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Ragi Idli served with an array of side dishes on a banana leaf
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Soft Ragi Idli Recipe - Finger Millet Idli | How to make Ragi Idli

A healthy, Vegan, gluten-free & delicious breakfast made from Ragi (Superfood Finger Millet).
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Fermenting Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 30 mins
Author: Padma Veeranki


  • 1 Cup Ragi/Finger Millet
  • 1 Cup Idli Rice or Any short grain rice or Parboiled Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Urad Dal
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Poha Flattened Rice
  • 1 tsp Salt or as needed
  • Water as needed


Soaking, Grinding & Fermenting:

  • Wash and soak Ragi, Rice and Whole Urad Dal separately or together for at least 8 hours. Soak Poha/Flattened Rice 1 to 2 hours before grinding.
  • Drain out the all the water. Add to the mixer jar and grind everything together adding required salt & water. I’m using a mixer grinder to grind, you can also use a traditional wet grinder.
  • Transfer batter to a large bowl and set it aside for 8hrs/overnight until it is well fermented & doubles up in volume.

Making Ragi Idli:

  • Heat water in a idli vessel or steamer. Mix the fermented Ragi idli batter well and pour a ladle of batter into the greased idli moulds and place it inside the steamer or idli cooker.
  • Steam cook for about 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the idli comes out clean. Once done, cool down for 5 minutes. Sprinkle water and remove from the mould.
  • Serve hot with sambar, chutney or any side dish of your choice.

Recipe Video


  • Soak the grains (Rice, Ragi and Urad Dal) for longer (6 to 8 hours) or overnight for smooth idli batter, especially when using a mixer grinder. 
  • Make sure you keep the batter in a warm place for fermentation, covered & undisturbed.
  • It is ideal to place a plate below the bowl or vessel as the fermented dough might spill and lead to wastage (as you can see in the step by step images in the post) 
  • You can avoid adding salt to the batter before fermentation if you live in a very warm place.
  • In case you do not have Idli Rice, you can replace with any short grain rice variety like Sona Masuri or ponni rice. The result would be same. 
  • The batter stays fresh in the refrigerator for at least 4-5 days.