Millet Idli | Varagu Samai Idli

Easy to follow and step by step picture recipe for soft, fluffy and absolutely healthy Millet Idli, the go-to breakfast for a power packed morning!

Millet Idli

Idli is one of my comfort foods and there cannot be a healthier breakfast than this. What’s not to love about an idli?! It is healthy – even with rice and lentils – power house of essential carbs and proteins, steamed without a drop of oil, easy on the stomach but at the same time, perfectly filling – it is one of the best breakfast options in the whole world. And with our recent addition of millets into our diet, I decided to switch to Millet Idli instead of rice idlis.

Millet Idli

Don’t worry, no one is ever going to find out what went into making this millet idli as they taste as good (even better) as the regular idlis. I usually use two types of millets – Varagu (Kodo Millet) and Samai (Little Millet) most of the times but if you have just one variety of millets, go ahead and use it for this recipe. There is absolutely no difference in color, taste or texture of Millet Idli when compared to regular idli. In fact I find it easier to make millet idli batter (lesser soaking time and easy, quick grinding) that I switched to it right away.

Millet Idli

I have been making this Millet idli (Sirudhanya idli) for quite some time now but somehow I couldn’t share the recipe earlier. Our breakfast is usually idli or dosa every morning and often times when I post it on Instagram, I get asked about the recipe. So here it is for all those who asked 🙂 There are so many versions of millet idli recipes on the internet and this is something that worked for me. Let me know if you give this one a try!

Millet Idli

How to make Millet Idli | Varagu Samai Idli –
Print Recipe
Millet Idli | Varagu Samai Idli
Soft, delicious and absolutely healthy Millet Idli is the go-to breakfast for a power packed morning!
Millet Idli
Course Breakfast
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Passive Time 4-5 hours
Servings
idlis
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Varagu/Kodo Millet
  • 2 cups Samai/Little Millet
  • 3/4 cup Whole Urad Dal
  • 1 cup Thick Aval/Poha/Flattened Rice
  • Water as needed
  • Salt as needed
Course Breakfast
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Passive Time 4-5 hours
Servings
idlis
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Varagu/Kodo Millet
  • 2 cups Samai/Little Millet
  • 3/4 cup Whole Urad Dal
  • 1 cup Thick Aval/Poha/Flattened Rice
  • Water as needed
  • Salt as needed
Millet Idli
Instructions
To make the Millet Idli Batter -
  1. Wash millets and urad dal 2-3 times thoroughly until the water is no longer turbid/starchy. Add thick poha and soak them in enough water for 4 hours at the least.
  2. Blend the soaked millets and dal into a smooth batter adding as little as possible as needed. The batter should be thick. If using a mixie/mixer grinder, grind the batter in batches with ice cold water. It is important to not let the batter heat up by running the mixer continuously.
  3. Remove the batter onto a large container and add salt required (I usually add a tsp of fine salt). Using your hand, mix the batter well. Keep it in a warm place for another 8 hours/leave it overnight untouched. The batter should be doubled up in quantity. Beat it down and store it in the fridge until required. The batter should be neither be too thick nor too runny.
To make Millet Idli -
  1. Add some water to the fermented millet idli batter if required, mix well. The batter should be thick and pourable but not too runny. Fill the idli mould with the prepared idli batter.
  2. Add 2 cups of water in the idli steamer/cooker pot and let it come to a boil on high flame. Set the idli plates on the steamer.
  3. Steam the idlis for 10-12 minutes on medium flame.
  4. When the idli steamer is opened, idlis should have risen up and look cooked. Switch off the heat and let the idlis stay in the steamer for another 5-mins. Remove the idli plates from the steamer and sprinkle some cold water all over the idlis. Wait for another 5 mins and gently remove the idlis from the mould.
  5. Serve hot with coconut chutney, sambar and idli podi.

Millet Idli

Detailed step by step picture tutorial of making Millet Idli | Varagu Samai Idli –
To make the Millet Idli Batter –

1. Wash millets and urad dal 2-3 times thoroughly until the water is no longer turbid/starchy. Add thick poha and soak them in enough water for 4 hours at the least.

2. Blend the soaked millets and dal into a smooth batter adding as little as possible as needed. The batter should be thick. If using a mixie/mixer grinder, grind the batter in batches with ice cold water. It is important to not let the batter heat up by running the mixer continuously.

3. Remove the batter onto a large container and add salt required (I usually add a tsp of fine salt). Using your hand, mix the batter well. Keep it in a warm place for another 8 hours/leave it overnight untouched. The batter should be doubled up in quantity. Beat it down and store it in the fridge until required. The batter should be neither be too thick nor too runny.

To make Millet Idli –

1. Add some water to the fermented millet idli batter if required, mix well. The batter should be thick and pourable but not too runny.

2. Add 2 cups of water in the idli steamer/cooker pot and let it come to a boil on high flame. Fill the idli mould with the prepared idli batter. Set the idli plates on the steamer.

3. Steam the idlis for 10-12 minutes on medium flame.

4. When the idli steamer is opened, idlis should have risen up and look cooked. Switch off the heat and let the idlis stay in the steamer for another 5-mins. Remove the idli plates from the steamer and sprinkle some cold water all over the idlis. Wait for another 5 mins and gently remove the idlis from the mould.

5. Serve hot with coconut chutney, sambar and idli podi.

Millet Idli

Note –
  • You can use single type of millet to make the same recipe.
  • Using a wet grinder for making idli-dosa gives best results. In case if you want to use mixer-grinder or blender, make sure to give enough intervals not to let the batter heat up.
  • It is important for the batter to ferment properly and double for soft, fluffy idlis. Leave the batter in a warm place and mixing salt to the batter with hand helps.

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Taking this to Fiesta Friday #180 and cohosts this week are Tracey @ My Baja Kitchen and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook 🙂

6 thoughts on “Millet Idli | Varagu Samai Idli

  1. Hi, thank you for the recipe! Can this batter be stored in the refrigirator for a few days? Also, can the same batter be used to make dosa?

    1. Yes – you can store it upto 5 days. After that, idlis could turn a little harder. Yes, you can use the same batter for making dosa too – from day two 🙂

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