Ragi Idli using whole Ragi seeds (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
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Ragi Idli using whole Ragi are soft and healthy steamed breakfast or a meal from South of India and are made using nutritious whole Ragi seeds also known as Finger Millet or Nachni.
Steamed food like Idlis and Dhoklas are one of my favorite breakfast, lunch box, or travel snack options. The reason being they are healthy, quick to make once you have the batter ready. They also go well as finger food. So while you are traveling or you have a super active kid who refuses to sit and eat, such food goes well.
I have been making Ragi Idli and Dosa using ragi seeds now for more than a year but was unable to post the recipe. So when Anu Kollon from Ente Thattukada announced the theme as Steamed Dishes for this month’s Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge,
I thought of finally posting this recipe. Anu has come up with a delicious and healthy Kerala Style Steamed Rice Cakes – Vattayappam. Check out her recipe and pics, they are too tempting and definitely a must-try.
I asked my partner Swaty Malik who blogs at Food-Trials, If I can go ahead with this dish. She gave me Fenugreek seeds and Idli rice as the secret ingredient and Viola one healthy millet dish is added on the blog. I gave Swaty Oats Flour and Ajwain (Carom seeds) as the secret ingredient and she prepared this delicious Doodhi Muthiya and I liked her twist of adding oats flour to it.
As the co-admin, Mayuri Ji did from Mayuri Jikoni’s did not had any partner I gave her the secret ingredients. She made this interesting steamed as she did not had a partner. She made this Vegetarian Bao Buns & Sweet and Sour Sauce, a completely new dish to me. I am going to try this soon.
So what is Ragi?
I have already detailed a lot about gluten free Ragi millet or Finger Millet or Nachni in my earlier post on Instant Ragi Dosa recipe. Summarizing in Short Ragi is a gluten free millet and a good source of calcium and iron. One of the superfoods and it aids in weight loss too.
My earlier recipes of Instant Ragi Idli, Instant Ragi Dosa were using Ragi Flour. This comes out handy when you do not have the time or have not prepared the batter well ahead of time. However, I like to use the whole ragi and ferment the batter as fermenting food is healthier than the instant ones.
Fermentation is a natural process where the carbs – sugar, and starches in food are broken down using naturally occurring yeast and bacteria. Fermented food becomes easier to digest and improves your gut health, Fermentation process creates a distinct sour flavor to different recipes. Fermentation is a common process followed worldwide.
Different types of vegetables are fermented. For example, we ferment and make a delicious drink using carrots, radish, vada (Fried urad dumplings) just before summer. It is called Kanji. It helps the body during the change in climate and is refreshing as well. Worldwide Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, etc. are fermented. My most recent experiment with fermented food is Spelt and Rye Breakfast Sourdough Bread. Once you start making sourdough bread, you will not buy the store-bought yeast bread.
Ingredients Used in Fermented Ragi Idli
Whole Ragi Seeds, Urad Dal/ black gram/ split white lentil, Idli Rice, and fenugreek seeds are the ingredients used in the recipe. I make this recipe using Whole or split white urad dal. I have once made it using Black whole urad dal too. The texture of those Idlis was a bit too coarse and hence I switched it to the white one.
Next, I use Idli rice, which is a short grain type of rice. One can use parboiled rice or any thick variety of rice too for idli, if not available. At times I even use Brown rice instead of idli rice. I have included the pic of both in brown rice and once soaked in normal Idli rice.
Fenugreek seeds are optional but it helps in digestion and hence I always add it to my idli dosa batter.
Soaking, Grinding & Fermenting of The Ragi Batter
I have soaked all the ingredients together. But one can soak them separately too. Soaking together helps in grinding all the ingredients to a smooth paste and hence I do so. I have tried soaking ragi separately and rice and dal separately, so that works too.
I do grind in a normal Mixer and Grinder. If you have the traditional mixer for grinding, I think the ragi would grind better.
Do not add too much water while grinding. We need a thick batter so that the batter ferments well and we get perfect idlis. For tips on how to grind the batter and ferment the batter in cold climate check out my detailed post on Fermenting Idli Dosa Batter in Cold Climate. Check out the below batter, which I have fermented in around 0-5 Deg C.
Can we prepare dosa using the same batter
Yes, of course, you can make dosa using the same batter. One needs to adjust the consistency of the dosa batter. Also the more the batter is fermented the more good dosa is. So prepare idli on day 1 and make dosa the following day.
Dosa from this Ragi batter comes out very crispy and I like to use ghee instead of oil for shallow frying this. Check out the below image on how crispy the dosa is.
I have tried to explain and clear as many doubts as I can have but if you all still have some more let me know in the comments below and I would try to answer my best.
Here goes the recipe of Ragi Idli using whole Ragi seeds (Finger Millet or Nachni)
Ragi Idli using whole Ragi seeds (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
- Idli Steamer / Big Pot
- Idli Pot / Muffin Cups / Small Bowls
- 1 Cup Whole Ragi
- ½ Cup Idli Rice
- ½ Cup Urad Dal (Split or Whole White)
- 1 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Dana)
- Oil for greasing the idli molds.
Preparing the Batter:
- In a bowl add all Ragi, Idli Rice, Urad dal, and Fenugreek Seeds.
- Clean and rinse it thoroughly using clean tap water 3-4 times.
- Let this soak for a minimum of 3-4 hours.
- Once soaked, drain the water and give it a quick rinse again.
- Now grind the batter into a smooth consistency.
- For tips on how to grind the batter and ferment the batter in cold climate check out my detailed post on Fermenting Idli Dosa Batter in Cold Climate
- Add salt and let the batter ferment overnight or for a minimum of 8-12 hours depending on climate.
Preparing The Idli’s
- Check the consistency of the batter. For Idli, the batter should not be runny and be a bit thick. Like dropping consistency.
- In a large pot or your idli steamer add 2-3 glasses of water.
- Just enough that it would be able to boil for 10-15 minutes without completing evaporating or burning the vessel from the bottom.
- Switch on the stove and allow the water to boil.
- In the meantime, grease the idli mold with a bit of oil. A drop of oil per mold is sufficient.
- Pour the batter into the molds. Around 2-3 tablespoons per mold. Do not overfill the mold.
- Once the water is boiled we are ready to steam the idlis.
- Put the Idli stand in the steamer and let the idli’s steam for a minimum of 15 minutes or until a knife or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- After 15 minutes remove the idlis from the steamer.
- Let the idli’s cool for a minute or two before demolding. Do not rush or else it sticks on the mold. You would be able to remove the idlis nice and clean if you allow it to rest for 1-2 minutes.
- Use a spoon to remove the idli
- 1 Cup = 235 ml, 1 tbsp= 15 ml, 1 tsp = 5 ml
- If you do not have idli mold you can make it in small bowls or individual muffin cups.
- The same batter can be used to make dosa.
- Only you need to adjust the consistency of the batter. The dosa will taste best the next day, i.e. with 1 more day of fermented batter.
- The batter will stay good in the fridge for 4-7 days depending on the climate.
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