Wednesday 28 February 2024

Foxtail Millet Idly/Dosa (தினை இட்லி/தோசை)

Foxtail millet (தினை) is a small millet that is rich in protein, dietary fiber, calcium and iron. I have already shared several foxtail millet recipes with you. We can also use this millet to make the usual breakfast items such as idly or dosa, which can be as tasty as the regular idly or dosa. Let us proceed with the recipe.

Ingredients for the batter:

Foxtail millet - 2 teacups

Idly rice - 1 teacup

Whole urad dhal - ¾ teacup

Fenugreek seeds - ¾ tablespoon

Salt - to taste

Oil - for making dosa and for smearing idly moulds


How to prepare the batter: Wash and soak idly rice and foxtail millet separately. You may have to wash the millet several times till the water runs clear. Wash and soak urad dhal and fenugreek seeds together. Let all the ingredients soak for 4-5 hours. Drain the water and grind urad dhal and fenugreek seeds using a wet grinder or a mixer-grinder into a spongy mass. Transfer to a large vessel. Now grind the soaked idly rice and foxtail millet into a smooth paste. This way you can make both idly and dosa with the same batter. However, if you want to make only idly you can remove the rice and millet paste when the consistency is slightly coarse. Alternatively if you want to make only dosa, you can grind the paste to a very fine consistency. After grinding to the desired consistency, transfer the rice-millet paste to the same vessel on top of the urad dhal paste. Add required salt and mix both the pastes very well. Cover and allow it to ferment for 8 hours. 

Note: Use a larger container to hold the batter overnight, as the batter will rise when fermented.

How to prepare idlies: Mix the batter well before using. Smear the idly moulds with oil. Pour batter up to the brim in each mould. Pour 300 ml of water in a pressure cooker or rice cooker. Steam the idlies for 5-7 minutes. Once the idlies are cooked, the steam will smell of idly flavor. Switch off the stove and remove the idly mould. Allow the idlies to cool for a minute or two. Remove the idlies from the mould using a knife or flat spoon, and transfer to a hot case. Serve hot with chutney and sambar.

Note: You may test if the idlies are cooked by using a wooden tooth pick. Wet the tooth pick and drive it through the idly in the mould. If the idly is cooked, the tooth pick will come out smoothly with no batter sticking on it.

How to prepare dosas: Mix the batter well before using. Add water, if required, to make a smooth batter with pouring consistency. Heat the tava on medium flame. Once ready, spread the batter evenly on the tava. You may make the dosa slightly thick or thin and crisp. Add oil around the dosa and allow it to cook for a minute. When cooked, bubbles appear on the surface of a thick dosa. If you are spreading the batter thin, wait for the dosa to become golden brown. Turn the dosa over and cook for short while. Remove from the tava and serve hot with chutney and sambar.

Note: You may refrigerate the batter and use it make idlies and dosas as needed. Idlies are preferably made on the first two days. Beyond two days the batter may start to sour and idlies will not taste good.

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