sama ke chawal ki idli recipe | vrat ki idli recipe | vari rice idli recipe

Sama ke chawal ki idli or vrat ki idli recipe – sharing a unique idli post made without rice which you can make for fasting or for regular days too.

This is a fermented idli made from sama, samo, samvat or vari rice which is a millet grain used during fasting in India. I had made the idlis yesterday on the first day of Navratri fasts. Accompanied the idli with a no onion no garlic coconut chutney.

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sama ke chawal idli or vrat ki idli

Apart from sama ke chawal (barnyard millet) i have also added sabudana (tapioca pearls). These idlis are not like the regular idlis, but for fasting they are good. So don’t expect them to be soft and fluffy like regular idlis. I am not saying they are hard. They were soft but don’t compare the softness with the idlis made from rice and urad dal.

On fasting days I prefer to have something light and healthy. So made these idlis. The batter is allowed to ferment overnight. There is a pleasant sour aroma the next day in the batter. To leaven I have added baking soda which does help in making the idlis rise while steaming.

sama idli recipe

A variation of these vrat ki idlis would be to add 1 to 2 tbsp yogurt and then add the baking soda before making the idlis. with the same batter, even khatta dhokla can be made. For making dhoklas, stir in about 1/2 cup sour yogurt in the ground batter. Leave to ferment overnight. Before preparing, add 1 tsp eno or fruit salt and steam the batter to make dhokla.

To make these idlis, I just added about 2 pinches of baking soda in the batter. Since I don’t like the soapy aroma of baking soda, I always add less. If you don’t mind, then you can easily add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda.

Other recipes you can make from sama ke chawal are Sama rice kheerVrat ke uttapam, Sama chawal khichdi and Sama ke chawal ka pulao. if you are planning to keep Navratri fast then you can refer this detailed post on Navratri recipes and vrat rules.

vrat ki idli or sama ki idli

If you are looking for more Fasting recipes then do check:

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

sama ke chawal ki idli

5 from 5 votes
Vrat ki idli recipe - idli made without rice which you can make for fasting or for regular days too.
sama ke chawal ki idli recipe, vrat ki idli recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:9 hrs
Cook Time:10 mins
Total Time:9 hrs 10 mins
Servings (change the number to scale):9 to 10 idlis
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


  • 1 cup sama ke chawal (barnyard millet)
  • ½ cup sabudana (tapioca pearls)
  • 2 pinches of baking soda
  • rock salt as required
  • soak for 2-3 hours.
  • water for soaking


  • Take both the sama ke chawal and sabudana in a bowl.
  • Rinse then well and soak in enough water for 3 hours.
  • Drain and then grind in a wet grinder.
  • No need to add any water as the sago grains absorb enough water to help with the grinding. But if you are unable to grind in your grinder then just add 2-3 tsp of water.
  • The consistency of the batter can be a bit granular.
  • Take the batter in a bowl and allow to ferment for 8-9 hours or overnight,
  • Before preparing, add salt to the batter and mix well.
  • Heat water in a steamer or an electric cooker.
  • Add the baking soda to the batter and stir well.
  • Pour the batter in greased idli moulds.
  • Place in the steamer or electric cooker.
  • Steam the idlis for 8-10 minutes or till they are cooked.
  • Serve sama ke idlis hot or warm with your favorite coconut chutney
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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31 comments/reviews

  1. Hi Dassana,

    I made these idlis yesterday. They were a little bit on the harder side. I think it is because of sabudana. Have you tried without adding sabudana, only with sama chaval?3 stars

    • these are not hard. did you add enough water for grinding. the batter should not be very thick. the batter can be of medium consistency or slightly thick like idli batter. if sabudana does not get soaked well, then also the idli can become hard. so here both the batter should have the enough water in it and sabudana should be soaked well. i have never made without sabudana. but you can try. hope this helps.

  2. Instead of idli can we make dosa of the same batter.

    • Charu, i didn’t made dosa with this batter. so don’t know. if you try then do let us know. i will experiment and try to post dosa recipe as well.

  3. ate this just now.. it was amazing.. so I had to come and leave a comment… I love idli and thanks to you I can fulfill my idli cravings during navratri tooo…5 stars

    • welcome naina. glad to know that you liked this idli recipe. i will try to experiment and post sama ke chawal ka dosa also.

      • I used the same batter .. just added a little water and amazing dosas were made.. have shared the recipe with other family members and they too cooked and loved the idlis/dosas from this batter..5 stars

        • thanks naina for letting me know. i will give a try this time. also thanks for sharing the recipe with your family members.

      • Hi
        I tried these as directed but turned out very hard from inside. Any suggestions ? Thanks

        • if water in the batter added is less, then the idli becomes dense and hard. so this could be the reason. the amount of baking soda can be also increased a bit to make the idli soft and fluffy. hope these tips help.

  4. Hi Dassana,

    I prefer to eat at night during navratri. Can I keep the batter in the fridge in the morning and use it at night to make idlis?

    • naina, you can keep the batter in the fridge and prepare idlis at night.

  5. Hi Dasanna, any other substitute for soda? Is soda necessary..we generally avoid soda for ekadasi fasting. Thanks for a wonderful recipe but!:)

    • prepare without soda divyapriya. they will be slightly dense if soda is not used, but will still taste good. if you use eno or fruit salt, then you can add eno instead.

  6. Thank u dasana ji i tried to make idlis for fast firsr time and it turned out really tasty n soft too this navrata is just awesome because of ur reciepes many new varietes for fasting thank u

    • we are glad to know you got new varieties of recipes to try from our food blog 🙂 you are welcome and thankyou.

  7. Best recipe ever thanku

    • thankyou lovepreet 🙂

  8. Tried Dhokla and idli absolutely amazing!!! If you thin the idli batter amazing Dosas were made from it! Divine recipe!5 stars

    • thanks rhea for sharing positive feedback and for your suggestion.

  9. Can v use baking soda in navratre? As in is it allowed?

    • himani, some people use and some people don’t use. it depends upon family to family.

  10. Your recipe looks delicious really want to try soon but We don’t eat sabudana can we substitute this with something…

    • thanks preetika. i don’t know any substitute of sabudana in this recipe.

  11. Can u please let me know where to find barnyard millet in US ??

    • KK, no idea as i stay in india

    • Hi KK,

      U can find these at any Indian grocery store!!!

  12. Good

  13. Hi dear,
    Just tried it today for Navratri ….. It came out just wow…Had it along with coconut chutney 🙂 I made around 16 idlis with the above given batter measurements!!Thanks for sharing such a simple healthy unique vrat recipie !! Keep up the good work !!5 stars

    • welcome deeya. feeling good that u tried the recipe and you liked it too. thanks.

  14. This fasting season I have been seeing so many sama ke chawal recipes that I feel like trying it myself. dont know where to get them here. lovely idli. fluffy, moist and soft.