Ragi Idlis (finger Millet)

"Have been trying to expand my grains and cereals repertoire like with these Ragi Idlis -savory cakes made of black lentils and finger millet by soaking , grinding , fermenting and finally steaming into little cakes. "
-- @abitwholesomely

Recipe Intro From abitwholesomely

Love this marvelous Indian fusion appetizer and so perfect to entice your dinner party guests. Food Blogger Bina @abitwholesomely has consistently fabulous ideas, like these Indian Savory Cakes served with Coconut Chutney and Sambar.
Ragi (Finger Millet) Idli RECIPE:

1 cup whole finger millet (Ragi) or finger millet flour
½ cup urad dal (black lentils)
½ cup brown rice
Salt to taste
Idli molds or small ramekins.
Canola or vegetable oil to grease the molds

Rinse the urad dal, brown rice and finger millet 2-3 times separately in cold water and drain. Pour enough water so as to come to a couple of inches above the surface. If using the finger millet flour, you only need to soak the black lentils and rice. Soak separately for about 6-8 hours.

Drain and grind each separately with some water to make a smooth batter (A blender or Vitamix works great). The consistency should be like thick cake batter. Add all three batters to a large mixing bowl along with a little salt to taste. The size of the mixing bowl should be large enough to accommodate the batter which will rise to almost double in size on fermenting.

If using millet flour, first make a thick paste of it with water to give cake like batter. Then add it to the ground, black lentils and rice batter.

In both cases, the batter should flow like very thick lava in the end because it will thin down some upon fermenting.

Cover the mixing bowl with a plate or lid and keep in a warm place to ferment. This usually takes about 8 hours. The batter ferments naturally and does not use any yeast etc. After fermenting, the batter will thin down slightly and will be bubbly.

Grease the idli plates or small ramekins well with the oil. Add about 2 inches of water to a vessel with a lid or a steamer and bring to a boil.

In the meantime, mix the batter gently with a spatula using a light hand, and then ladle some into each well of the greased idli mold o

r ramekins. For the idli mold, fill to the top, for ramekins use a scant ¼ cup batter. Steam in the pan with the lid for 12 minutes.

Remove and let it cool for 10 minutes. This resting time is important to prevent the idlis from sticking to the mold. Unmold using the sharp tip of a knife or a small offset spatula (I use my offset icing spatula)

Serve with coconut chutney or any other chutney of your choice.