thoroughly, picking up the pestle, the pounding starts; expertly hitting the millet grains with the pestle in quick and fast succession. As the grains in the hollow middle of the mortar begins to come together, she scrapes and pushes the grains on the edges of the mortar to the middle and repeatedly pounds and throws the pestle in the air, sprinkles more water when the grains gets dehydrated until the grains are completed separated from the bran or chaff.
Inna-Halima scoop out the grains onto the side of the mat and repeat the procedure, when about a large basin of grains has been de-hulled, she stops the use of the mortar and pestle, next is the separation of the millet bran from the eatable millet grains. She positions herself against the direction of the wind to begin the process of blowing out the grains bran or chaff. She first picks and feeds her baby who has been awoken by the pounding, in order to avoid any distraction she strips the child on her back; she sits on a stool close to the edge of the mat then scoop out some of the de-hulled millet grains and starts to blow it in the air with an up and down motion, the wind assisting to blow out the light chaff onto the mat edge while the heavier grains remains in the raffia mat called feifei, she transfer the cleaned grains into a dry and clean bowl. And again the process is repeated until all the grains has been completely separated from the chaff; the chaff are collected and reserve for use as animal or chicken feeds whereas some manufacturers are known to used the chaff for mixing into baked goodies such as biscuits, cornflakes and crackers believing that it is loaded with dietary fiber hence must not go to waste.
Inna-Halima moves the raffia mat to the sun, pour out all the grains and spread it out to dry completely before storage; it is important to note here that not all dishes are prepared using the de-hulled grains such meals depends on choice, health status and the ingredients to be used in preparation; a popular and prestigious dish in the northeast Nigeria is one of such royal meal called “Indaleyi” the millet-gero flour staple swallow.
Inna-Halima quickly finishes the days job and tidy up, putting back some of her things into the jute bag she carries around; just then Hajia Mariam appeared before her and ask if she can come over every day to work in processing and separating the millet grains from the chaff but before she could come up with an answer, she quickly ask her to bring along a helper to assist her if possible. Inna-Halima refused vehemently saying she needs all the income she can make because their are many mouth to feed and expenses to be taken care of; pleading she asked for a favor to be allowed to come everyday to pound the grains in smaller quantities depending on the needs of Hajia Mariam’s household needs, in which she smiles back and says, “Toh, babu damuwa!” meaning “OK, no problem.” Explaining to Inna-Halima that the meal of millet is just once a week for them and that is because sometimes the head of households demands that every family member eats a locally prepared cuisine that is connected to culture and tradition. She receives her pay for the days job from Hajia Mariam; counting the money she exclaimed in surprise, “Hajia, it is too much”! But Hajia insisted that she needs the money and must accepts it not for the job done but her families way of reaching out a helping hands to her family. Thanking Hajia Mariam with tears in her eyes and a heart full of gratitude, she says her goodbyes and left through the huge gate, on her way home, Inna-Halima looks back at the gate and send up a silent prayer to the Almighty.
Yes! Such is the life of the less privileged in the society, living on menial job every day from hand to the mouth with nothing in excess to save for raining days, a lot of women are in the business of processing the grains for meagre earnings. These women move from street to street and house to house looking for such job and after the days work they buy back the bran or chaff; whereas for the elderly women that can not pound the millet grains they only engage in the buying of the millet bran or chaff known as “dutsa” or “biina” in Hausa regions of Nigeria.
After making a collection of several bags of the bran or chaff, the women transfer the bags of brans or chaffs gathered to the cattle market at Gamboru Kasuwa Shanu just at the cross road of the customs round about; alternatively depending on proximity other sellers simply move such bags to the animal feeds collection centre along Baga Road in the heart of the city of Maiduguri. The millet-gero may be food for the poor in every way but nevertheless it is the most prestigious means of livelihood to keep body and soul together.
The millet-gero processing centers are not many in this part of the world especially the northern regions due to lack of machineries, fuel and electricity to power the machines thereby leading to the demand for more women called “mai tsurfe” to help out with the hand processing, of separating the grains from its bran or chaff. The processing of the millet grains became necessary in order to most importantly get rids of the sand grits in the tiny gray to gray-yellowish grains whereas not dehulling the millet grains is necessary in order to avoid loss of nutrients; do not forget every time you take a sip or swallow of the millet meal that it took several painstaking effort and energy to produce the meal.

The Business Of Fura Da Nono
The Girl Called Ummita is a beautiful teenager from the Hausa-Fulani tribes of Nigeria, although of the school going age but she has never seen the four corners of a classroom due to her families nomadic way of life. A girl from a family of 9 members living and sleeping whereever their herds of cattle and animals lead them to, that is an endless journey in search of grass which begins and ends everyday in places covered with grass and water to feed the animals and for them to camp for the day. Duties are assigned to each family members, the boys move the animals around to feed and to protect them from straying into private farms while the girls milk the cow, the mother cook their meals and their father goes out to the market to sell or buy provision for the family.
The Fulani girl Ummita carry the bucket of fresh milk after milking the cow into their makeshift canopy, and begins the business of making various products from the milk but first is the making of the locally fermented milk which she quickly pour out into a calabash bowl for her mama to churn in order for them to make some butter known as mai- shanu or ghee. The skimmed milk is further processed and stored for fermentation in order for the lactic bacteria to react producing an acidic or sour tasting milk traditionally called “kindirmo” or “nono” known as yogurt.
Ummita is in charge of preparing the fura millet balls, she pour out some of the millet grains into a mortar, sprinkle some water all over it and begins to pound with the pestle, half way through her mama picks the second pestle and joined her in pounding the millet grains which was quickly done.
The pounded grains where divided into two and both mother and child pick the tray or the raffia mat to begin the separation of the grains from the chaff, throwing up and collecting back the grains as the winds blows away the chaff.
All done and ready the millet chaff was collected together and taken away for the feeding of their animals whilst Ummita washes the millet grains and spread it out on their multicolored raffia mat, gently she pulls it into the sun ray to dry quickly.
Meanwhile, her dad has just return from the days market after selling out some of their butter and milk; also using the proceeds to buy home some food items and the much needed sugar for the sweetening of the fura da nono drink.
Ummita gathers together the dried millet grains and pour into the mortar again, together with her mama they sang and pound whilst her dad plays the wooden flute expertly, the tunes carries far and wide reaching into the listening ears of people in the neighborhood for those who understand the tune of the flute it is a soul stirring and soothing notes, telling a story of ancient days gone by and a future yet unknown.
Ummita and her mama scoop out the now pounded millet, quickly sift into a dry calabash; again pound into a smooth flour the remaining grits left out from sieving the flour. The fura balls must be made before the sun sets, so back into the mortar again she pours the sifted millet flour, sprinkle some salt and water. She pounds until it forms a huge mold and together with her mama they quickly make several smaller balls of millet dough just the size of an orange; a large calabash bowl reserve for the fura making is close by and all the balls were arranged in the calabash, covered with broad or banana fresh leaves and topping it up to stay in place with a “feifei” raffia placement mat, as a second layer over the opening then another calabash of the same size was placed faced down atop the feifei or raffia placement mat. The fura was moved into another side of the canopy where several other items were placed all around it to keep it warm and at the right temperature for fermentation to occur.
The boys just before sunset return from grazing and feeding their animals, meals were served and they all sat around an open fire to exchange happenings of their day.
The next morning Ummita begins to prepared for the market day, she baths and wore the traditional white and colorfully embroidered Fulani attired for the young ladies which is a wrap around white cotton garment that is tied around the waist, then snug into place with a rope. The top blouse is made of the same garment but sewn into a short sleeve blouse reaching just close to her abdomen with her belly-button peeping out for all to see with her every move. She places a beautiful mirror on the middle of her very long hair that has been weaved and pulled to her forehead, next is her multi colored beads in several strings which she wore around her waist and neck reaching down to her naval; the hand beads she quickly move towards her elbow and her plastic bangles follows of several colors adorned her slim and fragile wrist. Umitta sat down before a small mirror to apply a bright and bold makeup, first dusting all over her face with the brown face powder, her eyebrows she lined with the black eye pencils from the tip beginning from the forehead all the way to the end almost reaching to her hairline, while her inner eye lids receive a thick lining of the black eye pencil with thick red lipsticks applied generously all over her thin lips, then again she applied the black linings around the lips to fill it up; the final touches was the red dot she place using the lipstick on the middle spot of her forehead and on the very tip of her pointed nose, looking back at herself in the mirror and with a satisfied smile she is all made up and ready for the business of the day for profit and maybe a suitor to bring home to meet her family.
Ummita carrys the beautiful calabashes to her mama, they both pour out the now fermented milk into the larger calabash and place over it the raffia mat called feifei; while she was dressing up her mama had steamed and pounded the fermented fura balls. She helps her mama to mold the fura into balls then dust it all over with corn flour to prevent the millet balls sticking and together the task was completed quickly. The fura was kept in a separate calabash that was placed on top of the fermented yogurt, it is also covered with a raffia mat. By it side are the sugar in a polythene bag, calabash gourd scoops, several calabash bowls for serving the fura da nono and vital of all is the traditional churner made of stick with a cross at the top which is used for mashing the fura and mixing it with the locally fermented yogurt just like a whisk.
Ummita picks up her wares made up of three (3) layers of calabashes, expertly place it atop a hand-woven round ring positioned in the middle of her head and says goodbye while her mama wishes her luck, “Allah ya bada saa.” she says “Ameen” rushing out fast.
Ummita dashes back into the canopy to pick her cute wooden stool, on reaching the market squares she sits amongst other young Fulani ladies of her age whilst exchanging greetings; sighting Ummita most of the young boys around the market place rush to her side demanding for a calabash bowl of fura da nono, with a smile she asks, “sweet or sour”?
Ummita popularity is not only connected to her beauty but also her friendliness to every one she meets, one after the other people surround her asking for fura the nono, in no time all her sweet beverage was sold out.
A typical market day for many young ladies and elderly women selling the ancient drink of the fura da nono, most often Fulani females are seen in cluster or lined up sitting on stools with each placing before her a bright and colorful calabash of the fermented milk and millet balls while the bold ladies follow the early buses into the city centers to hawk around motor parks, schools, office complexes and street corners. The rural Fulani ladies are seen all over Nigeria carrying several of the calabashes that has been placed one after the other in layers of 3 to 5, never missing a step and daintily walking around without dropping any of the calabashes; a sight indeed to remember, walking on effortlessly despite their heavy wares, holding on with the left hand a stool and a round holder ring to which the round bottom of the calabash is placed to secure its balance.
Modernization has taken a lot of shine out of the traditional ways of serving and sipping the fura da nono, with various mix and match made into the ancient recipe of the fura da nono; evolving fast and changing the basic millet ingredients to corn flour or the combination of both the millet and corn flour. Fortified further by the addition of soya beans flour that instantly replaces dairy milk with vegan milk, deliciously adding in various flavors according to taste of choice. The shopping malls, stores and restaurants have on display the instant fura da nono either in bottles or sachets packs for sales, while at most eateries and restaurant the fura da nono is listed on the menu, ready to be served; a long way from home indeed due to how fast the fura da nono is whisked together using either a blender or hand whisk right there on the table, immediately turning the once upon a time tasking deliciousness to an instant fast food ready to be gulp down. A range of flavors, fruits, sweeteners and garnishing are all provided for the choice in taste or the desired preference; just as the fresh milk is churn to produce many products so does the business of fura da nono churning out an impressive income for business owners. As the saying goes, change is the ONLY constant! To remain relevant change is necessary and the ancient drink Fura Da Nono is NOT an exception, so sit back and enjoy a calabash bowl of the timeless drink of the Hausa-Fulani tribes of Nigeria.

The Business Of Instant Millet Drink In Northern Nigeria
An instant packs of the dambun fura or millet dumplings are processed into dehydrated balls to preserve it and to prolong it shelf life; instead of keeping it moist it is sun dried or dehydrated until all moisture has been evaporated. It is package is cellophane bags, label appropriately with ingredients and method of mixing before serving. Sold in shopping malls and market places, seen display on shop counters for sale as an instant ready to mix and drink meal.
Kunun Tsamiya is another instant drink prepared with the millet flour; Men and women are engaged in the business of dambun fura, Kunun tsamiya and a variety of homemade instant millet drinks. The recipe for the kunun tsamiya is a mixture of the millet grains, tamarind or tsamiya, mixed spices of ginger, cloves, and chili pepper then dry milled into powder form or a free flowing flour. After the milling it is sift to remove all fibers and residues before packaging into sachet packs, that has been properly label with its recipe ingredients and method of mixing listed on its labels. After buying a packet it is dissolved in water and then hot boiling water is pour over it and mix together to thicken out into a pap like gruel; sweeten with sugar and serve.
The buying and selling involves just a little income to start up; a few bowls of the millet grains and spices is all that cost much for starters whereas the remaining procedure can be done by the housewife in the home kitchen turned home office. Packaging to sell out to retailers is done by many through a business agreement whereby the retailers takes care of packaging the product before selling to individual consumers and customers. Hence the profit is shared amongst them depending on the percentages agreed upon before the business agreement but for optimal return on investment it is best to start up with the small capital and gain all the profit alone by investing alone and reinvesting the profits thereby moving the business further until one can buy all the necessary tools and equipment to stand alone as a business owner.

The Magnificent Delicious Millet Recipes
The millet grains is traditional used in northern Nigeria for many dishes such as the locally fried street food known as wainar gero, fura da nono when it is dry milled to make the millet flour and cooked into dumplings called fura. The millet grain in some region are used in the making of couscous popularly known as dambun gero in Hausa of northern Nigeria, others are very good at making the famous pap-gruel generally called “akamu gero” with the millet grains as an alternative to the use of maize which is most preferred for weaning babies and as a convalescence light meal, the fritter is another favorite dish out of the many endless product of the millet grains which is popularly called wainar gero or millet fritters. The used of the millet flour in bread making is amongst many baked goodies using the millet flour as a cheaper and healthier alternative to the wheat flour. It is used for making kunun zakii a local beverage drinks, nonalcoholic but fermented beverages, kunu koko, kunun kanwa, tuwon gero, pop-millet just as for the popcorns, puddings, fermented porridges, flat bread and the list is endless, why not try any of the millet recipes listed below, may just maybe the mighty millet might gain yet another fan, go for it:-

Homemade Millet Grains Soaked In Fermented Water Known As Ruwan Tsari In Hausa
It is the processing of the millet grains to polish it with ruwan tsari which is the liquid obtained after straining the surface water from the fermented corn paste.
The traditional method of separating the millet grain from its bran in rural regions of Northern Nigeria, involves the used of the mortar and pestle; scoop the desired quantity of the millet and pour into the mortar then moisten with some water to soften the pericarp, several round of pounding the millet follows until the bran is seen separated from its inner endosperm.
A milling machine where available and accessible is the fastest and easiest method of dehulling the grains, at a given fee which depends on the quantity of the grains, the milling machine called “engine tsurfe” is used to instantly dehull the millet.
Therefore when the millet grains has been dehull the next task is to blow off the bran from the eatable grains and that most be done by hand-blowing. The process involves first spreading out the debranned grains to sun dry, the woman would then scoop out the grains and stand against the direction of the wind, she raises up the calabash almost above her head then let’s it pour down like a spring water; automatically the heavier grains gather together at a spot whilst the brans moves off to a distant away from the grains, after which the round mat feifei is again used to carefully repeat the process of blowing away the bran until completely clean. It is worthy of note to point out that the millet bran is a nutrient rich by products which can be used for animal and bird feeds after it has been de-oiled or processed. Washing takes over the next step, repeatedly the grains are wash off all impurities then sun dry until completely devoid of moisture while others go a step further to soak the grains in fermented water of the corn paste known as “Ruwan Tsari” for several days in order to “bleach” the grains into a light yellow to pale white color. Then again it is rinse severally in water and sun dry, crush to obtain the millet flour by dry milling into the millet flour popularly called “indelayi” in northeast and also used for “tuwon laushi” generally across Northern Nigeria.

Millet Or Gero Flour
The millet grains must be properly processed before use in order to remove all stone grits, husk still sticking to the tiny seeded grains and foreign impurities such as iron and metals that may get mixed up with the millet grains. It is necessary to sun dry properly before and after milling the grains into flour in order to avoid the grains turning rancid and forming molds. The millet flour are used for bread, staple swallow known as “tuwon gero” in Hausa, gruel beverages fermented or bland with several other fried and baked goodies.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet grains
2. Water
3. Mortar and pestle
4. Sieve or mesh

Recipe Steps
1. Measure out the required millet grains debran or dehull if necessary, washing off to separate all stone grits from the grains.
2. Strain off excess water, spread out on a clean surface to sun dry until there are no moisture in the millet grains.
3. Dry mill into a free flowing and very fine flour using the milling machine called “Engine Nikka” at a given token fee.
4. Sift the millet flour into a clean dry bowl, transfer into bucket or jars then cover tightly and keep in a clean dry place, use when necessary in recipes using the millet flour or in combination with wheat or corn flour.

The Indaleyi Staple Swallow
It is prepared with the millet flour that has been soaked in the fermented corn water to help bleach the grains and also impacts on its taste; it is cooked in hot boiling water mix with cooking oil or ghee butter known as mai shanu in northern Nigeria, then it is stir continuously until it is turned solid and soft for easy swallowing, it is staple daily sustenance for the body and a source of energy because of its high calorie contents. Served and enjoyed in family homes across the length and breadth of Nigeria irrespective of tribal regions but diverse in its method of preparation which depends solely on cultural cuisines.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet grains
2. Vegetable oil or ghee butter known as mai shanu in northern Nigeria

Recipe Steps
1.The water strained from the corn starch pap or akamu is known as the fermented water called “Ruwan Tsari” in Hausa of the north and the Yoruba of the western Nigeria named it “Omidudun” because it has a sweet-sour after-taste; the fermented water of the corn starch is highly nutritious and has an amazing versatile uses that is simply unique to communities and their cultural cuisines. The fermented water in Borno state of northeast Nigeria is used in processing cereal grains such as the millets and guinea corns; the corn water is pour into a wide basin, and the preferred cereal grain of either the millet or guinea corn are soaked in the fermented water for several days until the grain changes to a light yellow or cream color from its original gray or brown color. 
2. The next steps is for the grains to be removed from the fermented and immediately other grains are soaked into the water, this procedure continues until the water loses it sourness and gives out a purgent smell, then it is discarded and a new fermented corn water are requested for, bought or prepared for use as a processing agent for cereal grains.
3. Meanwhile, the drained cereal grains from the fermented water are then rinsed in clean running water, drain from all liquids with the perforated sieve bowl.
4. A wide silver tray or the raffia mat are spread out under the hot sun, held down the edges with stones to prevent the wind blowing away the mat; the grains are poured on the mat, spread out with the hands all over the mat to ease drying.
5. When the grains are dried, the stones holding down the mat are taken away and the edges of the mats are moved up towards the middle to gather up the grains into a heap; a colorful raffia table mat called feifei are used to blow away the dirts and fallen leaves from the dried cereals, by a continue motion of throwing-up and collecting back the grains until all grains are free of debries.
6. Collected into a large round calabash and taken to the commercial grinding machine popularly called “engine nika” to be milled into a staple meal flour for the “prestigious” Kanuri meals fit for kings called “Ndaleyi”, a staple swallow cooked in hot boiling water, with some oil in it to give a smooth mold.
7. When the water boils, the sieved flour is gradually introduce into the boiling, stirring and turning in a single clockwise or anticlockwise direction to avoid the lumps formation, the process continues until a solid smooth mold is formed that easily pulls away from the pot and forms a perfect ball in the middle of the pot.
8. The pot is covered, left on low coal heat and allow the steam to finish up the cooking; another stage of turning with more added cooking oil takes place, until the final mold is a smooth elastic dough, then the mold is scoop into balls and arranged around the edges of a silver tray, and the prepared soup of miyan kuka “the green baobab dried leaves soup” are served with it, along with other local delicacies such as the Kanuri locally grilled meat called “danderu” decoratively doting all over the mold swallow, a dish way ahead of other traditional cuisines in nutrient loads; a delicious meal to feast on like a king.

Sweet Millet Dessert Or Gumba In Hausa
A dry millet desert sweet that can be mixed and served with coconut or dairy milk event yogurt can also be used in mixing the millet sweet powder mix.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet grains wash but do not remove the bran.
2. Mix spices ginger, cloves, alligator and chili pepper
3. Brown sugar, Jaggery or manzarkwaila and red potash
4. Full cream milk, coconut milk or powdered milk for mixing
5. Sesame seeds is optional but if using roast or toast until golden brown.
6. Date palms or dabino in Hausa
7. Honey for added sweetness if desired

Recipe Steps
1. The millet grains are sun dried after rinsing in water, then it is roasted or roasted until golden brown.
2. All ingredients must be processed into powder by pounding or grinding; combine the millet grains in a mortar, add spices, date palms and the tiny red potash and pound with the pestle into powder.
3. The sweetener comes in next, put in the Jaggery, or brown sugar and pound thoroughly until mix together.
4. If prefer add in the roasted sesame seeds, and pound together to blend all in properly.
5. Alternatively, combine all ingredients and dry milled into powder, transfer into an airtight jar and store.
6. Serve as a sweet dessert beverage, mix with yogurt, milk or better still add to milk shakes or fruit shakes and enjoy a naturally nourishing drink.

Homemade Pop-Millet
The millet is a tiny seeded crop and it is often used for snacks just as the small hard kernels of the corn varieties are used in making the popcorn, as soon as it is heated up the millet kernels expands the cells making the kernels to expand and explodes into what is traditionally known as millet pops; it can be made into the savory and sweet snacks, crunchy sweetness.
The millet grains when oiled and heated expands and puff-up into bloated blossoms of very light and delightful sweetness; there are two easy ways of making the puffed up millets either the stove top or the microwave methods.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet cereals, hulled or un-hulled
2. Salt
3. Sweeteners of choice, corn syrup or honey
4. Corn oil or oil of choice
5. A heavy lidded pot

Recipe Steps
1. First wash the millet grains properly to be rid of impurities, spread out to air or sun dry.
2. On medium heat, place the pot, add vegetable oil to heat up; test by dropping into it some millet cereals, if it pops up then add in the remaining cereals.
3. Stir continuously and once it starts to pop up; cover and remove pot from heat to make the kernel to pop without burning.
4. Gently tip the lid of the pot to the side in order to allow the steam to escape.
5. Open the lid and transfer the puffed up millets into a dry bowl by Tipping and turning out excess into a dry bowl.
6. Cover pot and return the pot to the heat and continue until all millet cereals are popped up.
7. Sprinkle salt on the puffed up millet cereal, sugar syrup or honey.

Millet Chewy Beverage Or Mordom
The traditional and filling millet pudding that is prepared just like the breakfast oat cereal; a culturally lived meal by the Kanuri tribes of the northeast Nigeria. Although it is generally a chewy beverage made for the breaking of the fast but it has been incorporated into the menu of the families all over northern Nigeria. A lot of changes has been made to alter the original taste of the chewy gruel; the major ingredients include millet grain and flour, cloves, ginger, chili pepper, powdered or fresh milk, homemade yogurt known as nono or kindirmo in Hausa alternatively for those who desire other add-in away from dairy products the tamarind known as tsamiya or lemon juice can be used for that unique sour and sweet tangy taste then sugar or any sweetener of choice.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet grainy cereals
2. Millet spicy flour, mill the millet grains with ginger, cloves, alligator, and chili pepper. Sieve and store for use.
3. Yogurt or milk
4. Tamarind or lemon juice
5. Sweetener of choice, brown or granulated sugar or honey

Recipe Steps
1. It is very important to process the grains properly to get rid of all impurities such as stone grits because it is a chewy meal and it would be dangerous to health to chew the millet grains with grits or gravels.
2. Wash thoroughly until the final rinsing water is clear, then divide into three parts, soak one third of the millet grains in water for several hours to soften then spread out the other part to dry.
3. Transfer the remaining two third of the millet grains into a separate bucket and soak for spicy wet mill paste or sun dry for spicy millet flour. Dry milling is to sun dry and mix in the spices then dry mill into millet flour or blend the soaked millets with spices into a smooth custard-like consistency. 4. Sieve with a fine mesh or sift the spicy millet flour into a dry bowl but if wet milled then add enough water for an easy pouring consistency and strain out the paste with a cheese bag.
5. Transfer the sifted millet flour into a dry and airtight container and keep for use but if it is wet milled into paste then cover and allow to settle undisturbed.
6. The traditional gruel beverage of mordom is relished due to its chewy tender grains while taking the gruel; so to prepare the millet beverage, scoop the millet grains to be used must be according to the recipe requirements, measure out the needed grains with enough water to cover it, bring to boil simmering on low heat until soft and cooked.
7. Measure out either the wet mill custard-like paste or the millet flour, as require for the gruel, again divide into two equal parts. Mix one part of it with adequate water into a pouring consistency and immediately add to the boiling grains on low heat.
8. Stirring continuously until cooked and set into a thick beverage then remove from heat immediately.
9. Meanwhile, poor into a mixing bowl the remaining half, add to it the yogurt, nono or kindirmo, alternatively add lemon juice or tamarind juice then mix altogether until well combine and add immediately to the cooked custard-like grainy gruel, gently fold in to mix well. 10. Honey, brown or granulated sugar is added as sweetener or sweeten with sweeteners of choice according to desire preference of sweetness.
11. A delightful desert beverage to serve along with side dishes of choice such as snacks, baked goodies, the Nigerian kosai, or moimoi known as the bean cakes, an enjoyable beverage with a hint of traditional that has moved to the next level in the recipe ladder to be considered as a cultural sweet or dessert.

Nursing Mothers And Baby Weaning Food
1. Millet gruel is culturally recommended for the nursing mothers to help increase the breast milk flow which is also believed to be the healthiest first food for babies, nourishing, easy on the babies tummy, so cheap and so easy to prepare; a most popular and preferred weaning meals for babies.
2. It is a nourishing drink for both mother and child, cheap and affordable and above all it is so easy to prepare.
3. Millet gruel is a completely organic food, light, and healthy meal that retains all its natural nutrients after the traditional homemade processing methods with “zero to none” footprints.
4. A highly recommended food, that is perfect for the sick and convalescing patients, light and easily digestible for the guts while assisting to quickly remove impurities from the body through sweat and urine that follows the drinking of the pap gruels. Oftentimes mixed with medicines for patients seriously ill, babies, or kids refusing drugs for recovery due to their inability to eat.

Millet Gruel Or Kunun Koko Gero
A popular breakfast meal, serve with the popular street snacks of bean cakes known as Kosai and alele in Hausa; serve as accompaniment with main meals substituting perfectly other breakfast cereals. The kunun gruel is consumed in almost every family home, especially a must serve at gatherings, naming ceremonies and weddings all over the north and most parts of Nigeria.
Millet grains are used for two popular drinks in the northern Nigeria called the kunun koko beverage gruel or the light beverage drink known as kunun zaki in Hausa. The processing of both beverages involves soaking and fermentation which helps to improve digestibility and nutrient absorption in the body.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet grains, processed and dry milled into flour
2. Millet flour, mix with water and repeated roll to form tiny granules or dumplings
3. Mix spices of ginger, cloves, and chili pepper
4. Sugar or sweeteners of choice

Recipe Steps
1. It is vital to wash and separate the millet grains from any impurities such as dirts, sand grits and particles; then rinse repeated in clean water.
2. Soaked the millet for several hours until soften and rinse again thoroughly.
3. Spiced kunun koko is prepared by adding in the ginger, cloves, and chili pepper.
4. Blend into a very smooth wet paste of pouring consistency.
5. Sieve the mixture and allow to settle undisturbed.
6. Meanwhile scoop a little from the settled millet paste and dissolve in a bowl with a little water; cut tiny dumplings and roll to form tiny smooth balls until as much as required are formed.
7. Bring water to boil, drop into the boiling water all the tiny millet paste granules or balls until soften and cook.
8. Pick the required quantity of the spicy millet paste and dissolve in water; as soon as the dumplings are cooked and starts to float in the simmering pot, remove from heat.
9. Immediately pour in the dissolve millet paste, mix quickly until thicken and sets into a custard-like gruel.
10. Sweeten with sweeteners of choice and serve with any favorite side dishes.

Millet Beverage Drinks Or Kunun Zaaki
A sour drink due to the fermentation process involved in preparing it, a much requested and loved beverage drink in northern Nigeria, refreshingly cooling and nourishing. Enjoyed by many everywhere in schools, walk places or at home.
A light beverage that substitutes perfectly for desserts and carbonated drinks; sold in refilled bottles or sachets and placed in iced bucket to preserve and cool the drinks on the way.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet grains
2. Mix spices of ginger, cloves, and chili pepper
3. Dried or fresh sweet potatoes
4. Sugar or sweeteners of choice

Recipe Steps
1. It is vital to wash and separate the millet grains from any impurities such as dirts, sand grits and particles, then rinse repeated in clean water; soak for several days to germinate. Drain and rinse severally.
2. Add sweet potatoes, mixed spices of ginger, cloves, and chili peppers. Pour in some water and wet mill into a pouring consistency; Sieve to remove the chaff and fibers.
3. Divide the sieved mixture into two parts; on one part pour in the hot boiling water and quickly stir into a thicken gruel.
4. Then add in the second part of the sieved mixture to blend in with the mixture to which hot water was added, combine all together to blend thoroughly.
5. Cover with a lid and keep undisturbed to ferment for a day or two.
6. On the final day of the processing, with a smooth mesh, or sieve strain the fermented mixture referred to as kunu, to remove the sediments and particles.
7. Filter with a mesh bag or muslin cloths into a jug and sweeten with sweeten of choice.

Millet Grits Or Groats Or Tsaki
The tsaki is a coarse loosely grounded whole meal millet, popularly included in daily meal all over the northern and other parts of Nigeria, often refer to as the “local couscous”, highly nutritious because it is well processed whole meal homemade grits, so filling due to its fiber contents derived from the unhulled millet grains, chewy and a delightful meal, perfect with sauces, stews or vegetable soups.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Dried whole meal or dehulled millet grains
2. Water

Recipe Steps
1. Measure out the required quantity, then rinse in running water the millet grains to remove dirt and dust but do not soak.
2. Spread out, air dry or sun dry, Transfer into a large dish, and take to the heavy duty commercial grinding machine, requesting for just the coarse grinding for the millet grains by simply requesting that it must not be smooth flour but a couscous or “barbisco” grinding method.
3. The millet grits after grinding is warm, do not store covered immediately, allow to air and cool.
4. Sieve out the smooth flour out of the millet grits and use for other recipes.
5. Scoop out the millet grits, barbisco or tsaki into a container.
6. Cover with lid and keep in a cool dry place.

Steamed Millet Couscous Or Barbisco Or Sakki
The meal is called Barbisco in Kanuri and sakki in northern Nigeria; the millet grits are used in recipes such as vegetable porridges, a very popular and staple food for the kanuri in Borno state known as “Barbisco” that is prepared by steaming the millet grits in boiling water in which vegetables oil has been added, serve with the stew or soups of choice just like couscous. The people of the north-east are known to serve the meal with miyan kuka the baobab dried green soup, or miyan yakuwa which is the vegetable soup prepared with sorrel green leaves and spinach known as alefu in Hausa.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet Grains, dehulled or whole meal and ground into grits.
2. Salt to taste
3. Vegetables and Cooking oil

Recipe Steps
1. On low heat bring water to boil, add in salt to taste and a drizzle of the cooking oil or any oil of choice.
2. Stir into the boiling water the millet grits and stir gradually until it thickens; cover and allow to cook for some few minutes, then turn with a kitchen tong, or a flat spatula, sprinkle some water and more oil to keep the grits from sticking together and forming a solid mass.
3. Cover again and steam cook on low heat, if using the traditional fireplace and cooking pot, place just few of the red coals on top of lid for even cooking and to prevent burning.
4. When cooked a delicious aroma will escape from the covered lid; discard the coal on lid, stir with the kitchen tong to separate the cooked grits into a light and fluffy meal.
5. Scoop and serve with soup of choice.

Millet Swallow Or Tuwon Gero
A primary staple food in Nigeria, a delicious and traditionally processed staple meal and generally referred to as “Tuwon Gero” by the Hausa all over northern Nigeria. Serve with okro, ogbono or vegetable soups.
The millet flour can be mix with other flour if desired such as the cassava or wheat flour for a more elastic dough for smooth and easy swallow.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet flour
2. Water

Recipe Steps
1. Sieve corn flour alone, or mix with corn starch for more elastic swallow.
2. Bring water to boil, scoop some corn flour, add water and mix into a smooth paste, then gradually stir into the boiling water on low heat, constantly turning in one direction to avoid lumps either in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction until the mixture starts bubbling. Gradually and carefully introduce more millet flour while avoiding the hot bubbles of the mixture, turn the meal until it thickens and sets into a solid mass.
3. Check and adjust the texture by adding more hot water if it is too hard or more millet flour if it is watery, turning with each addition until the desire smoothness is achieved.
4. Scoop, mold and serve with soups of choice.

Kunun Kanwa Or Potash Gruel
A northern Nigerian highly recommended traditional beverage gruel for lactating mothers to help with milk increased or milk flow for the new born baby. It is made with millet flour, mixed spices and the potash for a nourishing beverage; differing in taste and preference, many others aside the nursing mothers, enjoy gulping down the gruel.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet flour
2. Mixed spices
3. Potash
4. Sugar or honey
5. Water

Recipe Steps
1. Scoop some millet flour and sift into a mixing bowl, add ground chili and alligator pepper, ginger, and clove powder, stir to mix alternatively add the spices before dry milling to flour the sift into a clean bowl.
2. Meanwhile, on low heat bring water to boil, add some crushed potash stir until dissolved.
3. Sprinkle water on the millet flour, roll around in a calabash bowl to form tiny balls or dumplings.
4. Drop carefully the dumpling into the simmering potash solution, boil until cooked.
5. Dissolve some millet flour with water into a thick paste, quickly pour into the boiling dumplings, stir to set into a custard like consistency.
6. Put off heat, sweeten and serve.

Fura Da Nono Or Milk And Millet Dumplings
The fura da nono has received several controversial publicities over the years, trending in the media spaces as the most nourishing and adequate meal for healthy eating with many others contradicting all assumptions while the few people with neutral views are of the belief that the method of preparation determines the healthiness of the Nigerian world class beverage. Despite peoples views and issues regarding the two in one beverage, it is an all time favorite of every single Nigerian from the north to the south and east to west; the beverage popularity might not be unconnected to the fact that it is an instant meal, cheap, available and accessible for everyone depending on individuals purchasing power. Above all the mixing of the delicious beverage can take any form, mixing and matching to choice with any add-in such as dairy fresh milk or yogurt that is popularly known as nono or kindirmo, the packaged or greek yogurt can be used, coconut milk is a favorite for others while others prefer to simply mix in the powdered milk. The taste of the pudding is in the eating, no two recipes of the fura da nono are the same because it changes with mood and taste. The traditional recipes is here below but it is versatile and can be adjusted to fit into anyone’s eating lifestyle, there is nothing rigid about the recipes due to its flexibility; feel free to mix and match with various healthier alternative until what works for each individual is attained.
Traditional way of serving the fura the nono is in a cute calabash bowls, that has intricate carvings of black designs all over it midsection; the millet balls or dumplings are placed into the calabash, the locally fermented milk poured over the cooked millet balls, mashed to mix into the fermented milk and then it is sweeten with sugar. A colorfully handcrafted raffia round mat called feifei is place as a lid over the calabash of fura da nono to keep out the impurities and a scoop ladle made from the calabash gourd elongated neck is place on the raffia mat to be used as a spoon or scoop.
The use of the calabash allows for air circulation helping to preserve its freshness whilst protecting against bacteria formation, the taste is completely different from what is obtained when the beverages served in plastic or wooden bowls; protecting the environment for a healthy body and planet.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet-Gero flour for high fiber do not dehull for less fiber dehull
2. Mixed spices of ginger, cloves, alligator and chili pepper
3. Water, a pinch of salt
4. Millet or corn flour for dusting and coating

Mixing Fura Da Nono
1. Fermented yogurt, full creamed or skimmed fresh Milk or whole cream powdered milk
2. Coconut flakes freshly grated
3. Flavorings of choice vanilla or coconut
4. Sweeteners of choice
5. Ice cubes
6. Calabash cutleries consisting of the bowls, scoops and lid mats made of raffia

Recipe Steps
1. Measure out the required quantity of the millet grains wholesome or dehulled, place into a large bowl, add in the dried ginger, cloves, alligator and chili pepper, stir together to combine all spices with the dried millet grains. Dry mill the millet grains into a free flowing flour at the heavy duty machine called “engine” that is generally used for the grinding and milling of food items for the public at a given fee.
2. Sift the millet flour into a mixing bowl, add salt and stir together to combine then transfer the salted millet flour into a mortar; sprinkle some water and pound with the pestle to mix into a crumbly dough, continuously sprinkle water until the dough is stiff, using the pestle knead the mixture to bind together into a large mold of millet dough.
3. Transfer the dough onto a floured work area and roll out the millet dough, with a knife or roller cutter, cut into vertical and horizontal stripes then again making an equal size squares.
4. Pick each piece of the millet dough that has been cut out into a square, roll it into a round shaped ball; repeat until all the cut out dough is shaped into millet dough balls.
5. Skip this step if you do not want the slightly sour or tart taste of the millet dough which is the traditional taste but if prefer then proceed to scoop and mold the pounded millet flour into round tiny balls of dough, carefully place in a clean dry calabash, wrap it all up with the pumpkin or banana leaves to prevent air drying out the balls making it cracks, and to keep the molds moist, pliable to process further; then again cover up tightly and keep in a cool dry place for fermentation overnight.
6. Steam the millet balls using a steamer or steam using the normal cooking pot without letting the balls soak up the water; to check for doneness, slice open one of the steamed millet balls when the color changes to a shade darker than it was before cooking then it is ready if not, continue steaming until it is cooked.
7. Meanwhile, get ready for pounding the now cooked millet balls, remove each with a skewer into the mortar and pound with its pestle to form a very smooth and soft dough.
8. Scoop some of the pounded dough direct from the mortar, place on the work surface that has been dusted with millet flour and roll into a smooth round balls, drop each rolled balls into millet flour and coat it properly.
9. Repeat the process until all the dough has been exhausted, dust and coat each millet balls with the millet or corn flour in order to retain its beautiful round shape and to prevent the balls from sticking together or falling apart.
10. Collect all the balls together in a calabash bowls, by arranging carefully to avoid mashing up the millet balls, next is to scoop some more millet flour and sift it all over the cute round shapes of the millet balls which is generally and popularly known as “FURA” in Hausa-Fulani tribal regions of Nigeria.

Fura Da Nono Mix
1. Pick the required balls from the calabash and place into a smaller version of the calabash just the size of the breakfast bowls, pour in some fermented or Greek yogurt for the sweet and sour taste while for all sweet taste pour in the fresh milk, or dissolved powdered milk.
2. Press down to mash the millet balls into a crumbly mixture using a potatoes masher or blend but do not smooth out the mixture, leave some uneven tiny lumps to float around in the mixture to make for a chewy beverage with every scoop.
3. Sweeten to taste and serve immediately as a wholesome meal for lunch, a mid-afternoon brunch or snack meal; traditionally this is the locally hawked fura da nono as it is known but a lot of mix and match has been introduced into the recipe making for a lot of variations from the original fura da nono as it was meant to be served.
4. The most relished version of the fura da nono is the coconut flakes add-in variations; the coconut is freshly crack and its flesh removed, scrape the black coatings on the white coconut flesh then mince it, grate it or blend it into flaky coconut mixture.
5. Pour over the traditionally made fura da nono then go a step further and flavor up with vanilla or cinnamon, mix together to combine, add in some ice cubes and serve immediately.
6. It is a complete meal that gives so much delight to any taste bud, leading to a sweet addiction of the ancient Fulani-Hausa all time favorite meal; on a lighter note, remember not to sleep off or forget where you were after enjoying a bowl of fura da nono, give it a try today!

Dambun Fura
Dambun fura is crumbled fura that is further rolled into balls; It is made from a mixture of the millet flour just as the fura balls but it is molded into tiny round balls or minute dumplings just like the small replica of the shape of pearls. The same procedure is used in making the dambun fura because for many consumer prefer the minute balls to the larger fura balls.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet-Gero Flour
2. Fresh milk, Powdered Milk, Fermented yogurt or Kefir
3. Sweeteners Sugar or Honey
4. Water
5. Steamer

Recipe Steps
1. Measure out the required quantity of the millet grains wholesome or dehulled, place into a large bowl, add in the dried ginger, cloves, alligator and chili pepper, stir together to combine all spices with the dried millet grains. Dry mill the millet grains into a free flowing flour at the heavy duty machine called “engine” that is generally used for the grinding and milling of food items for the public at a given fee.
2. Sift the millet flour into a mixing bowl, add salt and stir together to combine then transfer the salted millet flour into a mortar; sprinkle some water and pound with the pestle to mix into a crumbly dough, continuously sprinkle water until the dough is stiff, using the pestle knead the mixture to bind together into a large mold of millet dough.
3. Transfer into a bowl and cut out a handful of the molded dough, and crumble it to obtain a kind of coarse lumps; then pour it into a larger calabash bowl and begin to roll the crumbs of millet balls all around, turn clockwise and anticlockwise on all sides to every sides until the lumps turn into rounded or minute dumplings. Pour out into a dry bowl and sprinkle millet flour all over the dumplings, repeat the process until all is turned into a perfect rounded minute dumplings.
4. On low heat place a steamer and bring to boil, carefully place the dumplings of millet into the upper tray, cover to avoid the steam moistening the dumplings ball. Next is to cover the steamer and allow the dumplings to cook, check often to see if the water has not dry out and also check a piece of the dumplings for doneness.
5. Once cooked thoroughly, remove from the steam and transfer into a tray, spread it all around to air dry and cool, sprinkle some millet or corn flour all over it to keep its round minute shapes; never dry out completely, retain its moistness by covering it with a damp kitchen towel or place in the refrigerator until needed.
6. Scoop the require quantity of the dumplings into a bowl, pour yogurt or milk, sweeten as to choice and stir all together to mix.
7. Serve immediately with some ice cubes to give it a refreshingly cool taste and flavor; an instant meal any time of the day depending on taste and personal choice.
8. Transfer the dumplings into a sealable bag or zip lock and keep in the refrigerator or freezer to store for as long as it last, avoid contact with water to prevent spoilage. Steam up or serve chilled when ever it is needed for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Dambun Gero or Steamed Millet Grits
A favorite of many families in northern Nigeria because it is an adequate meal that satisfy every family member until the next meal; there are no fixed rules in preparation with just the basic few ingredients the meal can be cooked and served. It is also a dish that is often hawked around the major streets and places with large gatherings of people whereas the local food vendor in the neighborhood makes it a part of the menu to be served on request with just a few change for a bowl; the native salad for the low income earners.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet grains dehulled
2. Moringa fresh leaves known as Zogale or spinach called alefu
3. Scotch bonnets
4. Minced meat or flaked fish
5. Tomatoes, diced carrots and sweet or green peas optional
6. Onions and spring onions
7. Roasted and crushed groundnuts
8. Spices of ginger, cloves and chili pepper; locust beans is optional
9. Seasoning cubes and salt
10. Butter, cooking or vegetable oils.

Recipe Steps
1. Scoop out the desired quantity of the dehulled pearl Millet, pour into a bowl; grind into grits or mill into brabisco meal which is not as smooth as the flour. Sift out any impurities or chaff left into the millet grits, obtain all the grits and transfer into a mixing bowl.
2. Sprinkle water all over the millet grits, stir to moisten, pour into a steamer and place on low heat to steam for some minutes, stirring occasionally for even steaming.
3. Meanwhile, wash properly all vegetables and rinse in salted water, pick and shred the greens into a separate bowls, repeat for the onions by peeling off its outer coverings then slice thinly into another bowl, chop the scotch bonnet into tiny bits.
4. Check the steamed millet grits for doneness, remove from the heat and transfer into the salad bowl, add in all chopped and shredded vegetables alternating the different colours, of all vegetables for beautiful and contrasting colors.
5. Sprinkle just a pinch of salt, add crush seasoning cubes then spice up with mixed spices and locust beans if desired next is the drizzle of some vegetable oils to give it the perfect oil dressing; stir all together with a kitchen fork or tong to mix it all up.
6. Place the bowl of millet grits and vegetables back into the steamer, cover it up with a lid to avoid the steams getting into the dish, then again cover tightly the steamer; at the very last five minutes of doneness, open the dish and garnish all over with the shredded fresh moringa leaves or spinach green vegetables. Cover and secure steamer lid tightly and allow the steam cook the green veggies, as soon as the delicious aroma of the steamed millet grits sizzles out of the steamer then it is ready, remove from heat.
7. Serve immediately with side dish of choice or any favorite drink, keep the remaining in the refrigerator and warm up in the microwave or steam up before serving again.

Millet Porridge Or Puddings
The millet grains after thoroughly processing it using the machine to dehusk and dehull it, the grains are wash and sun dried again before storing for use in recipes of choice such as the gruel known as Kunun gero or puddings which is a bit thicker than the gruel. It stands in better than any other breakfast cereals that are expensive and full of additives, the millet puddings are so nutritious and satisfying with a natural taste that no other breakfast cereals can beat. It rich flavor and aroma simply gives the appetite the needed push to swallow spoonful after spoonful’s until satiate, and again it is nutrients are superb for a grain considered and looked down upon to be a poor-man’s food; but that was then in today’s high cost of living with prices of staple food hitting the roof the poor-man’s food has slowly and gently walk its way into the rich-man’s plate due to its excellent nutrient loads and because it is expensive, only the rich can afford to feed on the pearl millets.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millets-Gero dehulled grains
2. Fresh milk or yogurt
3. Dates palm known as dabino
4. Sweeteners of choice or Honey most preferable
5. Water
6. Pinch of salt to keep the taste in balance

Recipe Steps
1. The millets gero is loaded with tiny stone or sand grits, it is necessary to wash properly using the calabash to separate the grains from the sand grits, it is very important to note here that at this stage the type of millet used for the pudding depends totally on health and choice. It is believed that after the millet grains has been dehulled a good percentage of its nutrients and fibers has been blown away with the wind hence for more nutrient loads, flavor and high fiber contents do not dehulled except absolutely necessary.
2. Measure out the required quantity of the millet grains for the pudding but remember that every measured cup doubles in its quantity after cooking.
3. On low heat place a heavy bottom skillet pan or saucepan, transfer the millet grains into the pan and lightly roast stirring continuously to avoid the grains burning and browning; alternatively spread out in a baking pan and toast in the oven until a delicious delicate aroma of the roasting millet fills up the kitchen. While roasting on the stove top or toasting in the oven always be careful to check on time in order to avoid the popping up of the millets which instantly turns the pudding into popcorns or pop-millets.
4. Turn all the grains into a deep saucepan and cover with water, slowly bring it to boil on low heat, stirring often not to stick to the bottom of saucepan, add a pinch of salt, cover and cook until the millet grains are tender, bloated and has absorbed all the water contents.
5. Dilute the milk powder and add to the cooked grains or pour over the puddings some fresh milk, fold into the thicken grains to coat all over the cooked millet, drop into the pudding some de-pitted dates or other dried fruits of choice, remove from heat and cover to allow the steam of the pudding to soften the dried fruits.
6. Scoop out the pudding into serving bowls, sweeten with the sweetener of choice or drizzle organic honey on the pudding, garnish with black or sesame seeds, some roasted peanuts or nuts of choice makes for a delightful nutty and nutritious start of the day meal.
7. Serve immediately and keep the reserved puddings in a covered bowl, place in the refrigerator; the puddings thickens further once it is cool so to serve again heat or microwave to warm up, adding more water or milk to obtain the right consistency.

Millet-Gero Flat Bread
A gluten free homemade bread that can be savory or sweet and can be serve with any fillings of choice; made with a combination of the the millet flour with any added ingredients of choice but less is more in making the millet bread.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet flour
2. Shredded onions and spring onions
3. Salt and sugar according to choice
4. Cooking oil or butter

Recipe Steps
1. Sift the millet flour into a mixing bowl, pour in the wheat flour if using and stir all together to combine; alternatively if desired add sesame seeds, shredded onions, scotch bonnet or green bell pepper.
2. Put water to boil, scoop and pour the hot boiling water into the millet mix, gradually mixing and kneading until a stretchy dough is made.
3. Cut into equal sizes and roll into balls, then place on a work surface and flatten with the palms into a thick round circle.
4. Dust lightly with millet flour and roll into a flatter round disc with a rolling stick, keep on a dusted tray and cover with a kitchen towel. Repeat the process and keep stacking the flat bread disc always sprinkling flour in between each of the disc to avoid it sticking together.
5. On low heat place a non stick frying pan and place the millet dough that has been flatten on the heated pan and cook until black spot dots the surface with air pockets.
6. Flip over and roast the other side until the same brown spots appears, remove from pan and place in a clean place to cool, rub all over with butter or cooking oil.
7. Serve with sauce or veggies stir-fry according to preference or open it up and fill up with any stir fry.
8. Wrap up the remaining millet bread and place in an air tight container then store in the refrigerator and warm up in the micro wave when it is needed for serving.

Kunun Tsamiya Or Tamarind Gruel
A light and spicy millet beverage that are popularly enjoyed for breakfast and a much relished street food that is best served with the bean fritters or bean cakes.

Recipe Ingredients
1. millet grains
2. ginger
3. Cloves
4. Alligator pepper
5. Chili pepper
6. Sugar or honey
7. Tamarind or tsamiya

Recipe Steps
1. Measuring out the required quantity is vital, wash properly to remove the bran and impurities; drain water, spread out on a flat surface and sun dry then collect together in a large bowl add the spices of choice and dry mill into a spicy millet flour, sift and store in an airtight jar then label accordingly, keep away from moisture.
2. Rinse the brown tamarind and soak in hot water to separate the seeds from the pulp then sieve into a deep saucepan the pulpy brown tamarind juice, bring to boil on low heat.
3. Scoop some spicy millet flour, add some water then stir to dissolve into a paste; quickly stir into the boiling tamarind juice until set and thickens.
4. Remove from heat and adjust the consistency, for a thin gruel add hot water but for a thick custard like pudding then add more tamarind juice, quickly stir to blend together.
5. Sweeten with sugar or honey, serve with beans cake, akara or kosai fritters; best serve hot for breakfast.

Local Millet Pancake Or Wainar Gero
Wainar gero is a cheap and tasty street breakfast snack generally fried on early morning days along major roads, market places, garages, schools and places with large gatherings of people. It is mix and fried on the spot while the customers look on anxiously and the consumers are busy chewing the steaming hot delicacy. Normally in northern Nigerian, such women snack vendors sit close to the local tea cafe popularly called mai shayi know as the tea seller, therefore for those who can afford it, they would order a hot cup of coffee, tea or Kunun koko known as the millet gruel to go with the pancakes, there and then enjoying an adequate meal for a few change that is so satisfying and long lasting before hunger pangs come knocking again.

Recipe Ingredients
1. Millet grains hulled or unhulled
2. Flour or dry sesame leaf powder which is called karkashi
3. Yeast, Potash or both
4. Kuli-kuli or spicy peanut powder
5. Onions, finely chopped
6. Vegetable oil
7. Sugar
8. Salt and seasoning cubes
9. Ginger, cloves and chili pepper

Recipe Steps
1. Measure out the required quantity from the already processed and thoroughly cleaned grains, soak to soften and wet mill into millet paste.
2. Stir together to combine well, cover with an airtight lid, keep in a dark warm place overnight to prove naturally.
3. On the day of frying the pancake, strain away some of the liquid on the surface and reserve then beat with a whisk to incorporate air, traditionally the recipe calls for a spoonful of sesame leaf powder known as karkashi in Hausa to bind the mixture together if prefer;
Alternatively, sprinkle some wheat flour, add yeast solution, pinch of salt, sugar and seasoning cubes, beat well to blend together all the ingredients. If too thick add more of the reserve liquid if too watery add in more wheat flour, the mixture must be just the consistency of pancakes.
4. Check for the taste, if too sour add potash solution but if not avoid the potash solution, add chopped onions and fold in to coat properly.
5. The traditional mud pan is the best used for frying the millet pancake in order to avoid sticking to pan but the non-stick frying can do perfectly well.
6. On low heat place the frying pan which can be either the mud or non-stick pan, then spray some vegetable oil all over the frying pan or the traditional kasko, scoop some of the millet batter and pour into each of the traditional mud pan holes but if using a frying pan spread out the batter to coat the base of non-stick frying pan.
7. Once the tiny air bubbles appears all over the pancakes with the edges turn crispy, flip over and fry just as for the other sides, remove from heat when set and cooked.
8. Meanwhile, mix together the kulikuli or peanut crackers, add crushed seasoning cubes, ginger, cloves, chili pepper and a pinch of salt, grind or dry mill all together into spicy powder mix; scoop into an airtight jar and used for serving fried and baked goodies.
9. Serve it with tomato sauce, green vegetables stir-fry or the spicy powder mix of peanut crackers.

Health Benefits Of Pearl Millet-Gero
The millet grains can be processed into a variety of products hence it health benefits are numerous when incorporated in the diet with other nourishing vegetables and fruits. It is a highly nutritious, non-acid forming, non-glutinous food with a lot of important health benefiting properties and an excellent fiber loads; which assists as a probiotic food for the guts helping to keep away constipation.
Pearl millet-gero is a cholesterol lowering food due to its niacin contents while it’s phytates, and polyphenols are active for antioxidant.
It is an excellent source of proteins which are the building blocks of muscle mass, assist in nourishing every cell in the human body; for people living with asthma it’s omega 3 has a potent anti-inflammatory properties that is beneficial for the chronic asthma attack or problems. The millet grains contains omega 3 fatty acids that is potent in reducing blood pressure, also brings down the plaque in the arteries and the levels of triglycerides in the blood. Hence, the magnesium and potassium loads of the millet flour are vital nutrients with the potassium that aids helps to dilates blood vessels which regulates the blood flow subsequently prevents high blood pressure; thereby reducing the LDL bad cholesterol levels and diabetes. The magnesium also improves the insulin response by reducing it’s resistance, subsequently rid the body of the high sugar levels in the blood.
The rich loads of folic acid in the millet grains is used up by the body for proper functioning of in DNA, protein and maturation of the red blood cells synthesis, good for repair of the cellular division.
The dietary zinc of the millet grains especially the millet flour for cellular metabolism is great for the immune system by increasing immunity in the body system; helps to heal wounds, great for pregnant and lactating mothers, needed for healthy growth in kids and teenagers
The high insoluble fiber of the millet grains helps to improve digestion for a smooth bowel movements which assist in reducing gut problems and prevents constipation; the high dietary fiber of the millet also help improve the excretes which is able to move out of the body system toxins, thus preventing the development of cancers of the stomach, colon and the intestine due to smooth and easy removal of waste in the human body system. If prepared with other nourishing food items, it is a good energy source that helps provide satiate for longer with its bulk properties that is found in its fiber by slowing down digestion which naturally aids in weight loss due to its high dietary fiber and low calories which aids digestion and boost metabolism helping in the long run to shed the kilos faster and also slows down digestible starch turning to sugar.
The millet grains is loaded with iron, calcium and phosphorus which has healthy benefits for the body in preventing osteoporosis whilst strengthening the bones; the daily consumption of the millet grains in nourishing meals helps to improve hemoglobin levels in the blood, the brain, the bone and the body. Thereby, the meal of millet helps prevents anemia due to its rich iron source.
The phytochemicals found in the millet grains such as flavonoids acts as antioxidants which aids in the removal of free radicals, helps to boost immunity and protects against metabolic syndrome.
The proper processing and preparation of the millet grains in various products is necessary in order to reap all its amazing healthy benefits with its zinc and antioxidant loads that greatly helps to reduce signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles giving the skin a beautiful and youthful radiance; the zinc and vitamin A in the millet flour aids the eyesight in improving it’s health by preventing eye problems and treating night blindness.
Millet grains is a gluten free grain which can help prevents gluten sensitivity, it is an important food grain that does not cause any gluten intolerance, and gluten allergy, therefore it is safe for consumption in moderation for people suffering from Celiac diseases or gluten-related problems; It is a gluten free grain that retains alkaline properties even after it is cooked thereby highly recommended for people suffering from gluten allergy.

Adverse Effects Of The Millet-Gero
The consumption of any food types has it benefits and side effects in relation to individuals health issues, therefore it is always advisable to check and use moderately any food crop to know what really works for the individual. The millet grain has many health benefits but other adverse effects of eating the millet in any form does exist if proper cooking is not applied and if moderation is ignored, the following are some of its not so good issues.
The millet grain is a tiny seeded grain and hence has a lot of stones and sand grits mixed up with millet grains, therefore before using the grains it is crucial to de-stone and separate all impurities and foreign particles from the eatable grains; the grains naturally contains oxalates which when consumed in excess and without proper cooking procedures may result in the formation of kidney stones which may cause kidney failure with continued use.
The high fiber loads of the millet-gero can also cause constipation when incorporated in daily diet without other food ingredients that may assist in breaking down the dietary fiber contents of the coarse millet grains.
A lot of health problems connected to the thyroid gland may be cause by the excess eating of the millet grains in daily diets which are known to inhibits the absorption of iodine that is absolutely necessary for the smooth functioning of the thyroid gland subsequently leading to goiter.
The millet grains though considered as a healthy grain above many others may have it’s shortcomings in its phytic acid which is an anti-nutrient that prevents nutrients absorption into the body.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) And The Significant Role Of Pearl Millet In Achieving Major Goals For Sustainability
The pearl millet grains is a favorite and crop of choice for cultivation in arid and semi-arid regions of Nigeria due to its amazing attributes to adapt in any adverse conditions.
Climate change affects crop production directly, influencing biophysical factors of the plant and animal growth; Pearl Millet is one of the most efficient climate resilient crop known over time, helping to minimize the adverse effects of climate change with the potential to also increase income and provide food security for the local farming communities in arid and desert prone regions of Sahara. The deep root of the pearl millet which survives the different ecological conditions under water scarcity, its high photosynthetic efficiency is excellent for productivity and growth in any conditions of the soil having very low nutrient loads and above needing no chemical fertilizer to thrive.
One of the most important attributes of the pearl millet is its nutritional superiority and richness in micro nutrients such as Iron and zinc with is crucial in human nutrition for mitigating malnutrition and hidden hunger as it is found ravaging the northeastern regions of Nigeria due to many environmental factors, insecurities and insurgency bedeviling the northern region as a whole.
The millet grain is a major staple food of millions of the Nigerian poor citizens, hence due to its resilient in extreme climatic events such as higher temperatures and lower rainfall, as it is rapidly occurring now with increasing drought and water scarcity, it millet is a life line for human survival in ensuring food and nutritional security in any climate change eventualities.
The millet grains can fulfill the ever increasing food demands in an ever growing population in regions of the world; thereby it is vital to harness its suitability to adverse conditions and utilize its potential capacity in helping solve food shortages and ensure global food and nutritional security.
In the face of current global situation of worsening conditions due to climate change it is absolutely necessary to bring back into focus the oldest and forgotten millet grains. Millet are excellently nutritious grains with its richness in nutrients contents making it desirable for humans animals and birds; sustainable food systems is crucial for the provision of sufficient and nutritious food while maximizing resources demands such as water, as well as negative environmental impacts.
The millet grain is naturally positioned to contribute and to help solve some of the global challenges such as the higher yielding millet grains than other grains also regrows even after harvest leading to Goal 1* No Poverty with more crop yields is also more income, more employment and poverty eradication.
Goal 2* Zero Hunger in food production of smallholder farmers, meeting the health needs of all people through Goal 3* Good Health And Well-being for nutrition security is thereby the key to improve the health status of mankind, which leads to Goal 12* Responsible Consumption And Production, Goal 13* Climate Action for adaptation and climate change; all the above are some of the greatest obstacles and obstruction that might hinder reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
Millet are vital crops in nurturing soils and improving its fertility and texture thereby increasing the millet crop yields for the millet farmers returns on investment. The high carbon content of millet residues is vital for maintaining and increasing soil carbon levels which is important sustainable cropping systems; the millet crop therefore offers reduced dependence on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides help also to promote sustainable agriculture.

The millet crop can help improve food security without bothering much about its health implications, it is an environmentally, ecologically, and economically friendly sources for smart food, that is so good for the people, farmers and the planet; Millets are the forgotten ancient grains, one of the oldest and most important food crops ever known to man, eat smart not fast, grow smart not inorganic, stay smart to live a healthier and longer life; pearl millets are food for the future!