Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ragi Dosa (Finger Millet Crepes)

Ragi or Finger millet is very healthy and I remember my mom making porridge or kanji with ragi. One other dish that I remember from my "wonder" years, though only vaguely is Ragi urundai or Ragi Mudha where boiled raagi is mixed with jaggery. Since I do not seem to remember much about the ragi urundai, I think its safe to assume it wasn't one of my favorites. Maybe if I try it now, I might have a different opinion but that's for another day. Anyway, coming back to the present, I am trying to include a variety whole grains in our diet to make a healthy meal without sacrificing the taste. I find that the best way to incorporate these without having to try too hard is to substitute whole grains in places where we use rice or refined flour. Thus was born Ragi dosa.

I wanted to try the instant dosa variety but surprisingly I had the mood and enthusiasm to actually make fermented idli/dosa batter. So I decided to use ragi in place of rice and grind it along with urad dal, ferment it for 12 hrs or so as we would do for the traditional idli. Looking up online I found a number of recipes for making ragi idli/dosa batter and I realized it might not be wise to remove rice completely from the equation. So I used 2 parts ragi, one part rice and one part urad dal for my batter. I should say I am pretty pleased with the result.

  1. Ragi flour is widely available in Indian grocery stores. You can also use whole ragi if you have them on hand. Soak it for a few hours and then grind it separately.
  2. Fermentation of this ragi containing batter took longer than my usual idli batter. I had to wait almost 18 hrs or so before I could say it was fermented enough.
  3. Once the dal is well soaked, decant the water. Set aside half a cup of this water and discard the rest. I find that using the water that the urad dal soaked in, while grinding helps the fermentation process.
  4. I started out with making idlis with this batter as soon it was fermented enough, 2 days later I made dosa and a few more days later I made uttapam. All three dishes came out just fine.
2 cups ragi flour (Finger Millet flour)
1 cup Idli rava (Cream of rice)
1 cup whole urad dal (White lentils)
Salt to taste

  1. Soak urad dal for 5-6 hrs in water. Set aside half a cup of the water that the urad dal soaked in. Discard the rest. Grind it to a smooth paste with just enough water in a food processor, a blender or a wet grinder.
  2. Mix the idli rava and ragi flour (or ground ragi, if using whole grain) to the urad dal paste. Add more water to get a thick consistency. You can mix it by hand but I find using a food processor much easier to mix all the ingredients evenly.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl. Add salt, mix well. Make sure your bowl is large enough to hold the batter once it ferments and rises.
  4. Place the bowl in a warm place and let ferment. This takes anywhere between 12-24 hrs.
  5. Now you can use this batter to make either dosa, idli or uthappam.

For Dosa:
For dosa, pour a ladle full of the batter on a hot griddle and spread it into a thin circle.
Drizzle a tsp of oil (preferably sesame oil) around the dosa. Flip when the bottom turns light brown in color and cook the other side for a minute or so.
Remove the dosa from the pan. Serve hot with sambar, chutney and/or milagai podi.

This will be my entry to Divya's "Show me your whole grain" event.

Enjoy !!


Meena said...

I recently started making ragi dosa...dosa looks the collection of recipes!

Jagruti said...

Wow..millet flour dosa! great..looks yummmy..I can't even make normal dosa..:0(

Usha said...

Ragi dosai looks yum ! I usually make the instant type, love your ground batter type ragi dosai :-)

Gulmohar said...

Healthy and yumm.Never tried my hands on millet dosa...

Roochi said...

Nice Dosas... healthy...

Aruna said...

this is the best looking raagi dosa on the web!I like the look of the texture which is light and crispy (unlike some others from different blogs). btw, did you try adding brown rice flour/brown rice instead of regular rice/flour to make it more healthy? I noticed that making idlies with brown basmati rice with a bit of quinoa grain is making my idlies not only healthy, but fluffy as well:)