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Ragi (Finger millet) Idli :No rice Idli

Written By Praveena Gudipati on Thursday, February 11, 2016 | 12:55 PM

Having fluffy, spongy, melt in the mouth  Idli dipped in spicy chutney  for breakfast is addictive. Idli is a famous South Indian breakfast made with Rice and lentil batter that is been fermented and steam cooked in a special mold. It is a healthy choice of breakfast with all required food groups and also for the fact that it's steam cooked. It is also easily digested thus kids and elderly friendly recipe.The Ragi Idli does not contain Rice or Idli rava( cream of rice) so this is perfect if you are trying to omit rice.

I make various kinds of Idli. While the usual one I make are with Skinned Urad (Skinned Black gram) and Idli rava, I also make Rava Idli, Quinoa idli, Jowar Idli and finally Ragi Idli. Due to the color, the Ragi Idli could be repulsive but believe me when I say this, it is second best next to regular Idli. Also Millets are super healthy and are known to be diabetic friendly. Ragi is rich in Calcium, known to control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. it cools the body and controls 'Pitta' related problems according to Ayurveda. During summers, Ragi is taken in the form of Ragi Java, mixed with Butter milk which is very powerful to control body next summer ditch those sugary unhealthy cold beverages and have Ragi lassi.

The Ragi Idli batter can be used to make Ragi Dosa too. Just thin the batter with water and make Dosas.You can also make Utappam and Paniyaram (Guntapongalalu).

Do try my another healthy and delicious breakfast option, Ragi Atukula (Aval) Dosa(Finger millet Poha Dosa) and Ragi Chekkalu (Thattai/Nippattu ) for healthy millet snacks.Also try my Quinoa Idli, Jowar Dosa and Quinoa Dosa  if you are looking for more healthy recipes.

I usually make Peanut chutney with Idli but with Ragi idli I like to have my Tomato chutney or Onion tomato chutney.

So the healthy Idli became ultimately healthier. I fed these to both my kids and they didn't complain. So it became a family fav. Follow the recipe and follow Veggibites for a healthy life style with out compromising the deliciousness.

And all these batters are made in my Ultra wet grinder, which is my life saver for more than 5 years.Here is a link if you are looking for one.

Eight (8)
Total time:
16 hrs (Using Ragi flour)
24 hrs (Using Ragi whole grain)
(Time Reflects soaking,fermenting)

 Ingredients (I use US standard measuring; 1cup=8oz=250ml)
  • 1 cup Whole Urad / Urad Gota ( Skinned Black gram/Minapagundlu)
  • 2 cups Ragi flour or 3 cups Ragi millets 
  • Little Salt
  • Ghee (Clarified butter) optionally
  • Idli plates, cooker 

Ragi Idli Step Wise Recipe

  1. Soak Whole Urad for at least 6 hrs . Never use split black gram to make Idli. In order to achieve perfect batter and Idli, use Whole black gram with no skin ( Minapa gundlu) 
  2. Grind to smooth batter, using water.
  3. Take 2 cups Ragi flour in a big bowl, add little water and mix so the flour will not form lumps. Now to the Ragi batter, add ground Urad batter. If you add dry flour to Urad batter it may form lumps and would be hard to get rid of em.Incase you end up in that situation, use hand mixer, beat to remove lumps.
  4. Mix well , add water as necessary to make a thick batter like usual Idli batter.
  5. Add little  salt. 
  6. Ferment in a warm place for at least 8 hrs or till batter rises.
  7. If you are using whole Ragi millet instead of flour, soak 3 cups millets overnight and grind along Whole Urad to a smooth batter. Add salt and Ferment.
To make Idli:
  1. Mix batter gently. If it is too thick you can add lil bit water. Batter should be thick with pouring consistency.
  2. Grease Idli molds with lil bit Ghee.
  3. Pour batter into the molds. Do not over fill. 
  4. Put the Idli plates in a cooker or Idli cooker. I used Idli cooker.
  5. If using regular cooker do not put whistle.
  6. Steam cook for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Turn off stove and wait 5 minutes.
  8. Open the cooker and remove Idlis from the  mold with a spoon. 
  9. Dip the spoon in water, in between to remove Idli smoothly.
  10. Serve with Peanut chutney, tomato chutney or chutney of your choice.

  • You can add vegetables to make vegetable Idli.
  • You can add chopped onions, grated carrot and chilies to the batter and make like Utappam.
  • Thin the batter with water and make Dosa.
  • You can also make Paniyaram/Paddu (Guntapongalalu) using Appe pan. Great for lunch box.
  • Make mini idli , smother in Ghee, Peanut powder and pack in Kids lunchbox. My Kids love em.


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