Ragi idli recipe (soft & fluffy nachni idli)
Ragi idli are steamed cakes made with finger millets & urad dal. Traditionally idli recipe is made with urad dal and idli rice. Ragi idli are just a variation of the basic idlis where rice is replaced with ragi. There are so many ways these can be made. Most South Indian households trying to eat healthy, may have their own recipe to make these ragi idlis.
The recipe I have shared here is the way my mom makes. It is adapted from our soft & fluffy idli recipe that I have shared earlier. This recipe always yields me consistent results & makes the best soft fluffy ragi idlis.
Ragi is one of the whole grains we eat the most at home. So I make various foods using them. These ragi idlis & dosas are now on a rotation for our Breakfast & dinner menu.
This recipe uses whole ragi grains and not ragi flour. You may also use ragi rava which is available in most stores now. You can also make your own ragi rava and use it here in this recipe.
These are made much the same way as the regular idlis. First urad dal and ragi are soaked for few hours. Then the batter is made and fermented overnight.
- This batter is an all in one. I use the same batter to make dosas, uttapam and paniyaram as well.
- Good quality urad dal is the key here to get them fluffy.
- Methi seeds or thick poha help in fermentation. So do not skip them.
- Ensure the batter is well fermented and risen before making the idlis.
- There is no rice used in the recipe. So these are great for those trying to minimize rice in their diet.
However you can also substitute half cup of the ragi with idli rice. Sometimes my kids are too fussy to eat these as there is a lot of ragi flavor in them. So I replace a part of the ragi with idli rice.
These are best served hot with tiffin sambar or any spicy Chutney .
More Ragi Recipes,
Easy ragi dosa
Eggless ragi biscuit
Ragi idli recipe
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup urad dal (skinned black lentils)
- 1½ cups ragi or finger millet
- 1 teaspoon methi seeds (or ¼ cup thick poha)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon non-iodized salt (or rock salt)
- Add urad dal and methi seeds to a bowl and rinse them well thrice. Soak for 5 hours.
- To another bowl, add ragi and rinse them a few times very well. Add fresh water and soak them for 5 hours.
- If using poha then soak them 30 minutes before blending.
- After 5 hours drain the water. Add the urad dal, methi seeds (or soaked poha) to a blender jar.
- I always add salt while blending. If you live in a hot place, then you may add after fermenting.
- Pour chilled water during summers and blend the batter until thick, fluffy and frothy. The batter should be thick yet of pouring consistency.
- Transfer this to a large bowl.
- Add ragi to the blender and add little water. Blend to a slightly coarse paste. I do not make it very fine as this gives the texture of rava.
- Next add more water as needed while blending.
- Pour this to the blended urad dal batter and give a good mix. The batter should be thick like the regular idli batter. If needed sprinkle some water at this stage.
- Cover and keep it in a warm place. Leave overnight to 14 hours until it ferments and rises well.
- When fermented, you should not have the raw smell of urad dal or ragi in the batter. But should have a mild fermented flavor, yet should not have a sour smell. This is the correct fermentation for our taste.
Making ragi idli
- When the batter is ready, pour 1 cup water in your steamer or cooker. Bring it to a boil on a medium heat.
- Meanwhile grease the plates and pour the batter in the moulds.
- When the water begins to boil rapidly, open the lid and place the ragi idli stand in it.
- Cover and steam for exactly 10 to 12 mins. You may need to adjust the timing based on your pot.
- Switch off and allow to cool slightly.
- Dip the edge of a spoon in water and remove the ragi idlis using it.
- Serve ragi idli hot with sambar or chutney.
- Thick poha are the harder poha. If you are using thinner poha then use more upto – half cup.
- You can also substitute half cup of ragi in the recipe with idli rice.
- Do not proceed to make the ragi idlis until the batter has fermented well and risen.
- All the tips and tricks followed to make regular soft idli should be followed for this recipe as well. You can check the step by step photos and complete details for fermentation here on my soft idli post.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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Can i add the same quantity of ragi flour instead of soaking ragi millets. Please help me with the ratio to add to make perfect idli with the ragi flour. Thank you
Try using 1 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsps flour. However the results are not the same and consistent with ragi flour. You may try a smaller batch.
can I make ragi idli without fermentation? My son cannot digest fermented idli or dosa.
I haven’t tried. I think you should try a instant ragi idli with baking soda or eno and yogurt.
I tried the ragi idli recipe without rice and just ragi soaked for about 6 hrs. Black Urad dal with methi for about 8 hrs seperately
Blended seperately before mixing it. Also added soaked poha hoping it’ll help(i haven’t had much luck with Millet idlis in general) now I wasn’t sure if the batter was thick enough But it har swelled up pretty well after 12 hrs and seemed like my luck was in. But unfortunately. Idli dint stay raised rather too flat and dense. Wonder what happened.
As far i suspect i added the water in Urad that was still remaining in grinder is that an isue? Tbe batter looks ok to me but probably it’s not thick enough for idli
Yes I guess the batter was not thick enough. The other reason can be over fermenting. If the batter rises a lot, the idlis will rise and fall flat. So I usually stir the batter gently (only twice) before making the idlis. This recipe has worked very well for me but after several trials. So try twice more in smaller quantities. Hope this helps
Thank you so much. I shall surely try and update. Since the weather has been slightly less warm (due to rains) i dint expect it’ll rise so much overnight. I’ll try a smaller batch and update!
Can i give this idly or dosa to babies who have 11 months old …
Yes can give ragi idli daily and 2 to 3 times dosa. Use less oil for dosa
If using ragi flour do v need to soak and ferment
You need to dissolve the flour in water to a thick paste and mix with the urad dal batter and ferment. Use 1 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsps flour.
Dear Ma’m, Thanks for sharing the recipe for making ragi idli & I will definitely try it. However, can I use red rice / bajra / proso millet in place of ragi ?
Yes you can use. 1:3 ratio works well for me. Also add little poha
Ragi idli. Can I add/mix ragi flour instead of making a separate raagi batter ?
Same proportion. Half cup udad batter and one and a half cup ragi flour ?
If using flour add 1 3/4 cup + 2 tbsps.
I am sorry madam. 1 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. I am not clear. Should I have a batter made out of 1/2 cup of udad and in that, add one and a half cup of ragi flour ?
No problem! Yes soak and grind half cup urad dal with methi seeds. Then mix 1¾ cups + 2 tbsps ragi flour. Ferment it. Please note the texture won’t be the same with flour. If using whole ragi, we grind them to slight coarse texture but flour is very fine/smooth. So the texture will be different. Give it a try you may like it
Wow really amezing
Hi mam, I made sprouted ragi flour as you mentioned in the recipe, with this flour can I make ragi idli adding to idli batter? Can u pls tell me the MEASUREMENTS? and thank you for your quick replies and solving each ND every doubt
Yes I used to do it earlier and even had a recipe for that on the blog. I have removed it as the results are not consistent with sprouted flour. It depends on how much the ragi has sprouted. For 2 cups fermented idli batter, you can add half cup flour (spoon the flour while you measure). Mix the flour with 6 tbsps warm water and stir it with idli batter. Rest for 20 mins and make idli. My idli batter is with 2 portions of idli rava, 1 portion of urad dal & little poha. Hope this helps.
Thank you mam for your quick reply. I will try this. Thank you once again
Thank you for this recipe. I made the ragi idli today. They came out very nice. Please share bajra idli also.
You are welcome. Glad you like them. I will try to share. Thank you!
I have made idli today and yesterday using your recipe,it came really well.Tomorrow i will be trying for ragi idli with left over idli batter.Thanks for all step by step procedure and precautions,it is very helpful for new generations who does not know cooking.
Glad your idlis turned out well. Thank you.
The traditional podi iddli is yum thanks for sharing the recipient for podi which is slightly different from regular
Hi Swasthi…for making ragi idli and dosa, instead of using powder can I directly soak ragi just like urad dal? Because I bought ragi seeds and as we stay in Canada (cool weather) not sure I can sprout them and make powder.
Sorry for the delay. I am on a vacation hence the late reply. Yes you can soak ragi along with urad dal or seperetaly as well. For half cup urad dal use half cup ragi and 1.5 cups rice or rava and 2 tbsps of poha. Make them the same way as we make the idli. You don’t need to sprout ragi. You can also blend ragi to a slightly coarse texture. Hope this helps. Do share the results after trying.
Hi man I m amina and I m mother of two kids 3years and 1month.mam as I live in joint family I do a lot of work so I get tired because of which my daughter has to suffer as I get tired so I sleep and wake late amnd I m not able to make breakfast for my daughter .so plss mam tell me some healthy diet so that I can stay active and helthey I also do breastfeeding
Take rest at regular intervals. Since you have just delivered You should be getting enough rest as well. After every 2 hours of work, just take a break and relax. Regarding food try these
Drink a cup of ragi porridge after you wake up everyday. Make sure it is warm, just add 1/2 tsp of dry ginger powder & ur baby will not catch cold.. This will keep your body warm. You can find the recipe of ragi porridge here.
Try to eat whole grains, nuts, gond, dried coconut, lot of fresh fruits and veggies
Just before you go to bed, have a cup of warm badam milk. You can also make little more milk in the night and refregerate. Just heat up and serve your daughter for breakfast along with poha. Soak poha in almond milk and give her. Badam milk must be consumed warm. Hope these help.