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Weekend millet recipe: Get creative with proso millet idlis

Cooking with millet is science. But not rocket science!

Written by Shalini Rajani | New Delhi |
Updated: October 4, 2020 11:43:22 am
cooking, millet recipes, cooking with millet, stuffed idli recipe, easy recipes, healthy eating, indian express newsTo make it look more interesting, you can decorate the platter with steamed and pureed beetroot sauce. (Photo by Shalini Rajani)

If you understand the textures of different millet, you can cook possibly anything. Before joining my online workshops, my students struggled a lot with basic recipes like idlis and dosas. In fact, whenever I post a food story, my Instagram is full of DMs asking which millet I have used, how much is the lentil-millet ratio, how thick or runny a batter should be, and so on.

Although I love to reply to each query, there are times when it is not possible to detail out, because the basics need to be explained first. Which is why, I keep coming up with webinars and invite people from all across. This Wednesday, I am coming up with one of my favourite webinars on ‘mistakes we do while cooking with millet’. At a very reasonable ticket, this webinar is planned to give out a lot of information to its viewers. I will be talking about the techniques, mistakes, portion, getting creative with millet and understanding them. There will also be a giveaway of five of my favourite recipes to help you kick-start your millet journey in no time.  You can reach out to my Instagram handle to know more about it.

But before that, here is a simple millet idli recipe that was made creative with colours of beetroot and raw turmeric, and was stuffed with Cajun-spiced potatoes and nutritious seeds. This recipe is also a part of my online 5-day millet workshop (spread across 45 days) and has been beautifully improvised by many of my students as they learnt more about millet, their textures and health benefits.

ALSO READ | This Sunday, eat healthy with barnyard millet khichdi and barbecued veggies

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Cooking with millet is, after all, a science. But not rocket science!

Read more for the step-by-step recipe of stuffed millet idlis, and do take a look at how beautifully my online participants have improvised this recipe.

cooking, millet recipes, cooking with millet, stuffed idli recipe, easy recipes, healthy eating, indian express news Photos by Shalini Rajani; designed by Shambhavi Dutta

Stuffed millet idli

Ingredients (makes 16 idlis):

  • 1 cup proso millet (can be replaced with barnyard millet)
  • ½ cup urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
  • 1-inch grated raw turmeric
  • 2 tbsp thickly grated beetroot
  • Rock salt to taste
  • Oil to grease
  • Water as required

Ingredients for stuffing:

  • 1 cup boiled and mashed potatoes
  • 1 tsp Cajun spice (can be replaced with pizza seasoning)
  • 2 tbsp pre-roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Freshly chopped coriander and mint leaves
  • Rock salt to taste


  1. Thoroughly-wash millet and dal, and soak for 6-8 hours separately.
  2. Soak methi seeds in a separate bowl.
  3. Once soaked, blend millet, dal and methi seeds together in a mixer into a fine batter. Add water adequately.
  4. Add salt and allow the batter to ferment for next 8-10 hours. Make sure you keep it covered and undisturbed in a cool dark place.
  5. Once the batter is nicely fermented, add grated turmeric and beetroot, but do not whisk it. Rather give it a gentle stir so that the batter is not coloured fully with beetroot and turmeric. This will make your idlis extremely beautiful post steaming.
  6.  Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients of the stuffing and divide it in 16 equal parts.
  7. Pre-heat your idli steamer and grease your idli moulds.
  8. Now pour half a spoon of the batter on mould, followed by one portion of the potato stuffing. Cover this stuffing with the batter again. Repeat this for all moulds.
  9. Steam idlis for good 12-15 minutes on high flame. Keep it on low flame for next 3-4 minutes and then turn the flame off.
  10. Take them out of the steamer but de-mould only once they are cooled and are easy to handle.
  11. Once cooled, de-mould and serve with your favourite dip.

ALSO READ | Harness the power of buckwheat with this scrumptious salad

cooking, millet recipes, cooking with millet, stuffed idli recipe, easy recipes, healthy eating, indian express news Consumption of beetroot helps lower blood pressure. (Photo by Shalini Rajani)

Please note: To make it look more interesting, I have decorated the platter with steamed and pureed beetroot sauce. You can always improvise it and share the picture with me. I will be happy to help you.

ALSO READ | This Sunday, try sourdough discard crackers with sorghum millet

Health benefits of proso millet, beetroot and raw turmeric

Proso millet contains high lecithin which supports the neural health system. It is rich in vitamins (niacin, B-complex vitamins, folic acid), minerals and essential amino acids. It has a low glycemic index and reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes.

Beetroot is packed with vitamins A, C, K, beta-carotene, polyphenols, antioxidants and folate, all of which help to boost blood count and immunity. Consumption of beetroot helps lower blood pressure. Beetroot has anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties that help flush out toxins from the body, which reflects as a healthy and glowing skin.

Raw turmeric has many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Excellent for immunity, turmeric also improves the symptoms of depression and arthritis.


(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups)

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First published on: 04-10-2020 at 10:23:42 am

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