How To Make Nutrient-dense Ragi Idli At Home

Ragi, also known as finger millet, is a highly nutritious grain that has been a staple in many parts of India for centuries. It is packed with calcium, iron, and essential amino acids, making it an excellent choice for a healthy diet.

One of the most delicious and easy ways to incorporate ragi into your diet is by making ragi idlis. These steamed cakes are soft, fluffy, and perfect for breakfast or as a snack. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of making nutrient-dense ragi idli at home.

Health Benefits of Ragi

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a moment to understand why ragi is considered a superfood:

  1. Rich in Calcium: Ragi is an excellent source of calcium, which is essential for bone health. It contains more calcium than most other grains.
  2. High in Fiber: Ragi is high in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, helps control blood sugar levels, and promotes a feeling of fullness.
  3. Gluten-Free: Ragi is naturally gluten-free, making it a great option for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
  4. Packed with Nutrients: Ragi is rich in iron, which helps prevent anemia, and contains essential amino acids that are crucial for overall health.


To make ragi idlis, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup ragi flour (finger millet flour)
  • 1 cup idli rice
  • 1/2 cup urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed
  • Oil for greasing idli plates


Step 1: Soaking the Ingredients

  1. Soak the Rice and Urad Dal: In separate bowls, soak the idli rice and urad dal along with fenugreek seeds in water for about 4-6 hours or overnight. Soaking helps in softening the grains, making them easier to grind and ferment.

Step 2: Grinding the Batter

  1. Grind the Urad Dal: Drain the water from the urad dal and fenugreek seeds. Grind them in a wet grinder or a high-speed blender until you get a smooth and fluffy batter. Add water as needed to achieve the right consistency.
  2. Grind the Rice: Drain the water from the rice and grind it to a slightly coarse consistency. It should be smoother than semolina but not as smooth as the urad dal batter.

Step 3: Mixing and Fermenting

  1. Combine the Batters: In a large mixing bowl, combine the urad dal batter and rice batter. Add the ragi flour and mix well. Add water if needed to get a batter that is slightly thick but of pouring consistency.
  2. Ferment the Batter: Cover the bowl with a lid and let the batter ferment in a warm place for about 8-10 hours or overnight. Fermentation time may vary depending on the room temperature. The batter should double in volume and become airy and bubbly.

Step 4: Preparing the Idlis

  1. Prepare the Steamer: Grease the idli plates with a little oil to prevent sticking. Pour the fermented batter into the idli molds, filling them about three-fourths full.
  2. Steam the Idlis: Place the idli plates in a steamer or idli cooker. Steam the idlis for about 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the idli plates from the steamer and let them cool for a few minutes.
  3. Remove the Idlis: Use a spoon or a butter knife to gently remove the idlis from the molds. Serve them hot with coconut chutney and sambar.

Tips for Perfect Ragi Idlis

  • Fermentation: The key to soft and fluffy idlis is proper fermentation. Ensure the batter ferments well by keeping it in a warm place. During colder months, you can keep the batter inside the oven with the light on or near a warm appliance.
  • Consistency: The batter should be of pouring consistency but not too thin. Adjust the water accordingly while grinding and mixing.
  • Greasing the Molds: Grease the idli molds well to prevent the idlis from sticking. You can use a little oil or ghee for greasing.
  • Serving: Ragi idlis taste best when served hot. They pair well with coconut chutney, tomato chutney, sambar, or even a simple vegetable curry.

Nutritional Value of Ragi Idlis

Ragi idlis are not only delicious but also highly nutritious. Here’s a quick look at their nutritional profile:

  • High in Protein: The combination of ragi, rice, and urad dal provides a good amount of plant-based protein.
  • Rich in Fiber: The high fiber content aids in digestion and helps in maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Packed with Micronutrients: Ragi idlis are rich in calcium, iron, and essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Low Glycemic Index: Ragi has a low glycemic index, making it a suitable food for diabetics.


Making nutrient-dense ragi idlis at home is a wonderful way to enjoy a healthy and delicious meal. These idlis are not only easy to prepare but also packed with essential nutrients that support overall health. By incorporating ragi into your diet, you can enjoy its numerous health benefits while savoring the traditional taste of idlis.

Give this recipe a try and enjoy the wholesome goodness of ragi idlis with your family and friends. Happy cooking!

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