Monday, November 3, 2014

Thinai Idli Recipe-Foxtail Millet Idly-Millet Recipes

In our home, we all love idlis, so I often make idli for breakfast. I even make idli and dosa with different millets and other food grains for a change. Before going to the post, I would like to share with you all, some important information about millets which I read few days back. I see many people who have completely eradicated rice and other food grains from their diet and switched to millets. Though millets are good for health, eating too much of it, is not good. You must have heard of the tamil saying "Alavukku meerinal Amirthamum Nanju akum" which means even honey (amirtham) becomes poisonous when taken in excess. Recently, I got a comment from a reader that she became a big fan of millets and  totally switched to millets, eradicating all other food grains from her diet completely. After a few months, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. After reading an article Beware of Millets, I wanted to warn you guys about the dangers of consuming too much millets. I am sharing with you some extracts from the article below-

While millet may not contain gluten, it does contain goitrogens.  Goitrogens are those substances in food that suppress thyroid activity and can lead to goiter, an enlargement of this very important gland which resides in the throat. Hypothyroidism is a serious and sometimes debilitating condition that accompanies a weak or enlarged thyroid such as what occurs with goiter. 
While the goitrogens in foods that contain them are usually reduced by cooking (such as cruciferous vegetables), cooking actually increases the goitrogenic effect of millet! 
Protect your thyroid at all costs!  It is a real challenge to unwind the effects of hypothyroidism once this vital gland is weakened or enlarged.  Don’t take any chances with your thyroid health by consuming large amounts of millet. Eat millets in moderation.  Full Article can be found here Beware of Millets .

What I follow and would like to suggest is to eat a variety of food grains like rice, whole wheat, barley, quinoa, bulgur, couscous, millets, oatmeal etc rather than stick to one particular grain. 

Thinai Idli-Foxtail Millet Idli 

Thinai Idli Recipe-Foxtail Millet Idli

Thinai Idli-Foxtail Millet Idli

 Prep Time : 45 mins (excluding soaking time)
 Cook Time : 20 mins 
 Recipe CategoryBreakfast-Dinner
 Recipe CuisineSouth Indian

   Ingredients needed

   Recipe #1

   Foxtail millet -3 cups
   Whole Urad dal- 1 cup
   Fenugreek seeds-vendhayam - 2 tsp
   Salt to taste

   Recipe #2

   Thinai/foxtail millet -2 cups
   Whole Urad dal -1/2 cup
   Vendhayam/fenugreek seeds-1 tsp
   Salt to taste


Wash and soak millets and dal separately in water for 4-5 hours. Soak fenugreek seeds along with dal.

Grind urad dal until light and fluffy adding water from time to time.

Grind millets adding water little at a time to a slightly coarse batter.

Mix both the batter, add salt needed and allow it to ferment. Grind it the same way as you grind for regular idlis. The batter should not be too thick nor too thin. Check out my detailed post on how to make soft idlis

Fermenting time differs according to weather conditions.


You can use a steamer or idli cooker to make idlis.

Bring water to boil first. Then grease the idli mold with oil and pour a ladle of fermented batter into the moulds. Steam for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the idli comes out clean.

After it cools a little, remove the idlis from the mould and serve hot with sambar or chutney of your choice.

Note - You can make idli with this batter only for a day, the next day, you can use the batter to make dosas. You can also make thick uthapams by adding finely chopped onions and green chillies to the batter.

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  1. very useful information tku for sharing!

  2. Extremely vital information..very true about the saying anything in excess causes harm..thank you very much for sharing!

  3. Hi padhu. must say your recipes are fantastic and i do intend trying some of them.. just a doubt. i tried thinai paysam but the thinai's husk (skin) was of a poky nature. i put it in the cooker the second time even then it dint get mashed well, is there another way to cook the thinai or am i missing something?

    1. Thank you for liking my recipes. Glad you found it useful. Actually you get thinai without husk in health stores.It will be light yellow in color.

    2. Oh Ok thanks Padhu.. did not know that... will try to get it or will get it form india.. thanks Padhu..

    3. Thankyou for the yummy's really good for diabetics as it keeps P S the sugar levels under control...

  4. Is foxtail millet and jowar available in Andhra the same?

  5. Hi, I bought millet from India. But don't know how to cook it as it contains sticks and dust. Could you share with me the pictures of millet how you used?

    1. Check How to cook millets .I have also shared the pictures of millets in that post.

  6. Hi padhu,
    Nice receipe I wanted to try for thinai idli how much cup of idli rice needs to be added is not given? My doubt without idli rice will the millet idli will be good pluffy?

    1. You do not need rice for this. Use as suggested and the grind it well. You will get soft millet idli as seen in the picture above. Grinding and using good quality ingredients is the key.

  7. Ancient people of Tamilnadu lived on millets only, they did not consume rice predominantly. They were so healthy and lived long without gluten.

    People brought down wheat with gluten and trusted unto the mouth where the tragedy started.

  8. Read an article by Dr Pradyumna on millets and goitrr.Only pearl millet has goitrogens, research has not proven that all millets cause goitre, in fact cooking reduces goitrogen effect. Each millet is different; studies were done on malnourished people in iodine deficient areas. Lot of factors have to be taken into consideration before attributing goitre to millet intake. Moderation and including all grains in diet as you say is good.

  9. Good, but can you post link which talks about the goitrogens effect of fox millet??i know pearl millet has but not others

    1. That article is already linked. Check the 3rd paragraph "Full Article can be found here Beware of Millets". Click Beware of Millets.


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