Ragi Idli

Ragi Idli

Ragi idli recipe with step-by-step photos. Ragi idli is nutritious and delicious idli made with finger millet flour (nachni or ragi flour), idli rice, and urad dal. Gluten-free, Vegan, and Gut Friendly.

Idli is our favorite breakfast and so make it 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 that has many health benefits. As a superfood, it’s excellent for kids as well as adults alike.

Here is its quick recipe:
Prep Time: 9 hrs | Cook Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 9 hrs 30 mins
Course: Breakfast | Cuisine: South Indian | Servings: 3 to 4


  • 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 (flattened rice)
  • take 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 (edible and food grade) or add as per taste


  1. In a bowl, rinse the rice a couple of times.
  2. Then add 1 to 1.5 cups of water and keep it aside.
  3. Rinse ¼ cup thick poha once or twice and add to the rice.
  4. Mix well. Cover and keep aside for 4 to 5 hours.
  5. In another bowl take urad dal and fenugreek seeds.
  6. Rinse 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. Use 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.
  4. Depending on your jar capacity, you can grind the rice in two to three batches.
  5. For the first round use ½ cup water and for the next round add ¼ cup water. Use  ¾ cup of water for grinding rice.
  6. Grind the rice till smooth or a fine granular consistency in the batter is also fine.
  7. Pour the rice batter in the same bowl having the urad dal batter.
  8. Mix both the batters very well.
  9. Now add 1 cup ragi flour and ½ cup water. You can adjust the water amount here depending on the consistency of the batter.
  10. Mix very well with a spoon or with your hands.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The batter will increase in volume and double up.
  14. If the batter does not increase in volume, then just add ¼ tsp baking soda to the batter.
  15. Mix very well and then proceed to steam the ragi idlis.
  16. Add salt and mix very well. Add 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
  • Grease the idli molds with oil. Pour the batter into the idli molds.
  • Before placing the idli stand, add 2 to 2.5 cups of 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 the pressure cooker, remove the vent weight/whistle from the cooker and secure the lid tightly on the cooker.
  • Steam ragi idli for 12 to 15 minutes. Depending on the equipment you have used, it may take less or more time.
  • A toothpick 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 ragi idli in batches. The leftover batter can be refrigerated and you can make ragi dosa or ragi uttapams.
  • Dip a spoon or butter knife in water and slid them through the idlis.
  • Remove and place the ragi idli in a warm container like a casserole.
  • Serve ragi idli with coconut chutney and veg sambar.
  • 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.
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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