Finger Millet Balls | Màu Sadam | Ragi Muddè | Ragi Kali | Ragi Balls

It is a wonderful thing really, to eat this super food and know how deeply nourishing it is. Call it what you want: ragi muddè, ragi kali or ragi balls, these finger millet balls are nutty and aromatic, and are a perfect accompaniment to gravies and chutneys. They fill up a hungry tummy with very little effort while providing a great bit of energy and good health.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups kezhvaragu | ragi | finger millet flour
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt optional


  1. Heat 3 cups of water in a deep pot, and add to it rice and salt. Since this yield 6 ragi kalis, you may want to reduce the flour to 1/2 cup and the water to 1 cup if you want 2 balls.
  2. Allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the kezhvaragu flour to the boiling water and let it simmer for a further 10 minutes. Do not mix.
  4. Now insert the long and thick handle of a wooden spoon or ladle through the cooking dough, and let it cook for 5 more minutes. Cover the pot — the wooden spoon will not allow you to fully cover it. Do not mix; the ragi flour will cook. You can see in the collage how the top part is left as is. The water boils over it and cooks it.
  5. In the meantime, bring a kettle of water to boil — so you have hot water to add to the dough later. You’ll also need a small bowl of cool water and and round vessel or bowl.
  6. Turn off the heat after the finger millet flour has been in the pot for 15 minutes and bring it to a spot where you can comfortably hold the pot with a mitten or kitchen cloth and mix the dough. If you have someone else in the house to help you hold the pot and steady it, ask them to do so.
  7. Start start mixing it all in — all of the dry flour must blend into the dough. Make circles or figures of eight, and once it all form a thick and dark dough start folding it in, like you would fold in bake batter, but not as lightly, instead proceed with all you’ve got, for it will take effort folding the sticky in and mixing it about so you know it is all properly mixed. Add hot water it it is too hard to move things along. Be careful though, there are pockets of flour that puff up or pockets of steam that scald your hand when you’re mixing it.
  8. Keep at it for 2 minutes, or until you see that the dough is one mass and is coming off the sides of the pot.
  9. Take a portion of the dough in a spoon (enough for one person) and drop it onto the bowl. Dip your hand in water and fashion the dough into a ball. Keep dipping your hand in the water to both cool your hand and stop the dough from sticking to your hands. Alternatively, you could rinse the bowl in cool water and drop the portion of ragi dough in. Then spin the dough around, and throw it up and down a bit — much like when you turn vegetables as you sauté, and the force will fashion ragi balls. This way, you protect you hands from the heat. Add water to the to and the sides of the ball if it starts sticking to the bowl.
  10. Once you’ve formed a ball, it’s ready to be eaten. Serve it with butter or ghee spread on top of it. Use your hand to take from the ragi ball a bite-sized bit or use a fork or spoon to cut away a bite-sized bit.