I have spent this Sunday morning playing around with grains in my kitchen cupboard.
Wanted to pop some amaranth seeds as I will be using them for a totally kooky experimental dinner tonight. While I was at it, I thought I would try out pearl millet, quinoa and unhulled barley as well.
The method I used was dry heat one taken from here.
The photo above shows all four grains after they have been popped. Top row: Left – amaranth seeds; Right – quinoa. Bottom row: Left – pearl millet; Right – unhulled barley.
Amaranth seeds (right) popped really nicely and very quickly (compared to popcorn).
Unhulled barley (left) was the most surprising one of the lot. It split open to reveal the white popped bits inside each grain although it did not fully pop. When you eat it, it tastes just like popcorn.
If you decide to pop these (or any other) grains, I would suggest that you try one spoonful at a time to see whether or not they pop. Also please make sure you cover the pan with the lid while the popping is happening else the grains may fly all over your kitchen (am suggesting based on personal experience!).
- Heat a wide based frying pan with a tight fitting lid on.
- Once the pan is very hot, keep the heat on its highest level, remove the lid and add one spoonful of the grain of your choice.
- Cover with the lid and keep shaking the pan, holding the lid with one hand.
- You will know they are popping when they start making the popping sound.
- Take the grains off the heat when the popping sound stops or reduces.
- Tip them onto a dry plate and let them cool down before using or storing.
- Even the grains which remain “unpopped” after the popping procedure are quite nice and crunchy so don’t discard them.