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Recipe: Kodo Millet Idli

Updated: May 29, 2021

Kodo millet is a gluten-free grain, rich in various micronutrients and high in fibre. The process of fermentation involved in making of idlis increases the bio-availability of nutrients and supports digestive health. Therefore, consuming kodo millet in the form of idlis is a great way to enjoy its health benefits while relishing a delicious meal.


  • 1 katori kodo millet grain

  • ¼ katori urad dal

  • ¼ katori poha

  • 1 tsp meethi seeds

  • 1½ tsp salt (can be adjusted as per taste)

  • Oil to grease

Serving: 12 medium size idlis

Calorific Value (per idli):

  • Energy: 74.58

  • Protein: 3 gm

  • Carbs: 14.78 gm

  • Fats: 0.5 gm

  • Fibre: 2 gm




  1. Rinse kodo millet grain thoroughly until water runs clear. Soak them in water for 5-6 hours.

  2. Wash dal and methi seeds. Soak them separately in a bowl of water for 4 hours.

  3. About 30 minutes before blending the batter, separately soak poha in a bowl of water.

Steps to prepare idli batter:

  1. Drain out the water in which kodo millet was soaked. Grind it into a coarse paste in a grinder by mixing little amount of water.

  2. Drain out water from dal, methi seeds and poha. Blend them together in a grinder with water just as needed until batter turns smooth and fluffy. Transfer this mixture to the vessel containing kodo millet paste.

  3. In order to get fluffy idlis, your batter should be of thick and pouring consistency. Check the consistency of water and add some water if required to get the desired consistency. Do remember not to add a lot of water as it will turn batter to flowing consistency and your idli will turn out flat.

  4. With clean hands, blend the mixture to a smooth batter.

(Note: In case you are using kodo flour instead of whole grains, then mix the flour with dal, methi seeds and poha paste. Add little water to create a batter of pouring consistency. Then with clean hand blend the mixture to form a smooth batter.)

Steps to ferment idli batter:

  1. Cover the batter vessel with a piece of cloth and keep aside in warm place for fermentation. To check whether fermentation is complete, check the volume of the batter. If the batter gets double in volume, it has fermented properly.

(Note: Fermentation usually takes 5-16 hours depending on the room temperature. If your room temperature is around 26-32°C then it will take around 8-10 hours for fermentation. Once your batter doubles in volume stir it properly and keep batter in the fridge to stop fermentation process. Letting batter sit outside will result in over-fermentation which will make the batter sour in taste. Take batter out 30 minutes before you want to make idlis so that batter comes to room temperature.)


Steps to make soft and fluffy idlis:

  1. Take the idli steamer and add half cup of water in it.

  2. Close the idli steamer and put it on medium flame so that steam produces inside.

  3. Take your idli moulds and grease them with oil.

  4. Add salt to the batter and mix it well.

  5. With the help of a round spoon pour the batter to greased idli moulds.

  6. Insert your moulds in the idli stand and place it inside the steamer. Be careful at this stage as steamer will be hot and will be emitting hot steam.

  7. Close your steamer and let idlis get steam cooked for 10-15 minutes.

  8. Check if the idlis are done by inserting a toothpick in an idli. If it does not come out clean, then keep again for a few more minutes. When done, remove the idli moulds from the steamer. Do not overcook the idlis as they may become dry.

  9. Remove your idlis from the mould.

Your kodo idlis are ready! Serve them with coconut chutney.


You can make these into masala idlis using your local and seasonal vegetables. Use curry leaves, mustard seeds, finely chopped green chilli and finely grated ginger for tempering. Add vegetables of your choice, and add spices like black pepper, turmeric, salt and little samabar masala. Cut the idli into pieces and mix them well. Serve masala idlis with coconut chutney.

Know your Ingredients:

Kodo Millet

Kodo millet, also known as cow grass, rice grass, ditch millet, Native Paspalum, or Indian Crown Grass originates in tropical Africa. Locally known as Kodon, it is estimated to have been domesticated in India for 3,000 years. Kodo millet grows in warm and dry climate, and its cultivation is environment friendly. It is highly drought tolerant and, therefore, can be grown in areas where rainfall is scanty and erratic. Compared to rice and wheat, Kodo millet is high in fibre, low in carbs, and rich in essential minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. It is also rich in various B vitamins, especially B3, B6 and B8 vitamins. Because of high water-soluble fibre, kodo millet is a low glycaemic food and helps in controlling blood sugar level in our body. It also keeps our body full for long and helps in reducing body weight. Kodo millet is also very rich in magnesium, which is a very common yet under-recognized deficiency.


Pulses are great source of plant-based protein and fibre. In fact, pulses are made up of over 25%-30% protein, which makes them an excellent source of protein for vegetarians. They are also good source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

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