Bajri Idli and Stir Fried Idli

May 29, 2018mayurisjikoni


Food Bloggers Recipe Swap is a group of food bloggers who prepare a dish from a blogger’s blog. The group initiator Amber pairs up the participants. We then decide what we want to make from our partner’s blog. Usually we add a slight twist of our own or cook it the way we like but the main ingredients remain the same. At the end of the month we share our recipe link on the FB page.

What is idli? Idli is a famous South Indian dish made from fermented rice and white lentil(black gram) batter. It is steamed and considered one of the most healthiest food. It can be served with sambhar, a lentil curry and coconut chutney, or its enjoyed on its own, or its stir fried with a few herbs and spices. The fermentation process breaks down the starch and makes digesting idlis and metabolizing it more easier.

Watch this video and find out why idli is so healthy.

For this month Renu is my partner. I’ve not known Renu for a long time,  got to know her about a few months back through the blogging world. However, its seems that we gel well and I’m glad that I’m able to interact with her through recipes and chitchats that we occasionally have on Messenger.

When I was searching Renu’s blog Cook with Renu for recipes to try out, initially I was looking for something that all the members of this fine group could relate to. However, when I stumbled upon her Bajra Idli recipe, as known as pearl millet idli I just couldn’t resist. I had to try out this super healthy idli. I will not go into why millet is healthy as one can easily find out the reasons on the website.

Before we get into the recipe let’s get to know Renu a bit.

 What made you start a food blog?
I started my blog basically to keep an online version of the recipes, I had learnt from my mom or my experiments. An online version so that it could be accessed from anywhere as managing paper based was difficult and since I am a computer engineer, I prefer soft copies to hard copies. Also friends use to ask for recipes so its easy to share with them too. Earlier I use to just record the recipe but from last 3-4 months have actively started Blogging. 
Whom did you learn cooking from?
My inspiration,my guide, my mentor my Mom
Who is/are your favorite Chef/Chefs?
There are many, but I like Vikas Khana, Ranveer Brar, Kunal Kapoor ,Rakesh Sethi and many more.
What is your favorite Cuisine?
I don’t have a favorite cuisine as I like all types of food. I am a vegetarian though, but to name one I love Italian and Indian specially cooked at home.
What are your other hobbies besides cooking?
I love gardening, painting, baking and I do designer cakes. I am a self thought baker. I love to learn new creative or DIY things.
 Where do you live? Does this place influence the way you cook?

I currently live in Dublin, Ireland since 2013. Originally from Mumbai, India. This place has everything and I cook all types of food. Infact I came to know of many new vegetables and fruits here and it helped me in learning more and more but yes some things specially our local Indian stuff are difficult to find but can be replaced. I would say more than the place what my two little ones and my husband want to eat influences my cooking.

I am so glad I tried out this recipe. I wanted to make stir fried idlis for a long time so decided to use these idlis. Hubby loved the millet idlis.  Thank you Renu for sharing such a wonderful and healthy recipe.








Makes about 20 pieces

For the idlis:

1 cup whole pearl millet (bajra, bajri)

¼ cup rice

¼ cup urad dal (white lentil,black gram lentils)

1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)

½ tsp salt

1 – 1½  cup water

some oil for greasing

For stir fried idlis: serves 6

2 tbsp oil

1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)

¼ cup partially crushed roasted peanuts

1 tbsp urad dal (white lentils)

1 tsp chana dal (chickpea lentils)

1 sprig curry leaves

1-2 chopped green chillis

1 tsp red chilli powder

1-2 dry red chillis

1 medium onion, chopped

¼ tsp asafetida (hing)

½ tsp salt

¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

1 tbsp podi masala (optional)

Preparation of the idlis:

  1. Soak the millet, urad dal and rice separately in some lukewarm water for 6-8 hours.
  2. Drain out the water from each. Add the millet into a sieve and wash under running water. Repeat the same with urad dal and rice.
  3. Grind all three together using the measured water into a smooth batter. The batter should not be watery or too thick. For me 1¼  cup of water was enough.
  4. Add the fenugreek seeds and salt. Mix well.
  5. Let the batter ferment overnight or for 12-14 hours.
  6. Get your idli steaming ready. Grease the idli stand with some oil. Add some water to the steaming pan. The water level should not touch the idli plates.
  7. Bring the water to a boil.
  8. Try not to mix the fermented batter.
  9. Fill the cavity of each idli plate with some batter.
  10. When the water begins to boil, stack up the idli plates.
  11. Close the lid of the pan and let the batter steam for 10 minutes.
  12. After 10 minutes the top of the idlis should appear set. Insert a toothpick into the middle of one idli. If it comes out clean then the idlis are done. If not let it steam for another 5 minutes.
  13. Remove the idli plates from the steamer.
  14. Let the idlis cool for 5 minutes.
  15. Remove the idlis using a butter knife or a spoon. I love using the small plastic spoons we get from ice cream parlors. They work the best.
  16. When the idlis are cool serve it with some chutney or stir fry them and enjoy them as a snack or for breakfast.

Preparation of stir fry idlis:

  1. Cut the idlis into quarters.
  2. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  3. When the oil is hot add chana dal. Let it sizzle for 30-40 seconds.
  4. Add urad dal and let it sizzle for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, dry red chilis and partially crushed peanuts. Stir fry for a few seconds.
  6. Add asafetida and chopped onion.
  7. Stir fry the onions till they become translucent.
  8. Add chopped green chilis and coriander.
  9. Add red chili powder and mix well.
  10. Add the chopped idlis and salt.
  11. Mix well.
  12. Let it cook for 5 minutes on low heat, stir it frequently.
  13. If you’re using podi masala, add to the mixture and mix well.
  14. Serve hot stir fried idlis with some chutney or tomato ketchup. We just enjoyed it on its own.


  • Idli stands are easily available in all Indian stores. Its a useful device to steam other food too like Chinese buns, vegetables etc.
  • If you don’t have an idli steaming device then take a big pan and fill it with water about 2-3 inches deep. Take a heatproof plate with rim or a sandwich cake tin. Grease it with oil. Put a small metal bowl or a small flat brick in the middle of the big pan. Place the plate with the batter in it. Cover the pan and steam the batter for 10 minutes. Remove the plate from the pan. Let it cool and then cut into squares.
  • Adding peanuts to the stir fried idli is optional.
  • Adding podi masala which is a special blend of spices is optional.
  • Millet, urad dal and rice are readily available in all Indian stores.
  • In the bigger cities some of the Indian stores sell ready made idli batter.
  • Do you have a discarded sourdough starter? Well add a tablespoon when the batter ferments. It adds a slight tangy taste to the idlis.

You may want to check out some other millet recipes:

pearl millet and almond cookies


Blog post
savory millet pancakes


strawberry finger millet smoothie


Blog post
bajri and moong dal khichdi

Sending this recipe to the following event:





  • Renu

    May 29, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    The Idli’s have come out so soft and nice… Glad that yourl and your husband liked it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      Thanks Renu.

  • Jolly

    June 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    This bajra stir fried idli looks so soft, spongy and very healthy breakfast. Seems looks very delicious 😋

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 1, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      Thanks Jolly and it was delicious.

  • Priya Suresh

    June 1, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Such a nutritious idli, its quite a staple food at my place. And that stir fried idli looks absolutely irresistible, my mouth is just watering here.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 1, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks Priya.

    2. mayurisjikoni

      June 1, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks Priya. I love stir fried idli with podi masala ever since my son in law introduced it to me a few years ago.

  • Vanitha Bhat

    June 1, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    Healthy and the fact that you have made it stir fried with masala sounds delicious!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 2, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks Vanitha.

  • Shobha Keshwani

    June 2, 2018 at 4:36 am

    I must try this idli variation with bajra. Nice and healthy one.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 2, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      Try is shobha, it turns out really good and a great way to add millet to the diet.

  • Poonam Bachhav

    June 2, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Never tried a Bajra idli..the recipe sounds so nutritious..the stir fry version would turn out a perfect tea time snack on weekends..lovely share !

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 2, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      Thank you Poonam. Try the recipe its really a healthy snack and tastes good.

  • jayashreetrao

    June 4, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Bajra idli sounds good, do need to try some time. Nice share and good to know more about Renu.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 4, 2018 at 7:29 pm

      Thank you Jayashree.

  • Uma Srinivas

    June 4, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I love the combo of spices in idli! If you are bored with plain idli, then this is perfect:) looks yummy!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 4, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks Uma.

  • Jagruti

    June 5, 2018 at 10:53 am

    What a perfect dish you have chosen Mayuri, and yours turned out so soft and fluffy. Bookmarking this as I love to incorporate millet in our diet.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 5, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      Thank you so much Jagruti.

  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    June 5, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Love the stir fry option, perfect for the lunchbox.
    My bajra idlies have only one change, no rice added. Will try your version next time

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 5, 2018 at 5:51 pm

      Thanks Seema, I would love to try your version without rice.

  • simplysensationalfood

    June 5, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    I love stir fried idli it’s a great way to create a new dish from left overs. I have not had Bajra idli it sounds delicious.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 6, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks Nayna. Bajra idli tastes really nice. Try it and a good way to include millet in your diet.

  • themadscientistskitchen

    June 12, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Bookmarking! This is such a delicious and healthy idli.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 13, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      They were really yummy Archana, try it.

  • Batter Up With Sujata

    August 30, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    I love stir fried idli with podi masala. And this looks superbly delicious and healthy Never tried idli with Bajra Bookmaking it to try soon. Lovely share.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 2, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks Sujata and try the bajra idli, its so healthy and delicious. Recently made it when I invited my fried’s family for lunch and they couldn’t believe the idlis where made with bajra.

      1. Batter Up With Sujata

        September 2, 2018 at 3:37 pm

        Sure. I’ll 😊

  • shobhakeshwani

    March 28, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    One more healthy idli recipe. I have never made or tasted the bajra idlis. Will try them sometime soon. In Andhra we get a special small flat spoon for removing the idlis.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 28, 2020 at 9:25 pm

      Thank you so much Shobha, please do try as the idlis turned out really tasty.

  • Preethicuisine

    March 28, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    I love stir fry idli . These Bahrain idlis are a nutritious and delicious treat for all idli lovers . Awesome recipe .

  • jayashreetrao

    March 30, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    I need to try idlis with bajra, have never tried it. The addition of seasoning to the steamed makes a delicious snack.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 30, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you so much and please try out the recipe.

  • Kalyani

    March 30, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    My husband is a huge idli fan and doesn’t mind experimenting with new varieties ; I like that this is healthy with very less rice and more millers ! Bookmarked !!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 30, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Thanks Kalyani. Hope you enjoy it when you try out the recipe.

  • Priya Srinivasan

    March 30, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Wow, i have made idlies with other millets but not with bajra!! looks fab! love the idea of stir fried idlies, adds great flavor to the idlies!!! superb share mayuri ji!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 30, 2020 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you so much and hope you will try out bajra idlis.

  • Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    March 30, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    I am yet to try bajra idli and seeing yours makes me want to try it soon. I have pearl millet in my pantry and I will make it right away. Idli stir fry is something my boys love to take in the lunch box.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 31, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      Thank you so much Sandhya. Hope your family likes the bajri idli. I too love stir fried idli.

  • FoodTrails

    April 1, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Never tried bajra Idlis.. these look so soft and spongy.. kids love stir fried idlis.. will try whenever next I get bajra from the stores.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 3, 2020 at 8:49 pm

      Thanks Swaty, please do try it, its so different and delicious.

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    December 31, 2020 at 1:54 pm

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