Multigrain idli

multigrain idli

Multigrain idli is one that is made with a combination of grains rather than just rice. Multigrains are more nutritious, especially when they are millets. This multigrain idli is my own version after umpteen trials.

I have been working on this for almost a year. I started with the regular 4:1 ratio of grains to lentil and kept on adjusting the proportion every time.

Most of the time it came out well, but I always felt there was room for improvement. This one is the best of all and will be the keeper recipe for me 🙂  .

I was not a great fan of idlis though I come from a place where idlis are a staple. Suddenly this idli craze has gripped me and I have been trying different varieties of idli for quite some time now.

Not every attempt worked. The ones that have come out successfully like rajma idli and soybean idli are already on my site. I will start posting the commonly popular idlis too like rava idli, Kanchipuram idli, etc in the coming days.

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Getting back to this idli, I have used 6 grains in equal quantities. Other than rice the rest are millets viz ragi, kambu, cholam, samai, and kuthiraivali. The idli came out pillowy soft and remained soft even on cooling.

You can replace the 5 millets that I have used with other millets too like thinai and varagu. Or if you cannot access 1 or 2 of them you can increase the quantity of the rest to replace them.

Completely replacing all the millets with just one millet did not work as well for me. If you guys happen to try do let me know in the comments. For ragi idli, I have a completely different proportion. Will post the recipe soon.

With this base, you can try out whatever combinations you want. Try making 1 or 2 idlis. If it does not work out, just make dosas which will definitely work out.

Also, the best option will be to grind the urad dal and grains separately. Here, since the quantity is less I have ground the urad dal first, then added poha, and finally added the grains to it and ground it all together.

It works even you soak everything together and grind, but this method worked out softer and this ratio has been the best so far.

For people in Qatar, millets like little millet, barnyard millet, proso millet, foxtail millet, or Kodo millet are available in Thiru supermarket or NSM supermarket, Barwa village. You can find them at other malls dealing with Indian products too.

Over to the recipe…

Multigrain idli
These idlis are pillowy soft as well as healthy with the goodness of millets
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Soaking and fermenting time10 hours
Total Time10 hours 25 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Keyword: Millet idli
Servings: 20 idlis
Author: Hema Magesh
  • ¼ cup Ragi (finger millet)
  • ¼ cup Kambu (pearl millet/ bajra)
  • ¼ cup cholam (jowar)
  • ¼ cup samai (little millet)
  • ¼ cup kuthiraivali (banyard millet)
  • ¼ cup idli rice
  • ¾ cup urad dal
  • a handful of aval/poha ( flattened or beaten rice)
  • a pinch of methi (fenugreek seeds)
  • salt as needed
  • water for grinding
  • oil for greasing the idli plates
  • Clean, wash, and soak all the 6 grains together.
    Multigrain idli prep step 1
  • Soak the urad dal with the methi and poha too separately. Soak them all for at least 2 hours.
  • First, grind the urad dal adding water as needed in between. Once it is ground add the poha and grind for a few minutes.
  • Then add the grains to this and grind to a smooth batter. Add salt as needed and ferment it for 6-8 hours or overnight.
    Multigrain idli prep step 4
  • Once it is fermented, mix gently and add more salt if needed. Heat up the steamer and grease the idli plates.
  • Pour the batter on the idli plates and steam for 10-12 minutes. Check for doneness, and scoop the idlis out with a sharp spoon.
    Multigrain idli prep step 5
  • Serve with any chutney or sambar.

Hema’s P.S

  • Fermentation time will vary from place to place.
  • Dosas can also be made with this batter.
  • I have used the wet grinder for grinding. If you don’t have a wet grinder you can use a mixer too, but grind the dal and grains separately and then mix them together.

Hema Magesh signature



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