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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Aromas

One Batter, Four Amazing Ragi Dishes

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Ragi or finger millet is gluten-free and very popular millet across south India. It’s rich in Iron and Calcium. We love ragi not only because of its health benefits but also because of the many tasty dishes that can be made with it. In this post, I show how to make one ragi batter and four all-time favorite dishes of the south - soft and spongy Idlis, crisp Dosas, Fluffy Uttapam with lots of veggies, and crispy and mouth-watering Pakodas (or pakoras).

Idli is a steamed cake made from fermented batter - more traditionally a batter made from rice and lentil (Black gram/Urad dal). In this recipe, however, I have not used any form of rice and used FingerMillet (Ragi) flour for the batter. Freshly fermented one is best for making soft and spongy idlis. Idlis come out great on the first day. After fermentation, do not mix the batter as the air pockets in the batter will help to make Idlis fluffy when steamed.

Dosas come out very crisp with this batter on the first day or later. If you like dosas over idlis (like my kids do) you can make them with fresh batter or you can make them later too. The batter stays good for 3 days.

You can make Uttapams with fresh batter or a little sour one. Adding lots of veggies, make the uttapams very tasty with the added goodness from the veggies.

If you love fried food or Wanna break from the usual healthy dishes, Pakodas are a great choice. My family loves Pakodas and gobble it in no time. Full of veggies and paneer, these crispy ragi pakodas are an amazing and easy to make millet snack recipe.

Love millets, please check out some of my posts on millet based recipes.



For Batter [Batter consistency is very important for idli. I highly recommend watching the video to get a feel for it]

  • 3 cups ragi flour [I use Udupi ragi flour from Deep brand]

  • 1 cup whole Urad dal

  • 2 tbsp Chana dal

  • 2 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds

  • 4 cups of water

  • 2 tsp Salt (used after grinding the batter)

1 cup = 250 ml or 128 gms


Making Batter

  • Take urad dal, methi, and chana dal in a bowl. Rinse it well.

  • Add 3 cups of water and let it soak for 2-3 hours.

  • Transfer everything to a wet grinder or a blender. Grind for 20-25 mins until urad dal batter is smooth and fluffy or blend until a smooth paste.

  • Add 3 cups of ragi flour ( one by one) to the urad dal batter. Add 1 cup water and then grind for 10 more min. This will help to mix ragi flour well with the urad dal batter.

  • Transfer everything to a deep bowl.

  • Add salt and mix the batter with your clean hand. Mixing with hand helps greatly with fermentation.

  • Transfer to a deep bowl for enough space for the batter to rise and ferment.

  • Cover and keep in a warm place for about 8 - 10 hours or overnight. This batter takes a little longer time to ferment than rice batter. Depending on the weather, it may take a little longer up to 12 - 14 hours during winter/colder season.


  • I usually leave it overnight in the oven with just the oven light on. It provides enough warmth for the fermentation process to work well even during winter.

Soft and Spongy Idlis

The first-day batter makes soft, spongy, and fluffy idlis. Do not mix the batter. This helps retain the air bubbles in the batter to make fluffy idlis.

  • Without mixing the batter, pour a ladle full of batter in the idli stand. [Watching the video will help here]

  • Steam the Idlis in an idli steamer or cooker for 12-14 minutes.

  • Wet the spoon in water to remove the idlis.

  • Soft and spongy ragi idlis are ready to enjoy. Serve with peanut chutney or coconut chutney and chutney powder with a dollop of Ghee.

Crisp Dosa
  • Mix the batter well.

  • Warm a tava or a girdle on medium flame. Tava should not be very hot when spreading dosa. If the tava is very hot, the batter will stick and it will make it difficult to spread it.

  • Seasoning the tava using Onion helps in preventing the dosa from sticking to the tava.

Plain Dosa

  • Pour a ladle full of batter and spread thin in a spiral motion. Add ½ tsp oil around.

  • Cover and cook for about 2 min or until golden brown.

  • Crispy Ragi dosa is ready.

Masala dosa

  • Pour a ladle full of batter and spread in a spiral motion. Add ½ tsp oil around.

  • Cover and cook for about 2 min or until golden brown.

  • Remove the lid. Add the potato masala. Enjoy with coconut chutney and sambhar.

Fluffy Uttapam


  • Onions finely chopped.

  • Carrot grated.

  • Dill leaves or Coriander leaves finely chopped

  • Green chili finely chopped

You can also add bell peppers or any veggies of your choice.

  • Pour 1 and 1/2 ladle batter and spread thickly in a spiral motion. Add 1 tsp oil around.

  • Cover and cook for about 2 min or until golden brown.

  • Remove the lid.

  • Add finely chopped onion, grated carrot, finely chopped dill leaves, or coriander leaves. You can add bell peppers or any veggies you like.

  • Flip and cook for 2-3 min.

  • Ragi vegetable uttapam is ready.

Crispy Pakoda

Ragi pakoda, full of veggies, is a very crisp and delicious snack. This can be made with leftover batter or when the batter becomes a little sour. It can also be made with fresh batter.


  • 1-2 cups leftover or sour batter. Even fresh batter can be used.

  • ¼ cup onions

  • ¼ cup carrot

  • ½ cup spinach

  • A handful of dill leaves or coriander leaves

  • ½ cup paneer or cottage cheese (Optional)

  • 2 green chili

  • ½ tsp red chili powder

  • ½ tsp salt


  • Finely chop onions, spinach, dill leaves, and green chili. Grate carrot and paneer.

  • Add finely chopped onion, grated carrot, and finely chopped spinach

  • Add grated paneer or cottage cheese (Optional)

  • Add the green chili chopped, red chili powder, and salt.

  • Mix well

  • Warm oil on medium flame.

  • Take ½ tbsp batter and add to oil. Fry until golden brown. Small pakodas are crisp and cooked well. Do not make big pakodas.

  • Enjoy ragi pakodas with chutney or tomato sauce.


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