Healthier Idly (Version 2) using Sorghum and Corn

Healthier Idly (Version 2) using sorghum and corn

Idly/ dosa is a staple South Indian comfort food. Once you make the batter, it only takes few minutes to make dinner/ breakfast and it can be stored for about 10 days. It is usually made of rice and urad dhall (lentil) in the ratio of 4:1. It is a healthy food and the fermentation makes the iron and other nutrients increasingly bio available. But because it is made of large portion of polished rice, I want to make it even more healthier by adding different whole grains/ millets to the regular recipe, to increase its nutrition value and fiber content without changing its softness and taste. So, I tried this recipe and it came out so well. Here is the recipe below.

Serves:25 (3 idlies per serving)

Calories per Serving:295 ; Carb- 62g; Fat- 1g; Fiber- 5g; Protein – 9g

Preparation time:8.5 hr (7 hr soaking time + 1.5 hr Grinding time) Cooking time:  10M 

Difficulty: Moderate


6 cups Idly rice (or any short grain rice)

1 cup White Sorghum

1 cup Corn Grits (Corn Rava/ Broken Corn)

2 cups Urad Dhall (Black Gram)

2 cups boiled rice (optional)

2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

1.5 Tbsp Salt


To make batter:

  1. Soak rice, sorghum, corn and fenugreek seeds together for 6-8 hours.
  2. Soak Urad dhall separately for the same time.
  3. In the grinder, first add cooked rice, grind until soft for about 7-10 minutes, to the same, add Urad dhall and grind until soft and fluffy. If using grinder, grind for 45 minutes. If using blender/mixie, grind for 15-20 minutes adding few ice cubes to prevent the jar and batter from getting over heated.
  4. Transfer the batter to a large container.
  5. Add the soaked rice, sorghum, corn, fenugreek and grind until it becomes soft. If you leave your wet finger inside, it should come out clean (Use the same technique to check Urad dhall consistency)
  6. Now, pour the batter in to the same container.
  7. Add salt and mix well using a long spoon or your hands.(Using hands is best).
  8. Allow it to ferment for about 8 hours or longer if the weather is cold. (The feremnted batter will double it volume, so use container accordingly).
  9. Mix the batter well and store it in an air tight container.

To make Idlies:

  1. Pour about ¼ cup batter in each idly mould, seasoned with little oil and steam for about 8-10 minutes.
  2. You can also steam it in ramekins and other small bowls. The steaming time will increase according to the amount of batter used. To check if the idlies are cooked, insert a fork or tooth pick in the center and it should come off clean.
  3. Serve hot with chutney or sambar.

To make dosa/ crepe:

  1. Pour about ¼ cup batter in a hot tawa or any flat pan and swirl from center to form a thin circle.
  2. Spray / drizzle some oil, flip over using a flat spatula and cook for a minute and serve.

Click White Sorghum Dosa recipe for step wise pictures on how to make dosa

Stepwise pictures:


  1. Preparing the batter might seem a lengthy process. But, once you grind, the batter it can stay good upto 10 days.
  2. The amount given will serve a family of two for 10-12 breakfast/ dinner.
  3. After grinding, you can divide the batter in to two and let only one half to ferment the same day, and leave the second half in the coolest part of refrigerator using an air tight container. You can let it ferment before you decide to use them.
  4. You can also make small batches by decreasing the quantity to half. If so, just soak 3 cups rice, 1 cup corn or sorghum, 1 cup urad dhall and make the batter fresh. Anyways you can store the batter for 10 days if properly refrigerator.
  5. Use Urad dhall with skin for making it even healthier.
  6. Making these small changes will make a big difference in nutrition by increasing the nutrition value including the fiber content.

Tips to aid fermentation if you live in a colder place:

  1. Place the batter in an oven preheated to 175 degree F (79.5 degree C). Turn off the oven once it gets preheated.
  2. Keep the light inside the oven on.
  3. Both the steps will help maintain a warmer temperature that provides optimum condition for fermentation.

Micronutrient Values:

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