ragi idli recipe, how to make ragi idli

4 from 7 votes

ragi idli - soft as well as nutritious idlis made with finger millet flour, parboiled rice & urad dal.

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ragi idli recipe with step by step photos – nutritious and delicious idli made with finger millet flour (nachni or ragi flour), idli rice and urad dal.

ragi idli recipe, nachni idli recipe

sharing one more variety of idli recipe. idli is our favorite breakfast and so i make these soft and fluffy steamed rice-lentil cakes usually on weekends. this recipe has a millet added in it and it is finger millet or ragi or nachni.

ragi is a millet grain which has many health benefits. as a super food, its excellent for kids as well as adults alike. most of the times i add some ragi flour to the idli or dosa batter. i have posted few ragi recipes on blog like:

  1. ragi ladoos
  2. ragi halwa
  3. ragi kheer
  4. ragi roti

i even add finger millet flour to our everyday rotis or chapatis too, just to boost the content of protein, calcium, fibre and other nutrients. with breads, cookies and cake, i have disasters with ragi flour. so i have stopped trying baking anything with ragi flour. more health benefits of ragi here.

i make both ragi idli and ragi dosa with this method. i have already shared the recipe of ragi dosa (fermented version) and instant ragi dosa recipe.

if you want, you can also prepare ragi idlis the first day and make ragi dosas the next day. the batter can be easily refrigerated for a couple of days. the proportion of the rice, urad dal and ragi flour in this recipe, gives soft ragi idlis as well as crisp dosas.

serve ragi idli with coconut chutney and veg sambar.

for more idli varieties you may like are:

ragi idli recipe, nachni idli recipe
4 from 7 votes
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ragi idli recipe

ragi idli - soft as well as nutritious idlis made with finger millet flour, parboiled rice & urad dal.

course breakfasts
cuisine south indian
prep time 9 hours
cook time 30 minutes
total time 9 hours 30 minutes
servings 3 to 4
author dassana

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

  • 1 cup idli rice or 200 grams idli rice
  • ½ cup urad dal (split or whole), 100 to 120 grams urad dal
  • ¼ cup thick poha or 20 to 25 grams thick poha
  • ¼ teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
  • 1 cup ragi flour (nachni or finger millet flour) or 120 grams ragi flour
  • ⅓ to ½ cup water for grinding urad dal or add as required
  • ¾ cup water for grinding rice or add as required
  • ½ cup water to be added later while mixing ragi flour
  • 1 teaspoon rock salt or add as per taste

how to make recipe

soaking - preparation for ragi idli recipe

  1. in a bowl, rinse the rice a couple of times. then add 1 to 1.5 cups water and keep aside.
  2. rinse ¼ cup thick poha once or twice and add to the rice. mix well. cover and keep aside for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. in another bowl take urad dal and fenugreek seeds.rinse for a couple of times and soak both the urad dal with the fenugreek seeds in 1 cup water for 4 to 5 hours.

grinding and making ragi idli batter

  1. after 4 to 5 hours, drain the urad dal and add in a grinder jar.
  2. grind the urad dal and methi seeds till you get a smooth and fluffy batter. add water in parts while grinding. i used overall ½ cup water for grinding the urad dal. take the urad dal batter in a bowl or pan.
  3. next drain the rice & poha and add them to the same grinder jar. depending on your jar capacity, you can grind the rice in two to three batches. for the first round i used ½ cup water and for the next round i added ¼ cup water. so overall i used ¾ cup water for grinding rice.
  4. grind the rice till smooth or a fine granular consistency in the batter is also fine.
  5. pour the rice batter in the same bowl having the urad dal batter.
  6. mix both the batters very well.
  7. now add 1 cup ragi flour and ½ cup water. you can adjust the water amount here depending on the consistency of the batter.
  8. mix very well with a spoon or with your hands. break the lumps if any. mix to a smooth batter. a bit of handwork is required while mixing the ragi flour with the idli batter.
  9. cover the bowl or pan with a lid and let it ferment overnight or for 8 to 9 hours or more depending on the temperature conditions in your city. the batter will increase in volume and double up.
  10. if the batter does not increase in volume, then just add ¼ tsp baking soda in the batter. mix very well and then proceed to steaming the ragi idlis.

  11. add salt and mix very well. i added salt the next day due to it being a cold season here. in a warmer climate, add salt before you keep the batter for fermentation.

steaming ragi idli

  1. grease the idli moulds with oil. pour the batter in the idli moulds.
  2. before placing the idli stand, add 2 to 2.5 cups water in an electric cooker or steamer or pressure cooker. bring this water to a boil. then place the idli stand in the hot water. for an electric cooker and steamer cover with its lid and steam. for pressure cooker, remove the vent weight/whistle from the cooker and secure the lid tightly on the cooker.
  3. steam ragi idlis for 12 to 15 minutes. depending on the equipment you have used, it may takes less or more time. 

  4. a tooth pick inserted in the center of the ragi idlis should come out clean and not be sticky. allow a standing time of 1 to 2 minutes. 

  5. you can steam the ragi idlis in batches. the leftover batter can be refrigerated and you can make ragi dosa or ragi uttapams.

  6. dip a spoon or butter knife in water and slid them through the idlis. remove and place the ragi idlis in a warm container like a casserole.

  7. serve ragi idli with coconut chutney and veg sambar. 

  8. for kids you can also serve with a mix of thin coconut milk and jaggery. just dissolve the jaggery with thin coconut milk and serve with the nachni idli. for flavor you can add some cardamom powder to this solution.

recipe notes

1. if the batter becomes thin, you can add a few tablespoons of ragi flour.
2. if thick, then add some water.

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preparation to make ragi idli

1. take 1 cup idli rice or parboiled rice (ukda chawal, sela chawal) in a bowl.

idli rice for ragi idli recipe

2. rinse the rice a couple of times. then add 1 to 1.5 cups water and keep aside.

idli rice for ragi idli recipe

3. rinse ¼ cup thick poha once or twice and add to the rice. mix well. cover and keep aside for 4 to 5 hours.

poha for ragi idli recipe

4. in another bowl take ½ cup urad dal and ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds.

dal for ragi idli recipe

5. rinse for a couple of times and soak both the urad dal with the fenugreek seeds in 1 cup water for 4 to 5 hours.

dal for ragi idli recipe

making ragi idli batter

6. after 4 to 5 hours, drain the urad dal and add in a grinder jar. also add water in parts. initially i added ¼ cup water and ground for some seconds. then i added again ¼ cup water and continued to grind.

dal for ragi idli recipe

7. grind the urad dal and methi seeds till you get a smooth and fluffy batter. add water in parts while grinding. i used overall ½ cup water for grinding the urad dal. remove the batter in a bowl or pan.

batter for ragi idli recipe

8. next drain the rice & poha and add them to the same grinder jar. depending on your jar capacity, you can grind the rice in two to three batches. for the first round i used ½ cup water and for the next round i added ¼ cup water. so overall i used ¾ cup water for grinding rice.

making batter for ragi idli recipe

9. grind the rice till smooth or a fine granular consistency in the batter is also fine.

making batter for ragi idli recipe

10. pour the rice batter in the same bowl having the urad dal batter.

making batter for ragi idli recipe

11. mix both the batters very well.

making batter for ragi idli recipe

12. now add 1 cup ragi flour (nachni or finger millet flour).

making batter for ragi idli recipe

13. add ½ cup water. you can adjust the water amount here depending on the consistency of the batter.

making batter for ragi idli recipe

14. mix very well with a spoon or with your hands. break the lumps if any. mix to a smooth batter. a bit of handwork is required while mixing the ragi flour with the idli batter. sharing a great tip from reader priya – alternatively, you could mix the ragi flour in ½ cup water (preferably warm) in a separate bowl. then add this ragi batter to idli batter. there would be no lump formation this way and also less strain while mixing.

making batter for ragi idli recipe

15. cover the bowl or pan with a lid and let it ferment overnight or for 8 to 9 hours or more depending on the temperature conditions in your city.

making ragi idli recipe

16. the idli batter next day.

making ragi idli recipe

17. next day add salt and mix very well. i added salt the next day due to it being a cold season here. in a warmer climate, add salt before you keep the batter for fermentation. if the batter does not increase in volume, then just add ¼ tsp baking soda in the batter. mix very well and then proceed to steaming the ragi idlis.

making ragi idli recipe

steaming ragi idli

18. grease the idli moulds with oil. pour the batter in the idli moulds.

making ragi idli recipe

19. before placing the idli stand, add 2 to 2.5 cups water in an electric cooker or steamer or pressure cooker. bring this water to a boil. then place the idli stand in the hot water. for an electric cooker and steamer cover with its lid and steam. for pressure cooker, remove the vent weight/whistle from the cooker and secure the lid tightly on the cooker.

making ragi idli recipe

20. steam ragi idli for 12 to 15 minutes. depending on the equipment you have used, it may takes less or more time. a tooth pick inserted in the center of the ragi idlis should come out clean and not be sticky. allow a standing time of 1 to 2 minutes. you can steam the idlis in batches. the leftover batter can be refrigerated and you can make ragi dosa or ragi uttapams.

making ragi idli recipe

21. dip a spoon or butter knife in water and slid them through the idlis. remove and place the ragi idlis in a warm container like a casserole.

ragi idli recipe

22. serve ragi idli with coconut chutney and sambar.

ragi idli recipe, nachni idli recipe

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree surely enhanced my cooking & baking skills which i now share as fool proof recipes on the blog. i am trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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  1. Hi, I’m not Indian so not familiar with idlis. Can this batter or mixture be used to make pancakes as well?

    • yes you can use this batter. in fact we make dosa with idli batter. dosa is not exactly a pancake but more like a crepe. but you can use the ragi idli batter to make pancakes.

  2. Can I substitute idli rice with raw brown rice and thick poha with brown poha?

    • yes nirupama, you can use brown rice and brown poha.

  3. Thank you so much for this recipe.I tried it,n it came out super soft n fluffy Ragi idli.Yummy n healthy too.

    • Welcome Lakshmi. Glad to know that you liked the ragi idli recipe.

  4. Hi I already have fermented idly batter. How much of it should I use to mix with the ragi flour and water mixture? Thanks.

    • you can add 1 cup ragi flour to 2 cups of idli batter. adding ragi directly will make the batter very thick & lumpy and you won’t be able to mix well. so i suggest to mix ragi in some water and then add this ragi solution to the idli batter. the mixing will be easier.