Varai Idli

                               Varai is a tiny white round grain belonging to the millet family.It is called little millet/Samo rice in English and  is an healthy  alternative to rice.They do not belong to the rice family so it is normally consumed during vrat,by people who hold upavas (fasting).It is also called as vrat ka chawal. This is cooked just like rice but when cooked – does not appear as  separate grains, but  are sticky. It is served with sambar or chutney.
There are so many dishes prepared with varai, like khotto, Ramdan, varai phanna, varai pulav, varai dosa and varai pongal. You can find varai upma recipe Here.
Let us today see the ingredients and method of the Idli.


  • Urad dhal – 1 cup
  • Varai – 2 1/2 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to grind


  1. Wash and soak urad dhal for 4 – 5 hours.
  2. Grind this to a fluffy and fine paste, like grinding for normal idli. Transfer to  a big vessel.
  3. Wash varai twice and soak for just 1/2 an hour and grind for just 1 or 2 rounds in a grinder/Mixer. Mix this together with the already ground urad dhal. Mix very well and keep for fermention overnight.
  4. Next day morning add required salt and mix well.
  5. Heat an idli steamer with required water. Grease the idli plates with ghee/oil pour the batter in it and steam for 15-20 minutes. Check for doneness.
  6. Remove the plates from the steamer and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the idlis one by one and serve with sambar or chutney.
                  I served with hinga (asafoetida) chutney as an accompaniment.

Here is the recipe for the chutney:-
Ingredients :-

  • Coconut – 1/2 cup grated
  • Red chillies – 2 nos roasted
  • Hing (compounded) – small pea sized
  • Raw coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind – smallmarble size
  • Sal to taste
  • Oil – 1tsp
  • Mustard – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves few


  1. Heat oil and fry the hing and let it fluff – switch off flame, remove from the oil and keep aside.
  2. Retain the oil to prepare seasoning.
  3. Grind together coconut, green chillies, red chillies raw coriander seeds, tamarind and salt to a fine paste along with the hing and required water.
  4. Transfer to a bowl. Add enough water.(This is a very watery chutney).
  5. Prepare seasoning with mustard and curry leaves in the same oil used to fry hing.
Serve with idli or dosa

This was prepared on Ashad Ekadashi along with gajbaje and madgane. These idlis can be served along with dalithoi, Gajbaje or soyi bhajjil gashi too. You can find the recipes of all the other curries mentioned here in this blog.

  1. A tsp of methi too can be added while soaking urad dhal.
  2. Can skip the procedure of soaking the millet and directly add it to the ground urad batter after washing the millet twice and soaking for 1/2 an hour.
  3. With the same batter can prepare khotto, moodo, and ramdan(sannan).To prepare ramdan grease a plate with oil/ghee. After steaming, cool it and cut into squares.

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