No Rice Idli with Millets

I have been meaning to try Idli with Millets instead of rice for a while now, but have been putting it off. This is primarily because I am trying to use millets on a regular basis in my diet. I have already posted recipes for Varai Pulav/Sama Upma, Pongal with Barnyard Millet (Kuthiravali), Bajrichi Bhakri, Bajrichi Khichdi, and Jowar Dosa. However, if I am able to make Idli and Dosa with millets, then I can include millets in breakfast also.

A piece of spongy Millet Idli with some Molaga Podi
Spongy Millets Idli

I made Idlis with Barnyard Millet (Kuthiraivali in Tamil, Udalu in Telugu) as I had that at home. This time I used no rice or poha at all. The batter fermented quickly (4 hours in Mumbai’s hot and humid conditions) and the idlis were spongy though a bit drier than the regular idlis. I think next time I will steam them for a lesser duration.

The taste of these Idlis with Millets was quite close to traditional idlis, and I think I can safely say this idli variation will be made often in my home.

I also have some batter left and will make dosas with them tomorrow. 🙂

Idli with Barnyard Millet
Idli with Barnyard Millet

How to Make Idli with Millets

Idli with Millets served with Molaga Podi
Idli with Millets
Prep Time
6 hr
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
6 hr 10 mins

This is a recipe for Idli made with millets instead of rice. The result is a spongy idli that tastes pretty close to the traditional idli.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
For the Millet Idli Batter
  • 1/2 Cup Udad Dal
  • 2 Cups Any Millet I used Barnyard Millet
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • Salt to Taste
Other Ingredients
  • Oil to Grease Idli Mould
Making the Batter for Idli with Millets
  1. Wash the millets well and soak in 4 cups water for at least 4 hours.

  2. Wash the udad dal till water runs clear and soak it with the fenugreek seeds in 2 cups water for at least 4 hours.

  3. Drain and discard all the water from the millets. 

  4. Grind the millets to a fine paste.

  5. Drain and reserve some water from the udad dal and fenugreek.

  6. Add the udad dal and fenugreek to the ground millets.

  7. Grind to a smooth and thick paste using some of the reserved water.

  8. Take the batter out into a large enough vessel and let it ferment for at least 4 hours or till the batter rises. It won't rise as much as the regular idli batter.

Making the Idlis
  1. Add water to the steamer/pressure cooker, and let the water start boiling.

  2. Add salt to the batter and mix with a very gentle hand.

  3. Grease the idli mould with a few drops of oil.

  4. Add enough batter to each cavity to just fill it.

  5. Place the Idli stand in the steamer/pressure cooker and steam for 5 to 7 minutes.

  6. Turn off the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

  7. Serve hot with Coconut Chutney, Molaga Podi and Oil, and/or Sambar.

Recipe Notes
  • Be careful not to steam these idlis too much as they then become very dry. They do not need beyond 5 to 7 minutes of steaming.
  • Ensure that the water in the steamer is boiling already before you place the idli stand in it.
  • You can even use a 4:1 ratio of millets to udad dal.
  • I prefer to serve Idli with Millets with Sambar or Coconut Chutney as the idlis are a bit drier than the traditional idlis.


Step-by-Step Recipe for Making Idli with Millets

  1. How to Make Batter for Idli with Millets
    1. You can use any millet including Bajra and Jowar.
    2. Wash the millet well under running water and then soak in 3 to 4 cups water for at least 4 hours. The millets will not swell much but soaking helps with grinding.

    3. Wash the udad dal under running water till the water runs clear and then soak it with the fenugreek seeds in 2 cups water for at least 4 hours.
    4. Drain the water completely from the millets. We do not need this water.
    5. Drain all water from the udad dal and fenugreek and reserve some of the water as we will use it in grinding. This water helps the fermentation process.
    6. First grind the millets to a fine paste. Unless you are using Bajra or Jowar, the millets do not need much grinding.

    7. To the ground millets, add the udad dal and fenugreek.
    8. Grind to a smooth and thick batter (dropping consistency) using some of the reserved water.
    9. Remove the batter out into a vessel.
    10. Let the batter ferment in a warm place for at least 4 hours or till the batter rises. The batter for Idli with Millets won’t rise as much as the regular idli batter.

  2. Making the Idlis
    1. Get the steamer/pressure cooker ready by adding water and ensuring that the water has started boiling. This is important as it helps to cook the idlis faster and ensures the idlis afre soft and spongy.
    2. Add salt to the batter and mix with a very gentle hand. You will see that the batter has a lot of air and is spongy in itself. Avoid over mixing it as the idlis will become hard.
    3. As with traditional idlis, use a few drops of oil to grease each cavity of the the idli plate.
    4. Drop enough batter into each cavity to just fill it. The idli will rise quite a bit after steaming.
    5. Steam the idlis for just about 5 to 7 minutes and then turn off the heat.
    6. Let the steamer/pressure cooker cool for 5 minutes, and then open it.
    7. Let the idli rest for 2-3 minutes before de-moulding.
    8. Serve the Idli with Millets hot with Coconut Chutney, Molaga Podi and Oil, and/or Sambar.
No-Rice Idli with Millet
No-Rice Idli with Millet

Kuthiraivali Pongal | Udalu Katte Pongali |Barnyard Millet Pongal

I made Kuthiraivali Pongal or Barnyard Millet Pongal (known as Udalu Katte Pongali in Telugu) for lunch this weekendat the recommendation of my aunt. It turned out to be surprisingly light on the stomach and quite delicious.

Making this dish also encourages me to explore the world of millets quite some more. In fact, I am newcomer to the world of millets. With the exception of Little Millet (Samalu in Telugu, Varai in Marathi, Samai in Tamil) and Finger Millet (Ragi or Nachni), I use very little millet in everyday cooking. I do occasionally use Jowar (Sorghum) and Bajra (Pearl Millet) flour to make Thalipeeth or Rotis but that is about it.

Recently we had an animated discussion is our music class about the benefits of various millets. After I came home, I researched various millets and was quite surprised at what I found. Don’t believe me, see these figures about the nutritional values in various millets that I found in a post from The Hindu.

Nutritional Values of Various Millets

A few days later, when I posted the recipe for Varayache Tandul (aka Bhagar or Samo Rice) for Ashadi Ekadashi, my aunt (Atta) asked me to try Pongal with Foxtail Millet. I have great faith my Atta and her food recommendations, what with her being a doctor and a foodie. 🙂

Off I went in search of Foxtail Millet. My grocer did not have it but had Barnyard Millet (Udalu or Kodisama in Telugu and Kuthiraivali in Tamil), so here I am with the recipe for Pongal with Barnyard Millet (Kuthiraivali Pongal or Udalu Katte Pongali).

Did you know the millets are a great substitute for rice and wheat as far as diabetics are concerned?

This is a picture of Kuthiraivali Pongal or Udalu Katte Pongali

How to Make Kuthiraivali Pongal, Udalu Katte Pongali, Barnyard Millet Pongal

This is a picture of Kuthiraivali Pongal or Udalu Katte Pongali
Kuthiraivali Pongal | Udalu Katte Pongali |Barnyard Millet Pongal
This is a recipe for Kuthiraivali Pongal (aka Udalu Katte Pongali or Barnyard Millet Pongal) that is nutritious and delicious.
Course: Mains
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Aruna
  • 1 Cup Kuthiraivali, Udalu or Barnyard Millet
  • 1/2 Cup Moong Dal, Pasi Paruppu, Pesara Pappu
  • 2 or 3 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Grated Ginger
  • 10 to 14 Black Pepper Corns
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • A Few Curry Leaves
  • Salt to Taste
  1. Dry roast the Moong dal till it starts to change colour.
  2. Add the barnyard millet and roast for 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Soak the roasted dal+millet mixture in 4 cups water for about 15 minutes. Millets need a lot of water and time to cook. Soaking helps with that.
  4. Pressure cook the dal+millet mixture for a good 6 to 8 whistles.
    Cook covered on open flame till done.
  5. Add salt and using a heavy ladle mix and mash the mix a bit.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Crush the pepper corns.
  8. In a pan, heat the ghee.
  9. Add cumin seeds and wait till they splutter.
  10. Add the slit green chillies, pepper, and curry leaves.
  11. Saute for a minute or so.
  12. Add the tempering to the Pongal.
  13. Serve warm Kuthiraivali Pongal (Udalu Katte Pongali or Barnyard Millet Pongal) with Coconut Chutney or Sambar.


Kuthiraivali Pongal or Kodisama Katte Pongali


Rajgira Halwa or Sheera Without Milk (Amaranth Flour Halva) – Navratri Vrat Recipe

Rajgira ka Halwa or Sheera
Rajgira ka Halwa or Sheera

Last week I had posted the recipe for Shinghare ke Atte ka Halwa by Heena Jhanglani. This week I happened to taste Rajgira Halwa made by Mrs. Jhanglani. While that version used milk, I made another version yesterday that uses water instead of milk.

Rajgira or Amaranth Flour is one of the many ingredients that are acceptable for the Navratri fast and is used to make delectable stuff like Puris as well.

This is the this Navratri Vrat recipe on my blog after Shinghare ki Puri and Shinghara Halwa.

Serves: 4 to 6

Time: 20 Minutes


  1. Rajgira Atta or Amaranth Flour – 1 Cup
  2. Sugar – 1 Cup
  3. Ghee – 1/3 Cup
  4. Water – 2 Cups
  5. Green Cardamom – 6 to 8
  6. Almonds – 2 to 3
  7. Pistachios – 2 to 3
Rajgira Halwa - Amaranth Flour Halva
Rajgira Sheera or Halwa – Amaranth Flour Halva

Method to Make Rajgira Halwa

  1. To Prepare the Almonds: 
    1. Boil a little water.
    2. Turn of the heat.
    3. Put the almonds in the hot water.
    4. Cover and set aside for 5 to 7 minutes.
    5. Drain the water.
    6. Peel the almonds. Just press the narrow end of the almond and the almond will pop-out leaving the peel in your hand.
    7. Chop the blanched almonds into thin slivers.
  2. To Prepare the Pistachios: 
    1. Chop the blanched almonds into thin slivers.
  3. To Prepare the Cardamom
    1. Peel and powder the cardamom.
  4. To Make the Rajgira Sheera or Halwa
    1. In a heavy bottomed vessel or kadhai, over medium flame, melt the ghee.
    2. Add the Rajgira Atta and saute till it starts to change colour.
    3. Add the sugar and cardamom powder.
    4. Mix well.
    5. While stirring constantly, gradually add the water. Ensure that no lumps are formed.
    6. Cook over medium heat till the ghee starts to separate at the edges.
    7. Turn-off the heat.
  5. Garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios.
  6. Offer as naivedyam and serve as prasadam.


  • Do use the stated amount (or even more) ghee. I made one batch of “diet” halwa with 2 tbsp ghee and it was an absolute disaster.
  • You do not need more that 2 cups water for 1 cup of Rajgira Atta. It may look less but it is not.
  • Be sure to saute the flour well till it is aromatic and just starts to change colour.
  • Always serve Rajgira Sheera after warming it. When it is cold, it is a bit gluggy.
Rajgira no Sheero or Halvo
Rajgira Sheera or Halwa


Mavina Hannina Rasayana (Mango Rasayana)

Mango Rasayana, Mavina Hannina Rasayana
Mango Rasayana, Mavina Hannina Rasayana

Even though monsoons have set in (sorta), there are still lovely juicy mangoes available in Mumbai. This weekend my dad got about a dozen and since they were ripening quickly I was looking to use them quickly. Of course, there were the usual lineup of recipes; Mambazha Pulissery or Mambazha Mor Kuzhambu, Mango Lassi, or Mango Milkshake. Then as I was soaking rice for Neer Dosa I remembered Mavina Hannina Rasayana or Mango Rasayana.

Mavina Hannina Rasayana is the Udupi version of Aam Ras and is made by blending together sweet mangoes with coconut milk and jaggery. It is a simply awesome accompaniment to Neer Dosa and Puris. In my version I did not use too much jaggery as my mangoes were sweet enough. This also meant that the texture and colour of my Mavina Hannina Rasayana was also paler but I was OK with that.

How to Make Mavina Hannina Rasayana (Mango Rasayana)

Makes: 3 Cups

Time: 10-15 Minutes


  1. Pulp of Ripe Mangoes – 2 Cups
  2. Fresh Coconut Milk – 1 Cup
  3. Grated Jaggery/Sugar – 1/2 Cup (I used about 1 tbsp)
  4. Cardamom – 2


  1. Peel and powder the cardamom.
  2. Add the cardamom powder and the sugar/jaggery to the mango pulp.
  3. Mix well and set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the fresh coconut milk and mix well.
  5. Enjoy with Mavina Hannina Rasayana or Mango Rasayana with Neer Dosa, Chapati or Puri.
Mango Rasayana - Udupi Recipe
Mango Rasayana – Udupi Recipe


  • Instead of mango pulp, you could also cut 2 mangoes into fine pieces and just mix them into the coconut milk. 🙂

Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari – Carrot and Mung Salad – Rama Navami Special

Kosambari is a traditional naivedyam for Rama Navami which heralds the end of Chaitra Navaratri. I have already written about the traditional Kosambari which is made from Cucumber and Moong Dal.

Here is a version of Kosambari made with carrot. I make it often through the summer as it is a light, tangy, crunchy salad.

How to Make Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari

Serves: 2


  1. Grated Carrot – 1 Cup
  2. Hesarubele or Moong Dal – 1/2 Cup
  3. Grated Coconut – 1/4 Cup
  4. Green Chillies – 2
  5. Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
  6. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  7. Curry Leaves – 4 to 6
  8. Oil – 1 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste

The Ingredients for Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari



  1. Soak the moong dal in water for about 1 hour.
  2. Drain all the water from the moong dal.
  3. Chop the green chillies to very small pieces.
  4. Mix together the grated coconut, drained moong dal, grated carrot, lemon juice, green chillies, and salt.
  5. Heat the oil.
  6. Add the mustard seeds.
  7. When the mustard seeds start to crackle, turn off the heat.
  8. Add the curry leaves to the hot oil and mix.
  9. Add the tempering to the Kosambari.
  10. Let the Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari rest for at least 10 minutes.
  11. Serve the Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari as a part of a meal or eat like a salad.

Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari - Moong Dal and Grated Carrot Salad from Karnataka