Recipe for Thinai Idli – Foxtail Millet Idli
Idli and dosai are two dishes which can be easily experimented with, with a variety of whole grains. If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you’ll know that my whole-grain find of this year is Foxtail Millet- you’ll find a couple of recipes featuring them already. It’s thanks to our online grocery store that stocks a lot of these ancient grains and greens that you won’t find in supermarkets that they end up finding their way in many new dishes I experiment with. While I’ve been using the millet grain in salads, patties, upma etc, this time I bought the foxtail millet idli rava to try making idlis. It turned out reasonably soft, definitely denser than white rice idlis- but that’s the whole grain effect- the end products always turn out denser. The advantage of this being you can’t eat as many idlis as you can of the regular ones. Initially you could try substituting 50% of the rice / idli rava with this millet rava and then go to a 100%.
In India: Tinai, chamai, kavalai, kambankorai are some of the names for millet in Tamil. Nuvanam is millet flour. The gruel made from millet, the staple of Ancient Tamils, is called kali, moddak kali, kuul, and sangati. Korralu (Telugu), Navane (Kannada) [Source: Wikipedia]
An idli is a healthy dish as it is, being a combination of a rice and lentil (udad dal), makes a complete set of amino acids, resulting in a good quality protein. So you can alternate between regular idlis and those made using millets, to get more fiber and a variety of nutrients.
Foxtail Millet Idli
Makes roughly 32 or more idlis, depending on the size, you could use this batter over 3-4 days for a variety of dishes such as dosai, uthapam, kuzhi paniyaram etc.