Foxtail Millet Idli

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Cooks in: 20 Minutes Serves: 4 People

Idlis are all time favourite breakfast dish enjoyed throughout our country. Generally parboiled rice is used for making idlis. I have made idlis with all millets and they are equally soft, porus and tasty like the rice ones. Multi Millet idli recipe is already shared. Foxtail Millet idli's light yellow colour attracts everyone and you won't regret making this low carb breakfast delicay!



  1. Wash and soak millet, dal and poha separately for four hours.
  2. Soak fenugreek seeds along with urad dal.
  3. In a blender, first grind dal and fenugreek seeds by adding very little water to a fluffy consistency. Use a table spoon to add water as and when needed.
  4. Grind the millet using very little water to a smooth batter followed by Poha.
  5. Mix everything well adding salt and keep aside for 8 hours to ferment.
  6. Using the Idli cooker, make idlis and serve with Chutney/Sambar.

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  1. Hello ma’am,

    Which millet can replace poha( rice flakes) to make these idlis as I want to avoid rice completely.

  2. Today tried foxtail Millet idly for dinner. It’s really very soft and porous. Thank you very much for the lovely recipe.

    1. Hi Aparna,
      I have shared multi millet idli recipe using various millets. You can follow that recipe and substitute with Barnyard Millet.

  3. Hello Mam,

    Can you please tell me if the proportion mentioned above works for both whole urad dal and split urad? If no then kindly tell me if the above proportion is for whole urad dal or split urad dal.

    Thank you.

  4. Hi, I have been using the very same proportions for quite some time now. Dosas are good but idlis are flop. The batter ferments well too. Still!!!

    1. Hi Nirmala,
      May I know what problem you are facing? Millets batter tends to become watery after fermenting. So, if it is runny, Idlis won’t be fluffy. Make the batter thick before fermenting. Hope this helps you.

  5. Dear Mam
    I recently made kambu idli looking at your page. I see the proportions of the dal , millet are different for this foxtail millet.
    You have given 2 cups millet grains, 1/2 cup urad dal,1/2 cup red poha.

    Can I use the same proportion and replace just the millet ?

    1. Hi Saranya,
      Each millet requires different proportions. I’ve shared the recipe after many trials and hence request you to stick to the proportions mentioned in the recipe to get best results.

    1. Hi Juliet,
      It is better to grind dal and millet separately since dal takes more time to get fluffy texture. You can use a grinder if the quantity is more.

    2. Thanks for the quick response. I use a tabletop grinder and when I grind normally I use 3 cups rice and 1 cup urad dhal and grind both together for 1 hour in the grinder with 4.5 cups of water adding gradually as I grind.
      While using foxtail millet instead of rice can you please let me know how long to grind the millet separately and the dhal separately as I am a novice in idli batter and have narrowed the above method after an aunt gave the measurement and time for grinding.

      1. Hi Juliet,
        Unlike rice, millets absorb less water and time. Grind till it becomes fine rawa. It may take 10 minutes, depending on the quantity. Once you do, by experience, you’ll be able to arrive at the water qty.

  6. Hello mam,

    Tried foxitel millet idlis. It turned out very soft and fluffy. My family loved it. No more rice based idlis . Thank you for this recipe. Loved it!


    1. Hi Lakshmi,
      Glad to know that your idlis turned out well. Try other healthy idlis shared in the site. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

        1. Hi Lakshmi,
          Glad to know that you loved the dosas made with this batter. I suggest, you add any millet flour like ragi, jowar , bajra or multi millet flour to the batter instead of rice flour. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. Hi Priya,
      This recipe is for idli. We are adding year dal accordingly. If you want to make cosas with the same batter, add 1/2 cup of any millet flour or rice flour to the batter and then make dosa. You’ll get crisp ones. Thanks for your visit

  7. Hi , I tried this thinai idli and I am very satisfied with the outcome .since I used grinder I used 3/4 cup Urad dhal..
    My kids are eating the idli too without any complaints about taste or texture . Thanks for this wonderful website .
    Will be trying the multi millet idli soon.

    1. Hi Kanthi,
      Glad to know that you tried this recipe and are satisfied with the outcome. Infant, I love the millet idli more than the normal rice idlis as they give an excellent taste. Thanks for sharing your experience.

        1. Hi Sowmya,
          Happy to know that your Idlis and dosas turned out well. Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your experience.

    1. Hi H D,
      Poha is added to give softness to idlis. I doubt whether oats will give the same result. Anyways, you can try and see! Thanks for your visit.

  8. Tried foxtail millet idlis last week when I was out of idli rice … I am glad I tried it … they tasted awesome and my kids ate it without any complaints (something a mom always wants )

    1. Hi Josi,
      Thanks for trying this recipe. I am glad to know that your kids also enjoyed the healthy idlis!! Please try other recipes posted and share your experience.

  9. I got foxtail millet and didnot know what to make. Found this recipe & tried it today.
    Idlis were sooooo soft and delicious. Better than the rice ones. Me, hubby & my 1 yr old, all of us enjoyed it with sambhar.
    I am a health enthusiast and trying to add more millets to our diet. I would be visiting often to your site to follow.
    Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Dipti,
      Thanks for visiting and validating the recipe. Happy to know that you loved the idlis. I fully agree that they taste better than rice ones! Please try other recipes and share your experience with us.

  10. Thinai idlis turned out to be as soft as a cotton ball. I added grated carrots on the bottom and top of the idlis to make it more attractive. My son is a lover of idlis and said that โ€œThis is the bestest ever idlis I have tasted so farโ€ in his style. Thank you dear for such a healthy breakfast. I think this is the best way to introduce millets to children.

    1. Hi Rama,
      Kids validations are real and they dont hesitate to speak the truth! Happy to know that your son loved it! Adding veggies to idlis makes the dish more nutritional! Thanks for trying and validating.

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