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January 6, 2021

Jowar Idli recipe without rice / Cholam Idli Recipe / Sorghum Idli Recipe

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Cholam idli recipe

After a long time, I started making millet recipes in my kitchen. My recent try was this jowar idli recipe/ Sorghum idli dosa batter without rice. Jowar is a healthy gluten free millet which is high in fiber, protein and packed with essential minerals and vitamins. Its a great alternative for atta/ wheat flour and all purpose flour / maida. It is good to control diabetics, thyroid and aids weight loss. Sorghum is known as Cholam in Tamil, Jonnalu in Telugu, Jola in Kannada, Jowar in Hindi.

There are two varieties of Jowar in India. One is white in color and other one is red jowar which is called as Irumbu cholam/ Irungu cholam in Tamil and Malayalam. I have used white variety in this recipe.

For all millet idli recipes, I use a combination of millet, urad dal and poha / aval / pressed rice to replace rice. It comes out well and soft every time. Not only idli, you can also make crispy dosa with the same batter. But the only problem I face with all the millet idli batter is, you cannot refrigerate and store the batter for more days like our regular idli dosa batter. Millet idli dosa batter should be used within 2 days for best taste. 

This Jowar idli dosa batter is also the same like other millet idli batter recipes. You have to consume it within a day or two even under refrigeration. Other than this factor, you will not find much difference in taste, flavor from our regular idli dosa. I am sure you will love its spongy and soft texture. 

Jowar idli tastes the best with coconut chutney, tomato and onion based chutneys or tomato thokku. I served it with tomato thokku and idli podi. We loved it. I am happy that I can include this recipe in our regular diet too. Friends, do try this easy and yummy jowar idli / Sorghum idli and enjoy for your breakfast and dinner !

Check out my foxtail millet idli

Kodo millet idli

Ragi idli 

Pearl millet idli

Pearl millet dosa

Jowar idli without rice

Jowar idli / Sorghum idli/ Jonna idli without rice

Jowar idli / Sorghum idli/ Jonna idli without rice

Jowar idli / Sorghum idli/ Jonna idli dosa batter recipe without rice

Cuisine: Indian
Category: Main course
Serves: 15
Prep time:5Hours
Cook time:10Minutes
Total time:5 Hours 10 Minutes

1 cup = 250ml
  • Jowar / Sorghum / Cholam - 2 cups
  • White, round urad dal - 1/2 cup
  • Poha / Pressed rice / Aval - 1/2 cup
  • Methi seeds / Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt & Water - as needed
  1. Wash the jowar and poha till you get clear water.
  2. Soak in enough water for 5 hours.
  3. Wash and soak urad dal and methi seeds for 2 hours.
  4. First grind urad dal to a smooth, thick batter. Transfer to a big bowl.
  5. Then grind soaked jowar to a smooth paste. Add to urad dal batter.
  6. Mix well with hands. Cover and ferment the batter over night or 12 hours.
  7. The next morning, add salt and mix the batter with a ladle.
  8. Pour in a greased idli plate and steam in a pot for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove and rest for a minute. Then scoop out and enjoy with chutney, sambar !
  • Wash the jowar, poha together for 3 to 4 times to remove the dust. Wash till you see clear water. Add enough water and soak it for 5 hours.

  • Wash the urad dal + methi seeds together for 2 times and enough water to soak it for 2 hours.
  • Jowar idli without rice
  • First grind urad dal to a smooth, thick batter adding required water. If you are grinding the batter in wet grinder, add water gradually and grind to a smooth, thick paste like butter. If you are using mixie, use ice water to grind the batter. Collect the urad dal batter in a big, wide bowl with space for fermentation. 

  • Now grind the soaked jowar + poha to a smooth, thick paste adding required water. Add the jowar batter to urad dal batter and mix well with your hands to aid fermentation. Cover the batter and ferment it overnight or 12 hours based on the weather in your place. 
  • Jowar idli recipe without rice
  • The next morning, batter would have raised well. Add required salt and mix well. Take idli plate and grease with gingely oil.

  • Roll boil water in an idli pot. Place the idli plate and steam cook for 10 minutes. Check with a tooth pick or with a wet finger. If it comes out clean, idli is done. Remove the idli plate and wait for 2 minutes. Then scoop it with a flat spoon and serve in a plate. Enjoy with sambar or chutney !Jowar idli recipe without rice 


  • You can use cooked rice instead of poha.
  • You can use thick or thin poha/aval for this idli
  • If you are using mixie, use ice cold water for grinding the batter to avoid heating of mixie jar.
  • Soak jowar and dal separately and grind them separately.
  • If you want to soak and grind everything together, use 3:1 ratio of jowar and urad dal. i.e use 1.5 cups jowar and 1/2 cup urad dal. 

Try this easy, yummy and healthy Jowar idli for your breakfast / dinner !

I served it with tomato thokku and idli podi. 

 Jowar idli recipe

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Unknown said...

Can v use the jowar flour and urad dal for this idli

Chitra said...

Hi, I hope it works. But use poha too.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing that tasty and healthy food recipe.

Chitra said...


Mvrama said...

We used red sorghum, Australian grown, locally available in Melbourne. Didn't use aval/poha. Rest is all same. Have done it twice. Tastes excellent. Nice tasty Dosa.

Chitra said...

Thanks a lot for your positive feedback Mvrama :)