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.