We’ve made idlis and dosas with little millet, kodo millet, proso millet, pearl millet, foxtail millet, finger millet and even made them with teff, which it turns out, is also a kind of millet. Oh, and of course we have made them with paddy rice. (Our millet-farming friends insist on calling what generally goes by the name of rice, “paddy rice” to distinguish it from some of the millets which in the local language are actually called varieties of rice, e.g. సామ బీయ్యము or वरी चावल (little millet rice), కొర్ర బీయ్యము (foxtail millet rice), सामक चावल (barnyard millet rice). In this case the term “rice” is used not as a name for the grain but for the whole form of the grain, as opposed to cracked grain (ravva), flattened grain (poha) or flour (atta).
One fine day I realized that I had eight different kinds of millet in the house:
సామలు (Little Millet)
కొర్రలు (Foxtail Millet)
ఆరికలు (Kodo Millet)
వారిగలు (Proso Millet)
సజ్జలు (Pearl Millet – बाजरा)
జొన్నలు (Great Millet – जोवार)
రాగులు (Finger Millet – रागी)
ఊడలు (Barnyard Millet)
Throw in teff and that makes nine. So I decided to make something with all of them. And then added paddy rice to round it out at ten grains. Plus one legume of course, the మినువులు (उरद) or black gram. (Note that black gram is black, and this gives the idlis their earthy grey color.)
Khiyali measured out 1/4 cup of each of the 10 grains and then 1 1/4 cup of urad (black gram). We soaked and ground them as usual and voila!
Note: For step-by-step instructions in making idlis, see this post (with video) on Kodo Millet Idli & Dosa. In lieu of kodo millet you may use another millet or a combination of millets or rice. To make dosas, just dilute the idli batter with a bit of water. See, for example, teff dosa.
Of course, first she had a lot of fun observing how the different grains soaked – how long they floated before they sank, and how many she could correctly identify when we removed the labels.
And here are the idlis! They were so delicious, the first batch was devoured before I could take a picture. So today I took the pictures first!
10-grain idlis in cooker
10-grain idlis with dosakayi
Amarnath Patil Sport Complex/Banganga, BS Devashi Marg, Mumbai Port Trust Colony, Govandi East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400088, India
My name is Aravinda. After my daughter was born I found that the pursuit of peace, justice and sustainability on the home front stretches our minds and challenges us to practice the solutions in our daily lives. As they say, wisdom is gained through experience. And experience is gained due to lack of wisdom. Here I chronicle a bit of both, with a little help from my friends and the world wide web.
Send a question to askammanow AT gmail DOT com and I will give it a whirl.
View all posts by Ask Amma