Kaguno (Foxtail Millet) Salad with Roasted Mustard Oil Dressing

Kaguno (foxtail millet) is cultivated in high-hills and mid-hills of Nepal. It is mainly cultivated in the Karnali region, and also in Kaski and Lamjung districts [1]. As more and more people have shifted to rice as staple, Kaguno has now become neglected grain, and its production is decreasing. One of the important characteristics of the grain is that it can easily grow in arid region with low soil-fertility. When cooked, it has very soft texture, bit of sweetness, and delicious to eat. Apparently, it has more protein content than quinoa, and rich in fibers, iron and calcium. If such neglected grains can be promoted, it will address the issue of food security in Nepal, especially in areas such as Karnali which is supposedly a food-deficient region.


Kaguno (foxtail millet)- nutritious but neglected grain of Nepal

Found that it makes very good salad and a good locally produce alternative of expensive imported quinoa. Try using roasted mustard oil (a key ingredient used in Newari cuisine) for dressing, which has nutty flavor, lightly pungent punch and aromatic.

kaguno salad

Kaguno (foxtail millet) salad with roasted mustard oil based dressing

½ cup Kaguno (Foxtail millet)
1 medium size Cucumber
1 medium size Carrot
1 small size Onion
2-3 medium size Tomatoes
Cheese (optional)
1 tbs Vegetable Oil
A handful of Fresh Mint
Pinch of Salt

For dressing
2 Garlic Clove
1 Red Chili
1 tbs Yellow Mustard Ground
½ tsp Black Pepper
1 tbs Honey or Sugar
2-3 tbs Roasted Mustard Oil
1 Lemon or Lime
1 tsp Salt

*servings for 3


Soak half cup of kaguno in water for about 15 mins. Drain the water out. Boil it with about a cup of water, pinch of salt and a tablespoon drizzle of vegetable oil in low-medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes with lid-on. When cooked, stir it with spoon to make sure it doesn’t form lumps, and let it cool down.

Cut the cucumber (not watery core) and carrot into ribbon strip using peeler. Cut tomatoes and onions. Put all cut cucumber, carrots, onion and tomatoes, and cooked kaguno in large salad bowl. Throw handful of fresh mint leaves, and shredded or sliced cheese if preferred.

For making dressings, place roasted mustard oil in the bowl. Then add finely sliced garlic and chili, ground yellow mustard, ground black pepper, honey or sugar, salt and lemon juice. Mix it vigorously using spoon to make dressings.

Pour the dressing evenly all over the salad. Mix it lightly and serve.

If you want to buy organic locally produce Kaguno in Kathmandu: Check Kathmandu Organics (online store)!

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