Millet and Amaranth Porridge with Figs and Papaya

Millet and amaranth are high-nutrient, texture-rich grains that cook into a creamy porridge and take on almost any flavor you want to bestow on them. Here, I mix the dense, pearl-like millet with tiny amaranth (no bigger than the tip of a pen) for a creamy, pudding-like texture that my kids love. On the stovetop, these grains require long cooking and lots of babysitting, but a pressure cooker eliminates the stirring and halves the cooking time. This porridge is especially inviting with papaya or fresh figsthe warm and sunny flavors of the fruits do a great job of brightening up a wintry bowl of porridge. But millet and amaranth take equally well to sliced bananas, stewed fruits (see page 41), marmalades, and jams, as well as to any milk (cow’s or alternative) you’re craving. If you don’t have fresh fruit on hand, try tossing in 1⁄2 cup raisins or chopped dried figs at the start; they’ll plump up and naturally sweeten the porridge while the grains cook.



  • 2 cups water
  • 1⁄3 cup millet, rinsed
  • 1⁄3 cup amaranth,rinsed
  • 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1⁄2 to 1 cup cow’s milk (or coconut, almond, soy, or oat milk) *For dairy-free, use alternative milks
  • 1⁄3 cup Homemade Yogurt(page 160) or store-bought plain whole-milk yogurt or kefir
  • 2 to 4 fresh figs, sliced or halved
  • 1⁄2 small papaya, peeled, seeded, and sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 lime, quartered, for serving



Add the water, millet, amaranth, and salt to the inner pot of the pressure cooker. Lock on the lid and Pressure Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally (about 10 minutes), then leave the cooker on the Keep Warm setting until ready to serve.

Open the lid. Stir in the milk to desired consistency (I like my porridge loose but creamy). Spoon the porridge into bowls, top each serving with a dollop of yogurt, and finish with the fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

Butter the interior of the slow cooker (grains and porridges tend to stick). Cook the porridge on Low for 4 hours.


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Reprinted with permission from Instant Family Meals by Sarah Copeland, copyright © 2020. Photographs by Christopher Testani. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Photography copyright: Gentl + Hyers © 2019 

Sarah Copeland is an award-nominated cookbook author and former food director of Real Simple. She lives in upstate New York and Hungary.


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