Saturday 23 March 2024

Little Millet Idli/Dosa (சாமை இட்லி/ தோசை)

Little millet (சாமை) is a minor millet that is rich in vitamins like folic acid and vitamin B3 as well as minerals like calcium, phosphorus and iron. This millet can be used as staple rice, and today let us make idly and dosa using little millet.


Little millet - 4 cups

Whole urad dhal or Black gram dhal - 1 cup

Methi or fenugreek seeds - 1 tablespoon

Salt - to taste

Oil - for making dosa and for smearing idly moulds


How to prepare the batter: Wash and soak little millet separately. You may have to wash the millet several times till the water runs clear. Let the millet soak for 8 hours. Wash and soak urad dhal and fenugreek seeds together, and let 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 little 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 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 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. 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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