Sweet millet dumplings – Kölesgombóc

by | May 13, 2022 | Desserts

Millet (köles) was grown in the Kingdom of Hungary for centuries, it was an important food of everyday diet in the Middle Ages until its cultivation was pushed into the background by wheat and potato in the 19th century. After many decades of neglect millet was rediscovered a few years ago, traditionalism and fast-spreading gluten intolerance have brought this grain into vogue again in Hungary.

Today millet is often used as a vegan and gluten-free alternative to many foods like cereals or cottage cheese. Sweet millet dumplings can be a tasteful subtitute for cottage cheese dumplings. Though the recipe below contains milk and butter, it can be easily transformed into a vegan dish by using plant-based milk and margarine or coconut oil.

Sweet millet dumplings - Kölesgombóc
Sweet millet dumplings – Kölesgombóc – photo: zserbo.com


  • 150 g (~1/3 lb) millet
  • 150 ml (~2/3 cup) water
  • 500 ml (~2 cups + 2 tbsp) milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • zest of a half lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 25 g (~1 3/4 tbsp) butter

For the coating:

  • 30 g (~2 tbsp) butter
  • 80 g (~2/3 cup) breadcrumbs

Soak millet in water for 10-15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Put the millet in a saucepan, pour in milk and water, add salt and sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, while stirring constantly, until the millet becomes tender and absorbs all of the liquid (it takes about 10-15 minutes). Add lemon zest and lemon juice, and cook until the millet soaks up the juice. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter until it melts. Set aside and let it cool completely.

Once the millet porridge is cool, form smaller balls with wet hands and put them in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

For the coating heat butter in a pan. Add breadcrumbs and toast until golden brown, then roll the dumplings in it. Feel free to dust the millet dumplings with powdered sugar and serve with fruit jam.

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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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