Step by step guide to make Ragi Dosa with whole Ragi grains and Urad Dal. This recipe uses no form of rice or Ragi flour. Make these healthy South Indian millet Dosas for breakfast or dinner and serve them piping hot with some hearty Sambar.
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The biggest challenge when it comes to including millet in our diet is to do so without adding rice. While an exclusive millet-only diet is not recommended by many nutrition experts, positive millets, when included a few times in a week, have great health benefits.
Ragi ( Nachni in Hindi, Keppai/ Kezhvaragu in Tamil) is rich in calcium and is also a good source of protein. Studies show that they are beneficial in controlling blood sugar too. So, including this nutrient-dense millet in our diet is a great idea.
Why do we love this recipe?
☑ This recipe uses only finger millet and urad dal, making this the ideal Ragi dosa made without rice.
☑ This is a fermented dosa batter. You can reap the benefits of both fermented foods and the wholesome nutrition of Ragi aka Nachni.
☑ This is a fantastic nutrient-dense breakfast recipe that also makes for a filling lunch when paired with a light vegetable kurma like this Vellai Kurma.
☑ Ragi is a great source of complex carbs and polyphenols, making it an ideal millet for people looking to cut down their simple carbs intake.
☑ And last but not the least, these no rice dosas taste fantastic with a subtle bite.
Ragi dosa batter without rice flour
Most people who begin new with a millet inclusive diet often assume that making dishes just with millet alone is a challenge. It is true that eating millet in place of simpler carbs like white rice and wheat is an acquired habit. But cooking with them is not much of a challenge.
If you are someone who thinks that Ragi dosa cannot be made without using any form of rice, then let me change that! You will be surprised at the taste of these crispy-edged dosas.
So what is different about this Ragi Dosa recipe?
Whole Ragi and Urad Dal
Unlike the instant ragi dosa, this recipe uses whole finger millet and whole white urad dal. We mainly rely on Urad dal in any Idli-Dosa batter recipe to aid fermentation and to add protein to the dish. This recipe that uses urad dal is the perfect combination of complex carbs+protein.
If you love millet or looking to include millet on a regular basis, then check out our Millet recipes.
Explore more millet recipes
Here are some delicious side kicks that can be paired with these Dosas.
Prep Work and Meal Planning
If you intend to include this in your weekly meal plan, make sure to add finger millet and whole white urad dal to your grocery shopping list.
This ragi dosa batter freezes beautifully! Once the batter has fermented, To freeze this, transfer them to clean silicon bags or freezer-friendly containers. Place it in the freezer and allow to freeze fully.
If you plan to use this frozen ragi dosa batter, allow it to thaw in the fridge over night. If you live in a cold place, you can even leave it out on the counter for 4 to 5 hours before cooking.
Let me quickly share my workflow for this recipe-
During cold days-
Soak the millet+dal in the night- grind in the early morning- allow to ferment.
During hot days-
Soak the millet+dal in the morning- grind late evening- allow to ferment.
You can read more about this in our Millet Idli Dosa Batter post.
Storing the batter – Shelf life
This batter keeps well in the fridge for 3 days. Freeze some batter after its fermented to use later. Store it in a clean air tight container to retain its freshness and prevent mold and fungi.
Pro Tip: Avoid freezing unfermented batter. When you freeze the unfermented batter, you will have to ferment it after thawing. It may not happen successfully owing to the cold treatment that the batter got!
Step by step method
Washing and soaking
Place the ragi in a large mixing bowl. Wash it under running water at least two times. Drain the water used for washing. Add water to this drained ragi and soak for 8 to 10 hours.
Similarly, combine urad dal and fenugreek seeds in a mixing bowl. Wash under running water. Drain this water used for washing, add fresh water and let it soak.
Grinding Urad dal
When the millet and dal has soaked, it is time to grind our batter.
Wash the grinder and the stone well. Make sure the grinder and the stone is moist. We ll first grind our soaked urad dal+ fenugreek.
Drain all the water used for soaking the dal. Switch on the grinder and while its running, add the urad dal gradually. Add 1/4 c water to begin with. Our objective is to grind the urad dal to a smooth, fluffy and light batter. This takes approximately 22 mins in a grinder.
Make sure you stop every 5 mins once and add 1/4 c water. Scrape down the sides and then continue to grind.
You will know that batter is done when a blob of the ground paste floats without disintegrating in a bowl of water. When the batter is ready, transfer it to a large clean mixing bowl.
Pro Tip: I highly recommend using the wet grinder to grind any millet based batter for best results. Using a blender to grind millet can damage the sensitive blades in a blender.
Grinding the finger millet
This s the most important step in this recipe. We are going to be using a slightly different technique to grind the millet today.
Firstly, drain all the water used for soaking the millet completely. There should be absolutely no water.
Stop every 5 mins, scrape down the sides and add 1/4 c ground urad dal to the ragi for grinding. We won’t be using water to make our batter. We are going to rely on the ground batter as our liquid for grinding, instead.
Our objective is to grind the millet to a smooth consistency and it should not be runny or watery. It took me roughly 25 mins to achieve this consistency and i added about 1 c ground urad dal batter to grind.
Mixing the batters and fermenting
When the millet has finished grinding, combine this ground paste along with the remaining urad dal batter. Add salt and mix well. Add about 1/2 c water to the grinder, wash it well and add this water too to the ground paste.
The consistency of the batter should not be too thick or too watery. This is why it s very important not to add too much liquid while grinding. You can always adjust the consistency of the batter if it s thick, later on. But on the other hand, if it becomes too watery, then the dosa will begin to stick to the pan.
Now allow this to ferment for 7 to 8 hours. After this time, the batter would have risen up and will have a beautiful bubble surface.
To make this Dosa, mix the fermented batter well. If you find the consistency of the batter too thick, then add 1/2 c of water for 2 c ragi batter. Mix well. Make sure to adjust the salt as well.
Now heat a cast iron or iron dosa pan. When the pan has heated up, pour a ladle of the batter in the center of the pan. Spread it to a thin circle. Cook on low flame for about 45 secs until you see no raw batter on the surface. Drizzle some oil around the edges.
When done, flip and cook for 30 secs on medium flame. Drizzle some more oil along the edges of the dosa as you do so.
Once the Dosa has finished cooking, flip the dosa over and fold in half. Serve hot with chutney and sambar.
The first time I tried this recipe, I used water to grind the millet. The result was that, the millet simply wouldn’t grind to a smooth paste. It took nearly 1 hour to grind the Ragi. This obviously meant that the Dosas were brittly and not soft too.
So, I suggest using the ground urad dal mixture which is denser to grind this batter.
It took roughly 30 mins and 1 c ground urad dal batter to grind the finger millet for me.
In case you have any questions regarding this recipe, leave a comment and I’ll respond at the earliest possible. If you tried this recipe and enjoyed it, click a picture and share it on Instagram by tagging us @tomatoblues.
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Ragi Dosa -Finger millet dosa
- Wet grinder
- 3 c Whole ragi ( Finger millet/ Nachni/ Kelvaragu)
- 1 c Whole white urad dal
- 1 tbsp Fenugreek seeds
- 3 tsp Salt or to taste
- 6 + 3 c Water
For making no rice Ragi Dosa
- 1 recipe ground ragi dosa batter
- 2 to 3 tbsp Peanut oil
Soaking Ragi and Urad dal
- Place the ragi in a large mixing bowl.
- Wash the Ragi thoroughly. Drain the water used for washing. Add 6 c water and allow it to soak for 8 to 10 hours.
- Add the urad dal and fenugreek seeds to a large bowl.
- Similarly, wash the urad dal and fenugreek seeds. Drain the water used for washing. Add 3 c water and soak for 8 to 10 hours.
Grinding Urad dal
- Wash the grinder before grinding.
- Drain all the water used for soaking the dal.
- Switch on the grinder and while it s running, add the soaked urad dal and fenugreek.
- Add 1/4 c water.
- Grind for 5 mins and stop. Scrape down the sides. Add 1/4 c more and continue to grind for 5 mins.
- Repeat this process - grinding, stopping, scrapping, adding 1/4 c water and grinding for 2 more times.
- The urad dal takes about 22 mins to grind to a light fluffy batter. Use approximately 1 c water to grind Urad dal.
- To check the consistency of the batter, drop a blob of the ground urad dal batter into a bowl of water. If it floats without disintegrating, its done. The batter will resemble butter in texture.
- When done, transfer the ground urad dal batter to a mixing bowl.
Grinding the Ragi
- Drain all the water completely from the soaked ragi. If there is even little water, the ragi will take a long time to grind.
- Add the soaked ragi to the grinder along with 1/4 c ground urad dal batter.
- Grind for 5 to 7 mins. Stop and scrape down the sides. Add another 1/4 c batter and continue to grind for 5 mins.
- Again stop and scrape down the sides.
- Add 1/4 c batter and continue to grind. Repeat this process- grind, stop, scrape, add 1/4 c ground batter and grind for 2 more times.
- The batter should be smooth by this time.
- Ragi takes approximately 30 mins to grind and this grinding process uses approximately 1 c urad dal batter while grinding
Mixing the batters
- When the batter has finished grinding, transfer this to the bowl along with the remaining urad dal batter.
- Add 1/2 c water to the grinder, wash it well and add this water to the batter.
- Now add required salt and mix well.
- Allow the batter to ferment for at least 8 hours.
- Fermenting takes longer if you dont add enough salt or if you live in a cold place.
- The batter will have risen up beautifully with a bubbly surface after fermentation.
Making Ragi Dosa
- Now, mix the batter well.
- If you find that the batter is thick, add 1/2 c water for every 2 c batter. Mix well.
- Heat a cast iron or iron pan.
- Pour a ladle of batter in the center of the pan and slowly spread it to a thin circle.
- Reduce flame to medium, drizzle 1 tsp oil around the edges.
- Cook till you see no more raw batter on the surface. This takes roughly 45 secs.
- When done, flip, drizzle 1/2 tsp oil around the edges.
- Continue to cook for 30 secs.
- When done, flip the dosa, fold in half and serve hot with chutney or sambar.
For Instant Pot & Air Fryer Recipes
Instant Pot timings may vary based on your geographic location. Air fryer settings and timings may vary based on the capacity and the model of the Air fryer.
Nutrition values are provided here as a courtesy and are only a rough guide. Please consult a health care provider if you have any concerns.
More recipes with Ragi
You can also try our Instant Ragi dosa that uses Ragi flour, rice flour, finely chopped onions and cilantro or give our Ragi Chapati a shot.
Anusha, have you made ragi idli with the fermented batter ? The picture of the fermented batter looks so similar to the idli batter texture, that I wonder if this would make excellent fluffy idlis. Pls pls try this too and post. Thanks in advance, Harini
I haven’t tried making Idlis, Harini. But I am guessing it will work