Millet (Bajra) Idli – Dosa

These days, everyone is looking to replace white rice in their diet. It becomes increasingly more difficult when making South Indian specialties such as idli and dosa, both of which are heavily rice based. This Millet Idli and Dosa recipe successfully replaces a majority of the rice with heart healthy, magnesium rich, hulled millet. Millet idlis are super soft and fluffy and the millet dosas are full-bodied and delicious. Double the batch to make two different meals out of one preparation!

Prep Time: Soaking – 4 hrs; Grinding – 10 mins; Fermenting – 8-24 hrs, depending on climate
Cook Time: approx 20 mins
Serves – 4


Hulled Millet – 1 cup
Urad Gota or Dal – 1/4 cup
Poha (Flattened Rice) – 1/3 cup soaked in 1/3 cup water
Warm Water – 4 cups, divided for soaking Millet and Urad
Water – 1 cup, divided into 1/4 cup portions for grinding
Kosher Salt – 1/2 tsp
Oil – for pan frying dosa or coating idli stand


1. Soak Millet and Urad Gota/Dal separately in luke warm water for 4 hours.
2. In the last 15 minutes of the 4 hours, soak Poha in 1/3 cup water.
3. In a grinder, add drained Urad, Poha and 1/4 cup water. Start grinding.
4. Add 1/4 cup and continue to grind to a smooth paste.
5. Add drained Millet and 1/4 cup water. Continue grinding.
6. Add remaining 1/4 cup water and grind to a smooth paste.
7. If using Kosher Salt, add it to the batter and mix well. If using iodized salt, wait to add salt until after fermentation.
8. Remove batter into a bowl, cover and allow it to ferment for 8-24 hours (until frothy and bubbly).
9. If making Idlis, lightly oil and fill idli stand with batter. Fill a pot with 1 inch water and allow it to come to a boil. Place idli stand in the pot, cover and steam for 15-16 minutes.
10. Remove idlis carefully from stand and serve immediately.
10. If making dosas, heat a skillet or cast iron tawa and lightly coat with oil. Remove excess oil carefully with a paper towel.
11. Drop a small amount of batter in the center of the skillet and using the flat side of a ladle or bowl, spread the batter outwards in circular motion.
12. Once the batter is no longer wet, drizzle a little oil over the top.
13. Once the edges look light brown, the dosa can either be flipped or served as is, immediately.
14. Both Idli and Dosa can be enjoyed with Coconut Chutney, Sambar or Chutney Powder.

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