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Ragi Koozh (or) Finger Millet Porridge

Beat this sunny summer heat with this authentic traditional ragi/keppai/ kezhvaragu koozh/ finger millet porridge. This tastes divine and its nutritious.

Prep time: 3 days
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-8

If you are from South India then you would have come across this amazing divine tasting cooling drink for the hot summer.
It's called in many different names like keppai koozh, kezhvaragu koozh, ragi koozh, finger-millet porridge or just millet porridge . It's a traditional dish to South Indians and has its own variation in every part of the region. Here I have shared our family recipe which was once again handed down by my MIL. As a kid I used to enjoy this koozh at summer mostly for its accompaniments like karuvadu kuzhambhu, murungai keerai poriyal, vathal and a lot more.

This porridge recipe takes about 3 days to make. Don't get alarmed the cooking time is just 30- 40 minutes. The major part is fermenting and cooling which allows the dish to become even more nutritious. and easy to digest. Any millet is highly healthy but fermenting helps the complex compounds to break down and help the body absorb easily. Thus I would say 3 days for making such a healthy ragi porridge and a delicious dish is worth the effort.
I would typically make it for a Sunday brunch/ lunch. So I start my prep on Friday night.
my time table:
Friday night: make the ragi mixture and allow it ferment overnight.
Saturday morning- Dilute the fermented ragi mixture.
Saturday evening- make ragi kali
Sunday- make the koozh/ porridge and serve.
Its best served for breakfast with small onions and just pickles.

Hope you will give this decadent cooling drink a try and make your family healthy and happy.

Watch the video recipe here

Ingredients Required:

Ragi flour 1 cup
Raw rice/ sona masoori rice 1/2 cup
Water 8 cups
Curd/ yoghurt/Buttermilk To taste
Salt To taste


Day 1: Prepping for ragi mixture

1. In a deep dish add ragi, 1 cup of water and mix them well. Make sure to use a deep dish because the ragi mixture is to be fermented and will increase in volume.

2. This mixture should be lump free and it will be a bit runny.

3. Now cover the mixture and keep it in a warm place over night/ at least for 6-8 hours. If you mix it with hand it will ferment faster.

Day 2: Making for kali

1. Next day once the ragi mixture is well fermented, add 1 more cup of water and mix it together. Now set it aside until you use it.

2. Wash and air dry raw rice/ sona masoori rice for about 15- 20 minutes.

3. Once slightly dried, grind it into a coarse powder using a mixer jar.

4. Now its time to start cooking all the ingredients. In a wide heavy bottom soup pot/ clay pot add 6 cups of water and bring it to boil.

5. Once the water boils add the coarsely ground rice and cook. Cook the rice on a medium low heat for about 15 minutes or until it becomes like a porridge and mushy. Stir in between.

6. When the rice is cooked, take the fermented ragi mixture and mix it well for one last time.

7. Pour in the ragi mixture and combine it well with the rice. Make sure there is no lumps. At any point of the time if the water is less feel free to add in more water as required.

8. Similarly cook this rice & ragi mixture on a medium low heat for about 15 minutes or until it becomes like a thick porridge. Stir in between.

9. To check the doneness or check if its cooked, wet your fingers and touch the mixture after 15 minutes. It should not stick to your hands. If it sticks cook for some more time.

10. Allow the ragi kali to cool to room temperature. You could dip your hands in water and make balls of ragi kali while still warm and immerse it in a bowl of water. Or you should add in cold water to the entire pot and allow it to cool. This step will ensure that it doesn’t form any dry layers over the top as it cools.

Day 3: Serving

1. Now take the required amount of ragi kali and dissolve it in equal parts of yoghurt and water Or dissolve it in buttermilk along with salt. Check the video for demo.

2. Top the porridge with chopped onions and serve with the accompaniments Or just as is.

Its served cold on a hot summer day.


1. Feel free to add water when needed at any point. The end result must be a thick porridge. As the kali cools it thicken even more.
2. Store it in fridge for about a week along with the water.
3. You could use about 2 cups of cooked rice instead of making the rice porridge from scratch.
4. We usually make it in big batches and drink it up for next 2-3 days. You could reduce the quantity and make a small batch too.

This recipe is viewed 2194 times
Posted by Surekha on June 12, 2018, 9:30 a.m.

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