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Fermented Ragi Porridge Recipe | The Health Pantry

This recipe is one of those age-old recipes that showcases just how wise our ancestors truly were.  A beloved summer breakfast recipe from Tamil Nadu homes, Ragi Koozh is both delicious and a nutritional powerhouse. 

Koozhu (pronounced as koo-lu) is a porridge like drink that you see all across Tamil Nadu in the summer months. Every home, every street has Ragi Koozh being carefully prepared and served.
The unique preparation method, improves the bioavailability of calcium in Ragi. The process also makes the final dish a little more alkaline on consumption, and hence cooling. One does see similar versions all across Indian states and in parts of the African continent. Maharashtrians make “Ambali”, Odias have “Mandia Pej”, Kannada homes make “Ragi Huri Hittu”, Telugu homes do “Sangatti”, Rajasthani homes make something very similar with Bajra flour and Sindhi homes make a winter version with Jowar called “Juar Jo Bhutt”. Outside of India, you will find “Uji” in Kenyan homes and “Kunu” in Nigerian homes. These are just some versions that I know of. But, if you look at your family recipe inventory, I am sure you will find a few hidden gems in there.


Understanding Ragi / Finger Millet

Ragi or Nachni or Finger Millet is one of the oldest millets in the world. While originated in Africa, Ragi has carved out a very important role for itself in Indian cuisine, especially in the Southern states. Ragi’s claim to fame is its rich Calcium content. It is also considered a superfood owing to its rich antioxidant content. It is known to have  anti-diabetic (type 2 diabetes mellitus), anti-diarrheal, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, antitumerogenic (K562 chronic myeloid leukemia), atherosclerogenic effects, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. (1)
Ragi is one of the best weaning foods for new borns, best post pregnancy foods for new moms and excellent for peri-menopausal or post menopausal women, to help them meet their calcium requirements.


Who should have Ragi Koozh?

This recipe is excellent for anyone who lives in a hot location. Most of India in the summer months will benefit greatly from an addition like this one. Additionally, growing children and women of all ages will benefit from this.I recommend Ragi Koozh to individuals with insulin resistance-related disorders like type 2 diabetes, PCOS, fatty liver, hypertension, obesity, hyperuricemia, dyslipidemia, etc simply because this group is generally recommended to go off Dairy and a drink like this one can compensate for the reduced calcium intake. I have also added variations for vegans, athletes, as dessert and more below the main recipe.


Making Ragi Koozh

Preparing the Ragi Koozhu can be time-intensive but quite easy, it mainly needs a little planning from your end. You start by soaking Ragi flour in water for 7-8 hours. Once done, boil some water in a pot. Add the soaked ragi and its water into this pot along with some boiled rice and salt. Keep stirring with the back of a wooden spoon. Once the slurry turns glossy it should be done. You can check by dipping a wet spoon into the mix. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go.  Let the mix cool down. Now, make small balls with the slurry and place them in drinking water. Now comes the second fermentation. These balls, called “kali”, are soaked in water are kept out overnight to be fermented again. The next day, you simply thin these out with buttermilk, add onions, chillies etc and consume your nice filling glass of Ragi Koozh for breakfast.
This unique preparation method makes ragi a whole lot easier to digest, lowers its glycemic index, improves bioavailability of the various minerals, reduces antinutrients and gives it signature kick in taste, making it absolutely. delicious.

Ragi Koozh OR Fermented Finger Millet Drink

Khushboo Jain Tibrewala
Ragi Koozh is an excellent breakfast dish for hot summer months. You want to ideally start your preparation 24 hours prior to get the right process and taste.
The same recipe can be made usig other millets such Bajra or Jowar but Ragi is nutritionally superior.
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Breakfast, Evening Snack
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 2 Portions


  • 1 Cup Ragi Flour using Sprouted Ragi Flour is even better
  • 5 Cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Cooked Rice
  • ¾ Cup Homemade Curd
  • Salt
  • ½ Onion finely chopped
  • Green chilli optional


  • Mix the Ragi flour in 3 cups of water. Cover and let it fermented for 7-8 hours,
  • In a pot, boil about 2 cups of water with a pinch of salt. Once it starts boiling, pour in the fermented Ragi mix into the water. Add the rice as well. Keep stirring the mix until it becomes thick and gelatinous.
  • Check the texture by dipping a wet spoon into the porridge. If it comes our clean, your mixture is ready.
  • Now let this mixture cool. Once cool, make small balls and soak them in drinking water. Make sure they are completely soaked.
  • Let these ferment overnight.
  • In the morning, mash 1 ball and whisk with curd, water, salt, onion, chillies. Ragi Koozhu is ready. Serve it in a glass and garnish with chopped onion.


Non-Dairy Version
Skip the curd. Make the drink with water, lime juice, salt, roasted cumin powder, onion and coriander leaves.
Sweet Version
Skip the second fermentation. As soon as the mixture comes to room temperature, whisk with milk or coconut milk, jaggery and cardamom powder. You can make this thick, like a pudding, or thin like a drink. Serve it hot or cold, as per your preference.
On-The-Go Version
Once the balls (kali) have fermented for a couple of hours, you can mash them and eat with dal, sambar, and cooked vegetables in place of rice. This can be carried in your lunch box too, as long as you manage to keep it soaked in water. 
Keyword antioxidant rich, calcium-rich, diabetes-friendly, gut friendly, local foods, pcos-friendly, vegan, women health

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