Finger millet balls(Ragi mudde)

Ragi mudde must be one of the most popular items of Karnataka cuisine. I have heard about it from the time I was a kid, but never got a chance to taste this. It was on my to-do list for a long time now, finally I prepared it. In my opinion, it takes some time for any one to get adjusted to the taste of these ragi balls.

Its amazing that few comments from other people in your life just remain with you throughout your life. I rarely remember everything that people have said to me unless it makes a very good/bad effect on me. I clearly remember one comment from one of my teachers till date, I even remember the way he said what he said, not sure why. I was in my first year of high school (we called it 8th standard), it was a Kannada language class and for some reason there was mention of ragi. We were some 50+ students in class and our teacher turned to me and said, “See Shilpa, I eat ragi mudde daily and I am so strong, I can even break a stone with my hands. You eat expensive rice and you are so weak”. I don’t know if I felt bad about it or I was just stunned, but I never imagined I would remember this even after so many years. So every time some one talked about it, I remembered that teacher. Btw, I was his favorite student, so I know his remark was not to hurt me.

When I started blogging, I read about ragi mudde over and over again in many places. It was in the back of my mind and I even bought ragi flour, but some how the color and taste of it always put me off. Then I got a treasure in the recipe collection. Have a look at – Madhu’s ragi mudde, Shynee’s ragi mudde, Latha’s ragi mudde with avrekalu saru, Ramya’s ragi mudde. There are many more, but I read these before going ahead.

The following information is from a cut out of Tharanga magazine-2003. In one of the editions, the magazine asked “mudde prashne“(mudde question) to readers. According to the magazine, they got flood of answers from readers. They chose few of them and printed. Its a treasure for any mudde lovers. It had all the information from A to Z about ragi mudde plus lots and lots of side dishes that go well with these. Well, I am not going to translate the whole article here, but I will post about some things I learned about mudde in this post.

I am thankful to K.M.Navaratna Kumari, who actually collected all the information from different user responses and came up with this amazing article for the magazine.

1 cup ragi(finger millet) flour
2 cups water

In old days, these were made in mud pots. Then aluminum vessels replaced them. Now people use steel. Traditionally a thick stick known as “mudde kolu” of 2″ wide, 1/2″ thick and 18″ tall is used to mix the contents of the mudde. Most popular ragi muddes are made bland without salt.

Heat water with salt in a vessel with wide opening. When water starts to boil, add about 2 tea spns of flour and mix. Soon the mixture starts to thicken.

At this stage the mixture is called “KoTare”.

When it starts to boil, add remaining flour. DO NOT mix with the spoon and DO NOT close the lid. Now the koTare starts rising abound the dry flour. Leave it as it is for about 5mins.


Now push the dry flour down with the spoon so that it is covered with liquid (do not mix it, just push it down). On a low flame, let it cook for 10mins.

At this stage a very nice aroma comes out of the mixture.

Take off the heat and with the help of mudde kolu or a normal wooden spoon mix it very well, taking care to remove all the lumps.

Traditionally the vessel is held tight with the feet and the contents are mixed with the mudde kolu. This step is called “goTayisuvudu”. According to the article, knowing when the mixture is cooked and how much to mix is a art in itself. It comes only with lots and lots of practice.

When the mixture is still warm, apply some water to hands and shape it into balls (roughly of tennis ball size). Cover with a damp towel till they are served to avoid drying up.

These are usually served with some kind of thin gravies like bassaru or massaru. Some people also serve green chilies and raw onion with them. These are usually eaten with hands and not spoon. Take out a small piece of mudde, dip in gravy and gulp it. To get the ultimate feel of these, do not chew them.

PS: First timers, please be very careful while eating them. Needs enough care while gulping them, but once you get used to it, they taste delicious ;).

52 thoughts on “Finger millet balls(Ragi mudde)”

  1. Ragi mudde and bassaru are heavenly combo! Lovely ode to this great combo, Shilpa. Yup, and certain things stay with us for a long time :).

  2. Shilpa ….I heard of it a couple of time, never attempted to make it though. I heard from Kannadiga freinds that we need to dip in saru /gravy and gulp down. I was a bit scared to try it. You have given such detailed and wonderful information, i am tempted to try this out. My neighbor and close friend gets abt 10 kgs of ragi flour (home made) from Bangalore specially only to make muddhe.

  3. dish out of raagi!I was given raagi-malt at age 8-12 for cooling my body and laxating purpose.Then when my first kid was 3 months old, a new aspect of raagi came in front of me..a porridge called ‘Korra’ was made out of raagi flour which was home made(soaking the raagi overnight and grinding it, then straining it thru a fine muslin cloth,spreading the thick strained mixture on a clean cloth and sun-drying it for a week to 10 days, storing the same in tight container) porridge was made out of it adding khadisakhar for loved eating it till solid food was introduced!can be given after that too. Thanks for posting this new recipe..shall try it as I have home made raagi flour.

  4. somethings we can never forget even if we want isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚
    whenever i hear of raagi mudde i remember purandara dasa’s keeratane, Raagi tandira. what a beautiful song…
    few weeks back some reader asked me to post raagi mudde recipe. i will direct her to ur post. i remember the first time i had this. i chewed it and it all stuck to my teeth and mouth and i had very funny look on my face ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Hi Shilpa,
    Your site is very good…and inspiring to many blooming brides like me who are just married…
    I think you are doing very good social work….May god bless you and God will show you the correct way of success.

  6. Loved your writeup Shilpa on a local delicacy…see I have nver even heard of it before. Cannot imagine how it will taste , maybe it will need a little time to get used to

  7. At last you made it!:D

    I have a post too with Radish Gojju. I make it once in a month or so, just for me, Arvind is not that into it! Looks great , enjoy Thanksgiving. See you again on Monday!:))

  8. A few months back I tried making these…I chewed them of course, as I did not know at the time that these were swallowed whole. ๐Ÿ™‚ Definitely an acquired taste! I didn’t dislike them, but I told myself that I had no need to make them again! But maybe I will… ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Shilpa they r lovely to see and i feel if we shallow fry them and make a curry out of tamarind ,tomato,green chillies and onions with one capsicum and put the dumplings in to that it bcomes raggi koftacurry won’t it.

  10. Hi Shilpa, it was nice reading nanchanya mudde. As you rightly said colour and feel of mudde is not pleasing. Just as one has to cultivate taste for chinese green tea we have to develope taste for n.mudde. This reminds me of another great konkani amchigueli favourite dish, tandala oondii.I make it quite often and eat it with allya chutney [ ginger chutney.]It is quick to make. For 1 cup rice rava [ cream of rice ] I take 3tbsp of grated coconut, 1green chilli, a small piece of ginger. grind all this just for a min in the small vessele of the grinder.keep it aside, collect adhering water with about 2 cups of water. In a heavy bottomed vessel heat 1 tbspoon of oil , make a seasoning with a pinch of mustard seeds, a few fenugreek seeds [ methi seeds] 2-3 curry leaves, 2-3 pieces of dry red chilli and asafotida [ hing ].Pour adhering water [ 2 cups ] over this seasoning, add salt to taste . When the water boils add ground mixture of rice rava and coconut and keep stirring to remove the lumps if any. when watery consistency is thickened [ almost dry] put off the gas. allow to cool. take a flat bottomed vessel coat with a little ghee, apply some ghee on your palms, take lime sized amount and make a ball . flatten from one side and press a little with your thumb. arrange them in the vessel. now steam it in the pressure cooker without keeping the weights for 10 mins. you can relish it with ginger chutney or jaggery syrup [godda ravo]. I make it and keep it for 2 days and steam as and when wanted. good for break fast.

    Shilpa: Kanchan, I didn’t know about the raagi undi. After Gowri mentioned about it above & reading your comment, I am very surprised. I am going to try it sometime. Yes, I know about tandla undi. It is already there on the site. Thanks

  11. Hi Shilpa,

    Loved to see the raagi mudde heard about it a lot hvnt tasted till date.. they say u hv to careful while eating it since it sticks..Thanx for the info..

  12. Hi! Shilpa,
    I have clearly mentioned about tandla undi, I haver not yet tried ragi undi. I have heard it is made the same way. try and let me know as ragi is a very good source of calcium.

  13. Hey Shilpa,
    Ur recipes rock yaar! I hav tried a lot of them & they come out as wonders. A special thanks for the date cake recipe as its a favourite of every member of my house. I would also like to know a simple recipe for black forest cake. Yesterday I tried making one for my In-laws aniversary & it turned out to be a great flop. It was not really moist, rather a little hard. Plz do post if you have a recipe for this one.

  14. Hi!
    Very simple muddhe recipe. For novices consuming muddhae it can be daunting since it sticks to the hand but there is a knack to eating ragi ball.I consider myself a expert muddhae eater so here are few tips on how to have one(rather swallow). Before you touch the ragi ball follow these simple steps and please be careful, ragi ball will hot inside.
    1. Very important, Wet your plam and fingers(yes all five) with your favourite curry.
    2. Bring your palm closer to the ragi ball and use your thumb and index finger to break/cut a piece of the ragi ball and as you break it move the piece on to your fingers keeping your thumb free.
    3. Now use your thumb and press the broken ragi piece few times. This makes it softer and releases excess heat.
    4. Once it is soft and flat try to make it into a round shape(does not have to be exactly round) against your palm and fingers

    5. And now roll the slightly rounded piece in the curry a few times so that is evenly coated.

    6. And finally relish it by swallowing the whole piece, it should go down smoothly you
    will get the delicate taste of ragi and strong flavor of the curry.

  15. Love your site.I have tried lot of your recipes and all of it have turned out pretty good.Ragi mudde looks very yummy.I tried with avrekalu saru,goes well with it.Do you have the recipes for hurihittu,my favourite and want it for my son.I got ready made hurihittu from India but I don’t know how to prepare.Anybody out there knows the recipes.

  16. I relaly love this artical..sombody told me that raagi mudhhe will reduce weight also.let me try this ASP.

    Thanks for your clear discriptions

  17. Please let me know about any information or possibility of getting a copy of a very old edition (about 20 years back) If not, please make it availeble through internet or any other way

  18. I love Ragi Mudde so much, last time I went to India, i ate it three times a day. Mom was surprised.
    This is a rich source of Calcium for your bones. Has abour 300 mg of Ca in 1000gr of Ragi floor.
    And no fat…!

  19. Hello Shilpa,

    Thanks for the recipe. I tried this recipe. As soon I put the flour the water got absorbed. Did I do something wrong? Please advise.


    Shilpa: Add more water if required.

  20. The crucial thing you have mentioned is that you shouldn’t mix the floor.(My mother told this when she taught me how to make them). It is easy to make mudde instead of chapatis after work, but tougher to wash the vessels after making them!!

  21. Sowmya Venkatesh

    Hi Shilpa,

    plz correct the link to massaru… it is coming back to ragi mudde recipe…rather than going to massaru recipe..

  22. Praveen Jingade

    Thanks Shilpa wish I get them here in London atleast the flour so that I can make it myself !! just mesmerising dish it is… reminds me of my school days when i used to spend my summer vacations in Mandya Villages with my schoolmates. My frens Granny used make them so well really soft with nice spicy curries bussaru khara n chicken curry and home made ghee .. my mouths already watering I used to relish them so much its finger licking good !!
    Missing Namma Ooru Bengaluru and Namma Nadu Karunadu ๐Ÿ™

  23. Hi Shilpa,

    I finally came around to making ragi mudde, and I thought the best recipe for it could be found on your page, Thanks again.

    The only thing that happened was that the mudde didn’t become so smooth. Maybe I need to add more water next time? Not sure. I followed your recipe step by step. Next time I shall add more water and see how it turns out.

    With the ragi mudde, I decided to eat the huli gojju, another recipe from your site!

    Thanks to your step by step directions and photos, cooking has become more interesting and easy for me!

  24. gautami g shet

    i luv raagi mudde. my friend’s mom used to ma1ke it n never failed to invite me for lunch or dinner. it tastes gud with uppasaaru also. now we far from eachother but yet not forgot the taste of mudde. i wanted to make it for my son, bt little bit confused about receipe, but after reading ur page, i’ve decided to make it. thanks dear…………….

  25. Manjusha Shrinath

    Dear Shilpa,

    My friend told me about your website about a month back. Since then I have tried few of your recipes and they have been doing wonders in my family. You have a very simple and systematic way of explaining the recipes. All your recipes are simple and very tasty.

    I did Raagi mudde today and it came out right.

    Thank you

  26. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d prepared it once before and it didn’t turn out well…was a waste. I tried it again today and prepared 10 mudde’s at once ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. Hi silpa thanku so much for helping us to know such new recipe it was really good we enjoyed it thanx a ton

    wit love gouri prateek

  28. Hi shilpa,

    I love ragi mudde with ghee…and I haven’t relished it for quiet a while obviously coz I don’t know the art of preparing it….so thank u for the recipe……
    Just a word…My mother in law adds wheat flour to ragi flour and mixes it b4 putting it into the boiling water. .she says it adds taste and gives smoother mudde….
    Have benifited by ur other recipes. Thank you once again

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