Proso Millet Idli (No Rice Idli Recipe)

Step By Step Recipe to Make Proso Millet Idli or Pani Varagu Idli at home. A No Rice Idli Recipe that tastes best with Sambar and Chutney for breakfast.

Proso Millet Idli (No Rice Idli Recipe)

Starting the New Year with a healthy South Indian Vegetarian, low oil breakfast recipe made with millets. Presenting Proso Millet Idli Recipe or Pani Varagu Idli.

The Proso Millet Idli is super soft and delicious and contains No Rice. Yes, you heard it right – this is a No Rice Idli Recipe. This recipe also doesn’t call for poha or flattened rice, cooked rice either.

Proso Millet or Pani Varagu in Tamil is one of the many varieties of Millets. It is also known as Barri in Hindi.

Proso Millet or Pani Varagu
Proso Millet or Pani Varagu

Like all millets, Proso Millet can be cooked in different ways like khichdi, upma or just pressure cooked like rice and eaten with a choice of protein (dal) and vegetables. They are Gluten Free and Vegan in nature.

Proso Millet Idli
Piping Hot Proso Millet Idlis and Filter Coffee Ready

I cook with a variety of millets at home and often include them as part of our breakfast meal.

Since Narayan is a huge fan of Idlis, I end up making Proso Millet Idlis atleast once or twice a week either as part of breakfast or early dinner. The love for Idli is quite evident from the list of recipes on the blog, tried with many ingredients.

Some Idli Recipes on the blog

Adding millets in lieu of Rice in the Idli batter makes a lot of difference in terms of fullness and satiety levels. There is absolutely no compromise in taste, softness and texture of the idlis, whatsoever.

In case you haven’t tried Ragi Idli or Finger Millet Idli recipe from the blog, then I urge you to try the same. It is not an instant recipe and uses whole Ragi Seeds instead of Ragi Flour.

For the Ragi Idli Recipe, I added Rice so this time I thought of sharing a No Rice Idli Recipe for many who avoid white rice. For the very same reason, I have avoided adding Poha or cooked rice too in the batter, which is otherwise added to increase softness.

Softness depends on good fermentation and sufficient water used while grinding. Excess water leads to flat Idlis and less water would turn the idlis hard.

The step by step pictures below will help you gauge the quantity of water required for grinding the batter.

Proso Millet Idli or Pani Varagu Idli
Soft Millet Idli (No Rice Idli Recipe)

Another common issue is the fermentation – Since its winters in India, my batter took around 10 hours to ferment which otherwise ferments within 7 to 8 hours.

When I saw the batter still not fermented after 5 – 6 hours, I chucked the vessel inside the OTG and ended up with a beautiful fermented batter.

Tip – In cold countries, you can leave the oven light on and keep the vessel inside, covered. Ensure you keep a plate below the vessel to avoid the batter from overflowing.

The Proso Millet Idli batter is ground using a Mixer Grinder and not in a stone grinder, like all my Idli recipes on the blog. So if you are wondering only stone grinders yield soft idlis, think again!

If you are trying Idli for the first time and are looking for tips and tricks on how to soak batter, fermentation tips etc, please go through the Traditional Idli Recipe on the blog with tips to make soft idlis every time.

Note – You can follow this recipe and try it with any available Millet of your choice like Foxtail Millet, Barnyard Millet etc too with the same proportions as mentioned below.

Step by Step Proso Millet Idli Recipe

(1) Measure Proso Millet and add it to a bowl.

Proso Millet

(2) Similarly, measure Urad Dal and add it in a separate bowl along with methi seeds or fenugreek seeds.

Urad Dal with Methi Seeds

(3) Soak both the above i.e. Millets and Urad Dal, separately with enough water for atleast 6 hours.

(4) After they have soaked, drain the water and first add the Urad Dal to the mixer grinder jar. Just cover it with little water for grinding (as shown below)

Soaked Urad Dal with Methi Seeds

(5) Thick Urad Dal batter is ready.

Urad Dal Batter

(6) Now in the same mixer grinder jar, add the soaked and drained millets. Add some water for grinding (once again, as shown below) and grind it to a smooth paste.

Proso Millet

(7) Add the ground millet batter to the Urad Dal batter.

(8) Mix both the batters by hand (important step especially during winters)

Mixing the Idli batter with hand aids good fermentation

(9) Set the batter aside (covered) in a warm spot or inside an OTG / Microwave if the weather is cold outside to ferment for 8 to 10 hours or overnight.

(10) The fermented batter is ready.

Fermented Idli batter with Proso Millet

(11) Gently mix the batter and add salt.

Fermented Proso Millet Idli Batter
Proso Millet idli Batter

(12) You can either make idlis immediately or store this batter in the refrigerator in a box or vessel with tight lid.

(13) If you plan to make idlis immediately, grease the idli plates with oil.

Greased Idli Plates

(14) Pour the batter carefully into the idli moulds. As you can see, Always leave room for the idlis to spread while steaming, which leads to fluflly idlis. Do not overflow the plate with idli batter.

(15) Steam the idlis for 10 to 12 minutes.

Millet Idli Batter ready to steam

(16) After steaming, allow the idlis to rest on the counter top for 5 minutes before serving them.

(17) Soft Proso Millet Idlis are ready to eat

Proso Millet Idli is ready to eat

What is Idli without Chutney? – Here are Some Chutney Recipes For you!

Proso Millet Idli
Soft and Fluffy Proso Millet Idli
Proso Millet Idli Recipe

Proso Millet Idli (No Rice Idli Recipe)

Vidya Narayan
Delicious, Soft Idlis made with Proso Millet or Pani Varugu. A healthy, Millet based South Indian Vegetarian breakfast recipe that contains No Rice. Low Oil and Steamed Snack tastes best with Sambar and Chutney.
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Fermentation 10 hrs
Total Time 10 hrs 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 20 Idlis

Equipment

  • Idli Steamer
  • Mixer Grinder

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups Proso Millet or Pani Varagu 1 cup is 125 ml measurement
  • 1 cup Urad Dal
  • 1/2 tsp Methi Seeds or Fenugreek Seeds
  • Water as required to soak, grind the batter and Steaming the idlis
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsp Oil for Greasing the Idli plates

Instructions
 

  • Measure Proso Millet and add it to a bowl. Similarly, measure Urad Dal and add it in a separate bowl along with methi seeds or fenugreek seeds.
  • Soak both the above i.e. Millets and Urad Dal, separately with enough water for atleast 6 hours.
  • After they have soaked, drain the water and first add the Urad Dal to the mixer grinder jar. Just cover it with little water for grinding.
  • Now in the same mixer grinder jar, add the soaked and drained millets. Add some water for grinding (once again, as shown below) and grind it to a smooth paste.
  • Add the ground millet batter to the Urad Dal batter.
  • Mix both the batters by hand (important step especially during winters)
  • Set the batter aside (covered) in a warm spot or inside an OTG / Microwave if the weather is cold outside to ferment for 8 to 10 hours or overnight.
  • The fermented batter is ready. Gently mix the batter and add salt.
  • You can either make idlis immediately or store this batter in the refrigerator in a steel container or vessel with tight lid.
  • If you plan to make idlis immediately, grease the idli plates with oil.
  • Pour the batter carefully into the idli moulds. Always leave room for the idlis to spread while steaming, which leads to fluflly idlis. Do not overflow the plate with idli batter
  • Steam the idlis for 10 to 12 minutes. After steaming, allow the idlis to rest on the counter top for 5 minutes before serving them.

Notes

  • The recipe makes 20 Idlis. 
  • Shelf Life of Batter – Lasts a week in a refrigerator. Can be frozen and used too. 
  • The Recipe is Gluten Free and Vegan. 
  • Note – You can follow this recipe and try it with any available Millet of your choice like Foxtail Millet, Barnyard Millet etc too with the same proportions as mentioned below.
 
Keyword Gluten Free Breakfast,, Millet Idli Recipe, No Rice Idli Recipe, Pani Varagu Idli, Proso Millet Idli, Proso Millet Recipes, South Indian Breakfast Recipe, Vegan Recipe
Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @masalachilli_vidyanarayan or tag #masalachilli_vidyanarayan

Some Other Traditional South Indian Breakfast Recipes

  • Adai (Mixed Lentils and Rice Dosa) – High Protein Dosa or Savory Crepes that is quite filling as breakfast or brunch. Combine with a chutney of your choice or enjoy with jaggery during winters.
  • Uppu Kozhukattai – Steamed Rice and Lentil filling Breakfast Dumplings.

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Thank you for visiting

Vidya Narayan

Views: 7742

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Kalyani

    We are idli fans too & this varagu idli is loved by all at home, I make it slightly different! The next day crispy dosa with the same batter 🙂 and no one’s the wiser when the secret ingredient millets is not revealed right?

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Absolutely agree Kalyani.

  2. Sucheta

    Is it varai / mirya/ sama rice which is used for fasting?

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Hi Sucheta, this is not Varai or Vayache Tandul or Samak Chawal that is used for fasting. This is a different millet called Proso or barri in hindi. If you dont find this, you can try it with foxtail or barnyard millet too, which I have mentioned in the post.

  3. Mala

    It is something different ! I just want to know Barry millet is what in Gujarati language! It’s a Barley, or JUWAR?

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Hi, Barri Millet or Proso Millet in Gujarati is called Cheno. This millet is neither Jowar nor Barley. Hope this helps. Thank you.

  4. Vasu

    5 stars
    Amazing!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you

  5. Kavya

    5 stars
    Tried dosai it came out really yummy. Thanks Vidya for the wonderful recipe.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you for the feedback Kavya, much appreciated and glad you liked it as well.

  6. Mary Ann

    5 stars
    I would like to try this recipe with millets. Love the idea that it does not hv carbs. I hv Proso millet flour. How many cups of flour should I use for this idli recipe? If I use the flour, would the number of cups of Urad dhal need to be altered?

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Unfortunately, I have not made this recipe with Flours so wouldn’t be in any position currently to help you with exact proportions for the Idli specially. You can mix the flour and grind the soaked urad dal and make Dosa or crepes instead by adding water and adjusting consistency. Extremely sorry. I hope you find some recipes useful. Thanks Mary Ann for dropping by.

  7. Sucheta

    I tried the same recipe using little millets. It came out very spongy. I just added 1/4 cup of Aval. Thank u Vidyaji.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      That’s wonderful Sucheta and thank you for sharing.

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