Chef Bela Gil’s pesto-millet balls: A lockdown-friendly recipe

IFAD Asset Request Portlet

Asset Publisher

Chef Bela Gil’s pesto-millet balls: A lockdown-friendly recipe

We’ve been asking our Recipes for Change chefs to tell us how they are adapting to life during the coronavirus pandemic – and to share a delicious recipe that can be made with basic cupboard ingredients.

Chef Bela Gil joined us from Brazil with a mouthwatering recipe for pesto-millet balls – a simple, nutritious dish that you can prepare from the comfort of your home.


For the millet

  • 120 g millet
  • Pinch of salt

For the pesto

  • 60 g of fresh basil (Optional: Half basil and half another fresh green herb of choice, for example cilantro or parsley)
  • 30 g pine nuts, cashew nuts or walnuts
  • 75 g olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • A few drops of lemon juice
  • Optional: 25 g parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste



For the millet

  1. Cook the millet in 240 ml of water for 20 minutes.

For the pesto

  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor to obtain a smooth paste.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C.

  2. Thoroughly mix the millet into the pesto.

  3. Using your hands, roll and shape the mixture into balls (each about the size of a ping-pong ball).

  4. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve as an appetizer or as a tasty side dish.

Chef Bela Gil joined the Recipes for Change campaign this year despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a chef, nutritionist, author and activist who advocates for a holistic, conscious approach to food through her work.

We are very excited to have her on board!

Check out her profile here.