From Dosa To Sevai: 4 Millet-Based Breakfast Recipes To Try Today


If you’re looking to add some healthy variety to your breakfast routine, look no further than the world of millets. Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses that have been cultivated for thousands of years, and they are becoming increasingly popular in the health food world for their many nutritional benefits. In this feature, I’ve found that millets work really well with almost every South Indian breakfast staple – like a dosa or idli can be tweaked by adding millets. While millets are definitely a healthy option, I would recommend adding them to your diet and not entirely replacing ingredients like rice that have probably remained a mainstay of your diet for generations. So, grab your apron and get ready to explore the world of millets with these four mouth-watering breakfast recipes that are sure to become your new favourites!

Here Are 4 Millet-Based Breakfast Recipes To Try Today:

1. Varagu Dosai | Kodo Millet Dosa Recipe

Varagu Dosai is a popular South Indian breakfast dish made with Kodo Millet. Originating from Tamil Nadu, this dosa is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with a nutty flavour. It is a healthier alternative to regular dosa, as Kodo Millet is packed with nutrients and has a low glycaemic index. The batter is made by soaking the millet and urad dal overnight and then grinding it into a smooth consistency. It is then fermented and cooked on a hot griddle. Enjoy with coconut chutney and sambar for a delicious and nutritious meal.


  • 2 cups – Varagu arisi (Kodo Millet)
  • 1/2 cup- Urad dal
  • 1/2 tbsp- Fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp – Gingelly oil/ghee
  • Salt – to taste


  1. Rinse and soak the Millet separately and the urad dal along with fenugreek seeds in another bowl in water separately for two hours.
  2. Blend the urad dal and fenugreek seeds to a smooth consistency with the required amount of water. Transfer it to a bowl; keep it aside.
  3. Grind the millet to a smooth consistency. Combine both sets of batter in the same bowl and allow it to ferment overnight.
  4. Add the required salt and water and bring the batter to dosa batter consistency.
  5. Cook like you would cook a regular dosa by spreading the batter on the tawa and drizzling oil (optional). Cook on both sides till fully done.
  6. Works equally well with your preferred type of chutney or sambar.

(Also Read: Millet Rice For Weight Loss And More: How To Make Millet Rice)


2. Thinai (Foxtail) Kesari – Recipe

Thinai Kesari is a traditional South Indian dessert made with foxtail millet. It has a light and fluffy texture, with a delicate sweetness that comes from the use of jaggery and cardamom. This recipe is a healthier twist on the classic semolina-based kesari, as foxtail millet is a good source of protein and fibre. With its nutty and slightly earthy taste, Thinai Kesari is a delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth while also incorporating more millet into your diet.


  • 1/2 cup Thinai (Foxtail millet)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or jaggery powder)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 4 tbsp Ghee (you can reduce slightly if you prefer a healthier version)
  • 2 tbsp cashews & raisins
  • 1 crushed cardamom
  • 4-5 strands of saffron


  1. Roast thinai on a low flame with some ghee till you smell the aromas and it’s done. Let it cool
  2. Transfer to a blender and grind till it reaches a coarse consistency like rava.
  3. Roast the cashews and raisins with ghee and keep aside.
  4. Add the thinai to the same pan on a low flame; add hot water and keep stirring to ensure no lumps are formed.
  5. Add the saffron and keep stirring on a low flame till the thinai gets cooked and reaches a kesari consistency.
  6. Add the sugar/jaggery and crushed cardamom. Mix well. Cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the roasted nuts and raisins before you serve.

(Also Read: Millet For Strong Bones: Here Are 5 Ways You Can Include The Grain In Your Diet)

semiya upma

Yes, even Semiya can be made with ragi. Photo Credit: NDTV Beeps

3. Ragi Semiya | Ragi Sevai (Finger millet Semiya) Recipe

Ragi Semiya, also known as Ragi Sevai, is a traditional South Indian breakfast recipe made with ragi (finger millet) flour. The ragi flour is mixed with water and shaped into thin noodles, which are then cooked with vegetables and spices to create a savoury and satisfying dish. Ragi is a nutritious grain that is high in protein and fibre, making it an excellent choice for a healthy breakfast. This dish has a slightly nutty and earthy taste that is complemented by the flavours of the vegetables and spices, making it a delicious and nutritious way to start your day.


  • 2 cups Ragi vermicelli
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp chana dal
  • Salt as required
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


1. Soak the ragi vermicelli in hot water for 2-3 mins. Drain water completely; steam for 5 minutes.

2. Temper mustard seeds, chana dal, curry leaves, green chilli and ginger Then add onion and sauté for a minute. Now add the steamed vermicelli and salt; mix well. Cook for 3-5 minutes on a medium flame.

3. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.

4. Kuthiravalli (Barnyard Millet) Upma Recipe

Recipe courtesy – Vijay Kumar, Master Chef, Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park

Kuthiravalli Upma is one of the most popular South Indian breakfast dishes made using Barnyard Millet. Originating from the state of Tamil Nadu, this dish is known for its nutritious and gluten-free nature. The millet is cooked with spices, onions, and vegetables to create a hearty and flavourful breakfast option. The texture is similar to semolina upma but has a slightly nutty taste and chewy texture. It’s a filling and healthy breakfast that is perfect for those looking to start their day with a nutritious meal.


  • Barnyard millet – 150 gm
  • Onion – 60 gm
  • Coconut oil – 20 ml (or the required amount)
  • Mustard seeds – 5 gm
  • Urad dal – 5 gm
  • Chana dal (split chickpea lentils) – 5 gm
  • Green chilli – 5 gm
  • Ginger – 5 gm
  • Curry leave – 1 sprig
  • Salt – to taste
  • Carrot – 15 gm
  • Beans – 15 gm


  1. Wash the millet once or twice and drain the water completely.
  2. Temper mustard, urad dal, Chana dal and curry leaves.
  3. Add onion, green chilli and ginger. Fry till the onion turns transparent.
  4. Add vegetables and fry for 2 minutes on a low flame.
  5. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil and add the millet. Mix well.
  6. Cook covered on low flame for 8 to 10 minutes or until water evaporates completely.

Adding millet to your diet can be a healthy way to start the day. Explore the world of millets with these mouth-watering breakfast recipes and share your experience with us in the comments section.

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