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White plate with a stack of jowar idli.

Jowar Idli

Jonna rawa idli (jowar idli) is a healthy alternate to regular rice idli. Made with jowar - it's packed with fiber and protein. Perfect Indian breakfast.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Soaking & Fermenting Time:: 16 hours
Total Time: 16 hours 40 minutes
Course: Breakfast, condiments
Cuisine: south indian
Servings: 12 Idli


For Jonna Rawa Idli:

  • cups Jowar Rava (Jonna/ Sorghum rava)
  • ½ cup Urad dal
  • To taste Salt


  • Soak jonna/ jowar rava in just enough water for 4~6 hours. Soak urad dal separately for 4~6 hours.
  • Grind the urad dal into a smooth batter using just enough water. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
    Drain jonna rawa/ jowar and add to urad dal. If the rawa seems too coarse, then grind it in the mixer for a few seconds, then mix with urad dal.
  • Cover the bowl and set aside in a warm place to ferment for at least 8~10 hours. Mixture should increase in volume, become airy and frothy when ready. Add salt to the mixture and mix well.
  • Lightly grease the idli molds and distribute the batter evenly in the idli molds, steam for 12~15 minutes. Serve hot with chutney of choice. 



  • If you only get whole jowar or sorghum, then grind them in a high power blender to make the rava.
  • Replace sorghum/ jowar with other millets like bajra, ragi, pearl millet to make this recipe. Just make sure to use coarsely ground meal.
  • If the jowar meal you are using is too coarse, then grind it into a smoother texture before adding to the lentil batter.
  • If you have exceptionally cold house, then use an Instant Pot to ferment the batter. Use Yogurt mode for 10~12 hours. Make sure to cover with a glass lid instead of the IP lid.
  • Leftover fermented batter can be stored for up to 2 days in the fridge.
  • Any leftover idli can be stored for 3~4 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave before serving.
  • Here's how to know when the idli batter is ready: A well fermented idli batter has the following characteristics:
    • will have increased in volume.
    • has lots of air bubbles.
    • has a nice, tangy smell - almost like sourdough starter.
  • You can make either uthappam or ponganalu with leftover jonna rava idli batter.


Serving: 1Idli | Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 2mg
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