Ragi idli

Few days back when I posted a ragi drink, I got a few requests for dishes with ragi/finger millet flour. I have a very good article with many ragi recipes in it, but had never tried any of them. Then I read an article about the medicinal values of ragi and I thought it is the time to try few of the dishes. This article (from the Kannada weekly “Taranga”) had 3 types of ragi idlis. I tried the simplest one and loved it very much (except for the color).

Ragi is the major food for most of the villagers in Karnataka. I think this is mainly because it is very cheap and because of its cooling effects on the body, it is good for the people working under bright sun.

Note: Ragi has cooling effect on the body. So be careful while using it in winter(especially if you are eating it for the first time or eating after a very long time).

Ragi flour 1 and 1/4 cup
Urad daal 1/2 cup

Soak ragi flour and urad daal separately in water. (Urad daal should be soaked atleast for 1-2hrs, ragi flour can be soaked just 10-20mins before mixing).
Grind the urad daal to a very smooth paste. Mix the soaked flour with the ground daal. Add salt and mix well. Leave it overnight for fermentation.
Next day, grease the idli stand with oil and pour the batter. Steam it like idlis(without weight if using cooker).
Serve hot with chutney.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 15mins

56 thoughts on “Ragi idli”

  1. Shilpa,
    Ragi Idli? That’s something totally unheard of. I too use Ragi flour often, but I have never tried making Idlis with it. Yes, the colour of anything that you make with them is not extremely appetising, but considering the goodness it has, it needs to be eaten regularly. Let’s not forget that it also has a good amount of calcium in it.

  2. Shilpa,

    I used to drink ragi mixed with mix when i was in school. My grandma told it was very good for health. Hey, had never heard of ragi idli’s before. Shall try them soon and pass this recipe to my mom.



  3. YAY!! Ragi back again on the map in Idli form!! Never made idlis with ragi, grandma makes dosas, rottis and ragi malt and Ganji (porridge) with it but not idlis. Good job, atleast you made something with Ragi!! 🙂

    Stuffed Idlis are great too! Thanks!!

  4. Hey Shilpa. Thanks a lot for the post. I will surely try the ragi idlis. The ragi flour has been lying around for a while now and i have been wondering what to do with it. Had bought it for my son but he is not particularly fond of the ragi porridge and i had no idea of any other ragi preparations.

    Thanks once again.

  5. Hi Shilpa………Never tried ragi idli anytime. Made dosa, roti, malt, nachane uddak and duddali. Maybe i will try it over the weekend, since i made masala idli today itself. Thanks for a different variety of idli.

  6. Shilpa this recipe sounds very interesting ..i think i will try this on saturday..just had a question can we substitute urad flour for urad dal??..thanks for sharing this recipe..

  7. Ragi idli… A good recipe shilpa. My dad has sugar and they say it is good for sugar patients. i should pass on this recipe to my mom. thanks for the recipe.

  8. Shilpa- I have been following your idli series… good stuff. I especially want to try the stuffed idlis. Will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing

  9. Thanks a lot for all your comments. Please let me know if you like it.

    Sudha, I haven’t tried this with urad flour. Infact, never tasted anything other than dosa with urad flour. So don’t know if it would ferment properly or not. I am very sorry.

  10. I will give these idlis a try. I made some urad dosas but instead of rice I substituted masoor dal . They turned out golden,crispy, and lighter than the ones with rice. The substitution works well especially if anyone is trying to cut carbs.

  11. Hi Shilpa…,

    I like Raagi a lot n lot…My Ammi makes Dosas,Vadas, Malt, Kheer, Puttu and sometimes kanji with that. I simply love it. But I dint noted down any recipe…hence just wonder….and this recipe of yours really made me happy once again. Thank you. Tomorrow morning, this wud be t breakfast for us….Happy weekend..!

  12. hi shilpa
    we r new user of ragi but like it. it is very good for health so we use regularly it. i will try for idli i hope it is very tasty and good for health

  13. Hi Shilpa
    Just came across your website recently while searching some receipe on google. This is a awesome website.

    BTW i tried the ragi idli like above. My batter did not rise like u mentioned above, but still the idlis were very soft. I tried dosa’s of the half batter n that too was good. My husband just loved both of it…Reshma

  14. Hi,
    I thought of trying your Raagi Idly. I have mixed the Urad dhal and Raagi flour. But only now I noted that I used Whole Urad dhal. I want to know whats the amount of Raagi I have to use now. Is it the same 11/4 Cup or some thing else.

    Shilpa: Viji, I haven’t tried it with whole urad any time. You can try same amount as mentioned in recipe and try.

  15. had never heard of ragi idlis… ur recipe seems like good one and I will surely try at home.. and shilpa, i had a question..
    for how much time do we need to steam it in the cooker..?

    Shilpa: Priyanka, the steaming time is same as normal idlis. About 12-15mins.

  16. Thank you, I was in search of a good recipe of ragi for my baby and finally i got it. This is really a very healthy and nutritious breakfast for kids.

  17. I wonder how ragi is cheap. No one knows what is ragi in north india. Then i got a south indian shop . It sold ragi cereal for Rs. 48 a K.g. Then I grinded the cereal in mixy to make flour. How is it cheap. I didnot try any receipe till now. Only i read and find very exciting

  18. Dear Shilpa,

    I have been browsing your website since some months. Let me tell you the truth I remember my Ayi (In Konkani its mother but we called for Granny ) when I read these receipees.

    My momy makes dosas, rottis and ragi malt and Ganji (porridge) with it but not idlis.I tried this Raagi Idli today (I never heard it before). Hmm it taste quite good. I just called up my momy and Shared this receipee with her. 😉 its definetly get added in her breakfast menus.

    Thanks yaar. Keep up the good work.

  19. Hi! Shilpa,

    Do you have a recipe for “Patoli”? (A sweet dish made in Halde Pan). I’m from Karwar by the way.


    Shilpa: Its on the site. Please check under “sweets” section.

  20. I love idli and can’t wait to try your recipe but how do I know how much water the urad dhal and ragi flour should be mixed with?

    Shilpa: It should be of same consistency as normal idli batter.

  21. Hi Shilpa,
    I tried out this recipe..Idlis were good.But i also made dosas later..and they turned out excellent.
    You can say something like Ragi Paper Dosa.
    Thanks for sharing

  22. Amazing people are becoming very health concious these days. I am going to try for sure because I love Ragi.

  23. Hi Shipla,

    I Like your recipes. I was very inspried by ur ragi idlis, which i never heard before, so i tied and turndout very well. Thank you so mcuh for sharing this recipe.
    As im a budding blogger i ususaly look at ur site and you really inspire me.
    Is it fine if i mention that i have adapted this recipe from you?

  24. Dear Shilpa,

    I am interested in your receipe. Though I live in Bangalore, we have not tried home made receipe. We buy the ready mix packets and make Idlis.

    I have a specific request. I am suffering from Psoriasis ( a skin disorder- genetic problem). I am taking Ayurvedic treatment.

    The Doctors advise me to avoid Urad dhal used to help fermentation.

    I am avoiding normal rice Idli/Dosa etc.

    Could you kindly suggest a receipe without Urad Dhal for making dosa and Idli from either Rava or Ragi.

    Thanks for your help.

  25. Shilpa,

    I like your website a lot. You give excellent receipes, I have whole ragi, can I use that for this recipe?

    Shilpa: I haven’t tried it. But i think it will work.

  26. Dear Shilpa
    I live in Melbourne and have been looking for eagi flour everywhere because my husband would love to eat ragi ball
    What I did het was KURUKAN flour I made the ragi ball from this flour but my husband said that although it was close it was not the same as he remembered from his child hood Could you tell me if Kurukan and ragi flour are the same and if so would you have a ragi ball recipy
    I certainly will try the idlys with this flour
    Than you
    Kind regards

  27. Shilpaji
    thx. After seeing VikramDoctors peice in Eco times yesterday on RagiI started searching for ragi idli recipe and found ur website. It’s nice and what are the other two tupes of idlis which wecan try? I am fondof ragi sankati (is it same as balls or mudda?) but i never gor the same taste as I used to eat in Hindupur (karnataka border)?

  28. Ashwini Ananthakrishna

    Hi Shilpa,
    I tried this recipe.It was really good. Its healthy too. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I am from Udupi. I like your recipes.

  29. We tried Ragi Idly today with karappodi. It was really good.
    We used urad dal powder instead of soaking and grinding. So idlies were too soft.

  30. hi shilpa,

    i was very much keen to make these ragi idilis after seeing ur recepie.made this for breakfast…..it came out well .my hubby who is very health conscious just loved it………thnks

  31. Hi Shilpa

    Can I use the Ragi Idli recipe given above by you to turn out Dosai. i am rather ignorant where cooking is concerned but I like the simplicity of your recipe. Do i have to do anything extra to the batter.
    Thank you

  32. Hi Shilpa,

    These idilis are fantastic. I used this with avarekalu masala sambar and it perfectly matched. Thanks for the recipe as I am looking for the ragi recipes for my family health issues.

  33. Hi,

    Iam facing the problem of salty ragi idlis whenever I prepare them.How do I reduce the amount of salt once I prepare the batter?Iam not knowing what to do with the batter once it is fermented and all the batter and the ragi idlis are turning out to be salty.Pls suggest me if I can do anything with salty ragi idli batter…………………

    1. Use less salt next time, it cannot be corrected if the batter is already salty. I would probably add some vegetables to the batter before steaming. That may help a bit.

    1. Yes, you can grind and add. I haven’t tried it, so you may have to do a little trial and error to figure out exact quantity

  34. Its good to know that Ragi has cooling effects also. I have been feeding my 13 month old ragi malt since she was 9 months old. Last couple of weeks she has had a runny nose. I wonder if it is because it has cooled quite a bit in california and she still eats her malt.

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