Finger Millet/Ragi is a calcium-rich Millet. This is the first millet introduced to babies as it has more nutritional value and is easy to digest. The nutrition in Finger millet/Ragi is multiplied when it is fermented. As whole ragi grains are rarely available in Indian stores in USA, I started using easily available Ragi flour to make fermented idli dosa batter, which could be easily made using mixie and yields soft idlis and crispy dosas. This batter is so easy to make as it just takes a maximum of 10 mins. I always make in small batch to go with one breakfast and one dinner. Millet batters should be consumed within 2 to 3 days after fermentation. I prefer to make this fresh and finish off fresh, just after fermentation.
- Ragi flour - 1 cup heaped
- Idli Rice - ½ cup levelled
- White Whole Urad dal - ¼ cup levelled
- White/Red Rice Flakes(Aval/Poha) - ¼ cup heaped
- Fenugreek Seeds - ¼ tsp levelled
- Wash and soak Idli Rice, Urad dal and Poha, separately. Add ¼ cup water to Fenugreek seeds and soak separately. Let all soak for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
- Before grinding, first mix Ragi flour with little water in a bowl/container in which you are intending to ferment the batter.. Don't add more water to make a paste. Just add little water so that all flour is wet.
- Add methi seeds with soaked water to mixie jar. Wash and drain the water from urad dal and just add the drained urad dal to the same jar and grind to smooth paste. No additional water required. Add this ground paste to the wet Ragi flour.
- To the same mixie jar, add soaked poha without water and grind it to smooth paste without adding any water. Add this ground paste to the wet Ragi flour.
- To the same mixie jar, add soaked idli rice without water and grind it. Add little water to make a paste (neither too coarse nor too smooth). Add this ground paste to the wet Ragi flour.
- Add 1 tsp rock salt and mix well. The batter shouldn't be too watery. It should be little thick like usual idli batter.
- Let this ferment for 8 to 10 hours or overnight.
- Fermented batter would have risen well. Use a ladle to mix it and keep refrigerated.
- To make idli, pour water into idli pot and cook closed until water begins to boil. Pour batter in idli moulds and place the idli moulds, once water in idli pot comes to rolling boil. Cook just like normal idlis for 10 mins.
- To make crispy dosas, if the batter is too thick, add little water to bring to flowing dosa batter consistency and make crispy dosas with generous sesame oil, flipping to cook both sides.
- To make soft dosas, do not add more water to the batter. The batter should be thick but in flowing consistency. Make thick & soft dosas with lil oil sprinkled around the dosa. Cook closed and do not flip.
- You can add onions to the batter and make onion dosas, as well.
2.To ferment in cold weather, cover and keep the batter inside grill oven. Turn on the oven light, close the oven and leave it for 8 to 10 hours. Do not turn on the oven 😉
3.If you have added more water while grinding, then the batter will be thin, and you can't make idlis. But don't worry, you can make dosas.
4.I usually add Red poha to increase the nutritional value. You can use white too. But do not skip poha as it helps in yielding soft idlis/dosas.
5.For babies below one year, do not add salt to batter. Click here to know why no salt for babies below one year ?
You shall make normal idlis too, if you haven’t added more water while grinding the batter. If the batter is runny, idlis will be flat. But you can’t flop dosas at any cause. Thick batter will make soft dosas and thin batter will make crispy dosas. If kids aren’t tempted for normal Ragi idlis, make mini idlis to attract them. Coconut based chutneys pairs well with Ragi idli/dosa. We love to eat with mint/coriander flavored coconut chutney as well. Peanut chutney is also a good choice. You can make potato masaal dosa or mushroom stuffed dosa and combine with plain coconut chutney. See how beautifully this Ragi flour batter have fermented during cold winter in USA.
Onions and Ragi are made for each other. Add raw chopped onions with the batter to make simple onion dosa. Or in oil, temper mustard seeds, urad dal, jeera(optional), chopped onions, grated carrots(optional), green chillies(without seeds for kids), finely chopped curry leaves & coriander leaves. Fry well and mix this tadka with the batter and make dosas. For kids, make two Ragi onion dosas separately. Add cheese to one top and keep another dosa on top of it, upside down. Cook in low flame, flip it once and cook just for few seconds, until cheese melts. Cut into halves or quarters. They will enjoy the cheesy bites..