Little Millet (Samai) Idly

Yields: 8 Servings Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 24 Hr Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 24 Hr 15 Mins

Incorporating millets have become a practice in my household these days. I try different recipes with them and one such hit recipe is this Samai Idli / Little Millet Idli. I get requests from readers and friends on the availability of millets in the USA. Please try to get them from online( amazon), Trader Joe’s has foxtail millet and barnyard millet at times. Some Indian stores have them in their organic section, Vrat ka Khaana section, or just order on customer request. I quickly grabbed half a kg of each of the millet variety that was available in the Organic store in India that me and mom visited. You can also find these millets available at Nilgiris supermarket outlets in India. They have wonderful varieties of millet ready mix powders like dosa mix, adai mix, Millet idli podi mix porridge mix, and not to forget dhokla mix available in their aisles. It was amazing to hear when a salesperson told these are fast-moving nowadays.  We also grabbed a pack of multi – millet adai mix from there and tried at home. It tasted good, however a bit spicer for our taste buds. After then, I tried several combinations of millet and started preparing Idlis, dosas, and adai at home itself.

Samai Idli was a one such hit recipe with the busy munchkin at home. Idlis are always supposed to be in white color for him and this is one such healthy Idli choices for the busy little guy. Altering proportions of millets and dal along with fenugreek seeds makes this idli an often visitor in my household. Pair this idly with any side dishes like chutney, sambar, or simply podi of your choice.


0/5 Ingredients
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    Main Ingredients


0/5 Instructions
  • Measure and soak 1.5 cups of little millet / Samai in water. Let it soak for about a minimum of five hours.
  • Soak 1/3rd cup of Urad dal along with 1/4th tsp of methi/Fenugreek seeds for three hours.
  • Transfer the urad dal and grind it to a smooth paste. Once it is grounded, add soaked millets and grind them to a smooth batter. This will take about 20 - 25 mins. Transfer to a bowl along with water and add salt to taste.
  • Allow it to ferment overnight. The next morning, mix the fermented batter with a ladle.
  • Grease idli plates and pour the batter in to each plate. Steam cook for 10 mins and transfer the steamed idlis to a serving bowl. Serve them hot with any chutney, sambar or powders of your choice.


  • Grinding the batter to the right consistency is important for this Idli. Millets take less time for grinding than rice.
  • The addition of poha is to increase the softness of idlis. You may or may not add them. But I would suggest to.
  • I tried making dosa with the leftover batter and it was crispy like the ones from regular dosa batter.

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