A while ago I bought some millet. Millet is a grain high in protein with good amounts of magnesium and B vitamins. I thought it would make a change from the usual grains I buy – perhaps I could substitute it for couscous. Well it turns out I couldn’t. Honestly it didn’t really do it for me – maybe I didn’t cook it right or something.
Anyhow I had a whole bunch of millet to use up and I came across this recipe for African Millet Porridge in Nourishing Traditions. According to Sally Fallon this recipe is for ‘the brave, the adventurous and the curious’. How could I not try it?
Ogi is made by soaking millet in water for 24 hours then grinding it till smooth. This is then fermented for 2-3 days by adding whey and water. This is ogi – a fermented millet porridge. It can be eaten in the same way as any porridge – with the addition of honey, cream or anything else you feel like.
I opted to turn the ogi into agidi to make storing it easier. To make agidi, you simply strain the ogi through muslin until all the liquid is gone (this takes several hours). This paste can then be reconstituted, one part agidi to two parts water to make porridge. It will keep in the fridge for several weeks.
So this morning I reconstituted my ogi and cooked it up on the stove with a pinch of salt. It was very runny and despite heating and stirring for 10-15 minutes, it didn’t thicken up too much. I found that I needed to keep stirring constantly or it went lumpy very quickly. After a while, I figured it had thickened as much as it was going to so I served it up with a drizzle of honey.
The taste was slightly salty and sour and had a bitterness reminiscent of tahini. To be honest, it wasn’t my cup of tea. I managed half a bowl and had had enough. I was disappointed because I really wanted to like it! Hopefully one day I’ll go to Africa so I can see how close to authentic ogi I got.
Anyway, I still have half the agidi sitting in my fridge and, since I don’t like wasting food I’m going to have to come up with a use for it. I’m thinking pancake batter…
by Mel Duncan