Sorghum and Pearl Millet Recipes

Composite Flour Recipes

Baked bread (20% sorghum/pearl millet flour: 80% wheat flour)
136g sorghum/pearl millet flour
544g wheat flour
24g yeast
14g white sugar
60ml water for yeast mixture
340ml water for dough mixture
13g salt
12g margarine


  1. Mix yeast, sugar, and 60ml water, leave mixture in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  2. Add sorghum/pearl millet flour, wheat flour (i.e., a 20:80 flour composite), salt, and margarine and mix. Add remaining water and pour the mixture into a dough mixer.
  3. Mix well to a soft sticky dough.
  4. Remove dough from bowl and knead on a lightly floured board for about 1 minute.
  5. Roll the dough into a ball, place it in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and leave in a warm place to proof for about 1 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Remove from bowl and knead for 1 minute. Return to the bowl and cover to proof for a further 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from bowl and divide the dough into two equal parts.
  8. Knead the two parts well, separately, to remove any trapped air.
  9. Place into greased baking half-loaf tins.
  10. Press down well to get an even top and to spread dough to corners of the tins.
  11. Leave in a warm place for 40 minutes, or until the dough has risen about 2 cm above the top of the tin.
  12. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 210oC for 25 minutes.

Recipe makes 2 x 500g loaves

Steamed bread (30% sorghum/pearl millet flour: 70% wheat flour)

30g sorghum or pearl millet flour
70g wheat flour
1.2g dried yeast or 1.8g fresh yeast
3g white sugar
1g salt
60ml water


  1. Mix yeast, sugar, and 20ml water and leave the mixture in a warm place for 3 minutes.
  2. Mix all the other dry ingredients together. Add the yeast mixture and remaining water, stir for 1 minute.
  3. Knead dough on a lightly floured board for 3 minutes until dough is elastic.
  4. Roll into a ball, place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and place in a proofing chamber.
  5. Place a tray of warm water in proofing chamber to keep dough moist.
  6. Proof for 2 hours at 34 oC.
  7. Remove from bowl and divide the dough into two equal halves; knead and roll out twice.
  8. Shape into smooth balls, place in greased pie pans (bottom diameter 6.6cm, height 3cm, top diameter 8.1cm).
  9. Leave in proofing chamber for 50 minutes or till doubled in size. Place in a panson trivet in a steamer and steam for 25 minutes.

Recipe makes: 2 x 76g loaves.

Biscuits (cookies) (50% sorghum/pearl millet flour: 50% wheat flour)

99g sorghum/pearl millet flour
99g wheat flour
113g margarine
75g white sugar
1 egg
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon salt
teaspoon vanilla essence


  1. Cream the margarine and sugar together.
  2. Beat in the egg.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  4. Place dough in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 6 mm.
  6. Using a 4 cm diameter cookie cutter, cut out the dough and place the pieces on a greased baking tray.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 2000C for 10 minutes.

Recipe makes 35-40 cookies.

Non-composite Recipes


Sorghum/pearl millet rice (100% dehulled sorghum/pearl millet grain)

1 volume dehulled sorghum or pearl millet grain
2-4 volumes water (depending on variety and preferences)


Boil or steam grain until tender (20-40 minutes).

When sorghum is used, it is often soaked in water overnight and cooked the following morning using the same water. Sometimes fermentation occurs. As a result, the soaked grain will become whiter and will keep longer compared to grains that have not been soaked. Soaking may also reduced cooking time.

Serve with meat or vegetable sauce or stew.


Thin Porridge

In many countries a thin porridge is traditionally prepared from wet-milled pastes or dry-milled flour using either dehulled or nondehulled grains. (Millet is not often dehulled because its grains are small). Sometimes the grains are roasted, bleached in tamarind water, or germinated prior to dehulling and grinding into flour. The porridge may be fermented or not fermented. It is usually served for breakfast or to new mothers and young children.

Other composite flours of sorghum/cassava, sorghum/millet, and sorghum/millet/cassava can also be used in making porridge in a similar manner.

Texture. Thinness or texture of the porridge varies depending on flour particle size. Often a combination of finely and coarsely ground flour is used. Flour agglomerations may be added to alter the texture of the porridge.

Flavor. Flavor may vary depending on whether the porridge is fermented or not, and on whether the flour from which the porridge was made had been milled from roasted or germinated grain. Seasonings, sugar, sesame, lemon, or sour milk may also be added to improve flavor.

Quality. In general, a light color, smooth, free-flowing creamy consistency, and bland to sour flavor and aroma are preferred depending on the region and process used in preparing the porridge. Color preferences vary according to the color of flour normally available in the region. Dark, lumpy, grainy, or watery products with a raw starch, bitter, rancid, or off-flavor (due to tannins in hull or undercoat, or mould developed during storage) are not desired.

Breakfast porridge (100% sorghum/pearl millet flour)

1 cup sorghum or pearl millet flour
3-4 cups water (adjusted to individual consistency preferences)
1 cup sour milk (water may be used instead)
2 tablespoon sugar


  1. Mix flour with cup water.
  2. Place in a covered container and leave to stand for 24-48 hours in a warm place (for nonfermented porridge this step is omitted).
  3. Bring remaining water to boil, add the flour mixture, and stir.
  4. Cook for 10-15 minutes until smooth and thick.
  5. Add sour milk, stir, and boil for 1-2 minutes (commonly an extra cup of water is added in step 3 and this step is omitted).
  6. Sprinkle with sugar and serve hot for breakfast or lunch.

Recipe serves 2-3 people.


Kenya. Uji wa mtama is often made with mixtures of 2 parts maize or cassava flour to 1 part of sorghum or millet flour. The hulls in sorghum or millet flour give the desired product colour. Millet is preferred.

Tanzania. Uji is often seasoned with sugar, salt, milk, or lemon juice. A very finely milled white flour is used.

Uganda. Obungi bwa kalo is made as above using about 4 cups of banana juice instead of water and sour milk is not added. Usually millet flour is used.

Obushera is a thin porridge made from germinated grain. A malted coarsely ground sorghum flour (made by adding ash and water to the grain, germinating the grain overnight, washing off the ash, drying and grinding the grain) is often used. Porridge is frequently seasoned by adding a generous amount of sugar, orange or lemon juice, mashed banana, sesame paste, or milk.

Edi is a nonfermented version of obushera.

India. Ambali is made as above, but without sour milk

Stiff porridge – sadza (100% sorghum/pearl millet meal)

Stiff porridge is made in the same way as thin porridge but a greater proportion of meal is used. The same comments about the flour used for thin porridge apply here. In some countries a finely milled flour is used, and in others coarsely milled flour or a combination of course and fine flour is preferred. The flour may be made from roasted, germinated, fermented and/or dehulled grains. As is the case with thin porridge, stiff porridge may be made from other flour combinations.

20g sorghum/pearl millet meal
80g (80ml) water


  1. Heat the water in a covered container (pot) until warm.
  2. Add a little sorghum/pearl millet flour, stir continuously to avoid lumps, until boiling point.
  3. Let the thin porridge boil for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add more sorghum/pearl millet meal, a bit at a time, while continuing to stir until the porridge becomes thick.
  5. Simmer under low heat for 10-15 minutes for sorghum and 20-25 minutes for pearl millet.

Serve hot with meat, green vegetables, or stew for lunch or supper.


Fermented and nonfermented beverages are often made using darker sorghum and pearl millet varieties. To make beer, the grain is germinated, dried, pounded into flour, and mixed with water to ferment.

Nonfermented drink (mageu)

7kg milled sorghum malt
100 liters waters


  1. Mix the malt with water.
  2. Keep at room temperature for 2-3 days, occasionally stirring.
  3. Add sugar if desired.


Fermented drinks (commercial mixes)

1kg beer powder (Kings Brew)
5 liters water


  1. Warm the water and add beer powder, mix thoroughly.
  2. Cover mixture with a cloth and store in a warm place for 1 day


Pop sorghum

50g sorghum grain
5ml cooking oil


  1. Heat the cooking oil in a covered container (pot) until smoking hot.
  2. Add the sorghum grain and leave to pop at low heat until all grain is popped.

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