Ragi/ Finger Millet Chimili | Traditional Simili recipe | 2 methods

Have you heard the name Chimili before? If yes, Hats off Guys! If no, come let's know the almost forgotten super-duper health-packed Ragi based Ladoo recipe.
Chimili is a traditional treasure hailed from the southern part of Indian subcontinent made usually with Ragi flour, sesame seeds, peanuts, and jaggery. Do you know? These chimili balls are highly calcium-packed, fibre-packed, protein-packed, iron-packed holding vital nutrients for the betterness of bones and body health. 

Being easy to make and Having long shelf life, it stands in the list of easy and ever healthy traditional snacks. Yup! Make a big batch, store in a jar and enjoy up to a week. Some people grind everything one after one and mix to make the Chimili balls. True to say, coarsely ground peanuts and sesame seeds are the taste lifter and so, don't make the things complex. Just put everything into a jar, grind coarsely and make balls. It's that easy!

Two Methods of Making Chimili:

  • The traditional recipe calls for making ragi roti, crumble them into pieces, grind them to a fine powder, and finally adding them with sesame seeds powder, coarsely ground peanuts and jaggery to make balls.
  • It could also be made by steam cooking the ragi flour which gives no taste lesser than the roti cum chimili method. 
Either when making roti or steam-cooking the ragi, you could add in a dash of ghee to enhance the flavour of the Chimili balls. Or, ghee can be completely skipped if you desire not to add. Though cardamom pod's play is not in this recipe, I love to add a little bit to lift the flavour profile.

Speaking about the taste, both the ways yield similar taste. But, the steam-cooked version is my personal favourite as the ragi flour is cooked fluffy perfect to get soft Chimili balls. When making roti, knead a soft dough and cook the roti until it is fully done to get super tasty Chimili balls.

Some Variations you could try:

  • I make my variations like adding chopped nuts and dry fruits to the chimili which makes it more delicious and perfectly suitable for kids. 
  • When I make a small batch, I make sure to add freshly shredded coconut which is yet another game-changer.
A very kid-friendly recipe packed with the goodness of ragi, ghee roasted nuts, and fresh coconut is what I had originally posted on November 25, 2019, which depicted just a single way of making Chimili. This is the updated version which I planned to show off both the ways with the powerful ingredients that the authentic recipe calls upon.
Peanuts are a storeroom of good nutrients which I add half a cup for every single cup of ragi flour used. You can reduce the number of peanuts, and indulge other chopped nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashews or pistachios in the game. Reducing the number of peanuts to quarter cup is also advisable if you are not a peanut lover. The same is the thing with the sesame seeds which can be added or reduced based on the taste bud requirement. The mentioned quantity works best all the time as the team wins together balancing the taste, leaving no one individual ingredient to dominate the taste.

Furthermore, Jaggery is crushed and added to the recipe which I do not suggest as it contains a lot of dirt. I usually add Jaggery powder (Naatu Sakkarai) which is farm fresh with no impurities in it.
The most advisable traditional & healthy recipe for the kids and adolescents is here in your path:

Preparation Time: 15 minutes 
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
🍴 Servings:  22 to 25 Chimili balls

Finger Millet/Ragi Chimili (Two Ways)

A highly health-packed, traditional Ladoos prepared with Ragi flour, Peanuts, Sesame seeds and Jaggery.

What to Use? [1 cup = 200 ml]
  • Ragi/ Finger Millet flour - 2 cups
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Peanuts - 1 cup
  • Black Sesame/ Til seeds - 4 tbsp
  • Jaggery Powder - 1 cup
  • Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Steps involved:
  • Dry Roast black sesame seeds until they begin to pop and keep aside.
  • Dry roast peanuts until the aroma seeps out, peel off the skin and keep aside.
  • Take ragi flour, little salt and water to make it reach Puttu consistency. When you hold the mixture with the hands, it should stand still. Steam-cook the ragi flour for 10 minutes and keep it ready.
  • For the next method, take ragi flour, salt and water and knead to form a soft dough. Make ragi roti, crumble them and keep ready.
  • Transfer the steam-cooked ragi flour and/ or crumbled ragi roti to a mixer jar. Add in the peanuts, sesame seeds, cardamom powder and Jaggery powder and grind coarsely.
  • Make Chimili balls and enjoy for a week!
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For comforting the easy understandability of the recipe, the step by step detailed procedure, along with the picture is shown below:

Step-by-Step Procedure with Pictures

How to Make?

  • Take 4 tablespoons of black sesame seeds in a pan.
  • Dry roast them until the seeds begin to pop out. Allow to cool down.
  • Take a cup of peanuts in a pan.
  • Roast them in a low flame until the nice aroma comes out.
  • Transfer to a cloth, fold and rub hard to peel the skins off the peanuts. Now, the roasted peanuts are ready.
  •  The roasted peanuts are ready now.

Method 1: 

  • Take a cup of ragi flour and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Add a quarter cup of water little by little and mix until it reaches puttu flour consistency. You can add a little ghee if you want. Add 2tbsp extra water if needed, and mix well with your hands to avoid lumpy mixture. If you hold the flour in hands, it should stand still. Adding extra 2 tablespoons of water will help in making Ladoos easily.
  • Pour some water in a pan and steam-cook the ragi flour in an idiyappam / idly plate for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the steam-cooked ragi flour, ghee roasted peanuts, roasted sesame seeds, jaggery powder, and cardamom powder in a mixer jar. Grind coarsely.
  • Make chimili balls out of the coarse mixture. You would get 12 to 14 Chimili balls.

Method 2: 

  • Take a cup of ragi flour and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Add half a cup of water little by little and knead into a soft dough. 
  • Take a portion from the dough, and press it with fingers over the hot skillet to make roti.
  • Drizzle a few drops of ghee over the roti, flip and cook until the roti is cooked well.
  • Break the roti into rough pieces and keep them ready.
  • Add the crumbled roti, roasted peanuts, roasted sesame seeds, jaggery powder, and cardamom powder in a mixer jar. Grind coarsely.
  • Make chimili balls out of the coarse mixture. Again, you will get 12 to 14 Chimili balls.

  • Adding ghee and cardamom powder is completely optional, but adding them would enhance the flavour.
  • Roast the peanuts over the low flame until they leak out a nice aroma. This makes the Ragi chimili more flavoursome.
  • Any chopped nuts can be added in addition to the peanuts.
  • If adding fresh coconut, consume the Ragi Chimili within a day. Without coconut, it can keep well for a week when stored in a dry container.

Healthy! Power-Packed Ragi Ladoos!


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