How to Sprout Ragi

What would a painting by Vincent Van Gogh be to an art collector? What would an archaeologist feel if he chances upon an instrument of man supposedly 500 yrs ago? How would a Philatelic feel if he chances upon 'Black on Magenta'? Astounded? Shocked? Ecstatic? Won't he/she cherish that moment? Why all these question you might ask me - well though I fall under none of the above category, I am immensely passionate about whole grains. The number of trips to different stores, few hours hunting grocery stores in all the vacation spots that we have been to, reading on what's available where, has been a unmistakable sign about me and my love for finding new grains. This cacoethes started ever since I got to know more and more about the benefits of including whole grains and reducing refined food in day to day diet.

How to Sprout Ragi

I cannot for the life of me remove any food from my diet - the foodie that I am. Its just that I include the good ones more and the other 'not so good' ones a little less. Having said so much, imagine my limitless joy when my ex-neighbor Vineela, (from our old house) gave me this treasure called Ragi (Finger Millet). It so happens in our lives that when you get somethings, you don't realize their value but in the absence of which you wish for them the most. She had them "imported" fresh from India and gave me bountiful of this nutritious grain. Its a known knowledge that sprouting improvises the benefits of grains and I do the same as and when time/energy permits. If you have never tried to sprout them, then you should. Its not a difficult science and if you rely on the store bought flour even when you get the grain, then its time to re-think that option. Here is a step by step pictorial to show you this extremely satisfying process of sprouting.

I have used 1 cup of Ragi (finger millet) here. You can use as much or as little to suit your needs and preferences.

Wash and clean the finger millet in cold water till the water runs clean

How to Sprout Ragi

Soak the grain overnight. If you enjoy a warmer climate, soaking time can be shorter but if on the colder side, you  need to soak for more time.

How to Sprout Ragi

Now for the sprouting you can use any one of the following methods.

1.You can use wide-mouthed Jars - you will often find canning jars made of glass in almost all your hardware stores. Use mesh screen to top it off - like say cheesecloth.
2. You can use cloth.
3. Trays with small holes to let excess water drain is also excellent sprouting instrument.
4. I use clay saucers when sprout wheat groats. That works well too
5. Commercially available sprouters - which are designed keeping the sprouting methods in mind like Plastic tubes with two open ends, sprouting bags mostly made of cotton, or wooden boxes with mesh lids.

I have a bamboo steamer which I put to sprouting use too and it works very well for me. Since it has a wide mouth, and a proper 'draining' system I use it to sprout my grains. You can use whatever you may have in mind. Just keep note of basic needs. I will explain how I do it with my steamer.

After soaking overnight, next day drain off the excess water, place a cheesecloth on top of the steamer and place the ragi on top of it. The holes help to drain any excess moisture from ragi

How to Sprout Ragi

Spread it around with your hands so that they are not sticking to each other.

How to Sprout Ragi

Just bring the ends of the cheesecloth together and close it on top of it. Let it sit for 8-9 hours.

Note: If you enjoy a warm/sunny weather then the germination process is faster, otherwise it takes more time. I enjoyed a decent sunny climate so my ragi sprouted in about 8 hours.

How to Sprout Ragi

Small sprouts will start appearing on Ragi

How to Sprout Ragi

Give it another 8 hours and you see longer sprouts.

How to Sprout Ragi

Now spread it around in a cotton cloth. Let it dry completely and use it as per your requirement. Don't forget to refrigerate them.

How to Sprout Ragi

Simple wasn't it?  Anyways the joy of seeing the germination happening is something to felt by each and everyone. Its boundless. I dedicate this post to my friend Vineela, for giving me this grain. Thank you :)

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I love to hear from you! I read each and every comment, and will get back as soon as I am able to.


By Denise on Mar 6, 2017

Hi, Do you have some recipes using sprouted white millet? I have never seen this kind of red "finger" millet but the white variety also grows on stalks and is very tiny seed. Thank you.

This red millet (Finger Millet) will be found in your local Indian grocery store. Will add in my regular millet sprouts the next time I make it. Thank you :) --DK

By LC on Nov 14, 2014

Can you tell me where to buy the finger millet in the U.S.?

By Chitra Dwarkesh on Oct 4, 2014

Hi, after soaking ragi, bajra and amaranth seeds separately for 24 hrs, I have kept them in wet towel to sprout, its now 24 hrs but nosign of sprouts, pls guide if ii have gone wrong somewhere as I want to make sweet porridge from the sprouts Chitra 9819600777

By vijaya on Apr 4, 2014

by mistakely i kept raagi 4 days for sprouting . can i use that for my baby. is it ok for his health. can anyone give idea?

By Mallika on Jun 9, 2013

After germinating ragi seeds, carefully sautee the ragi seeds either on regular stove or use microwave. You know its done when the sweet aroma of ragi seeds spreads from the sauteed seeds. Let it cool and grind it to a soft powder. You can add badaam, dates , jaggery to it. Make raagi malt with milk or buttermilk

By Lesley on Jun 7, 2013

Have you ever made rejuvelac with the sprouted millet?

By Ragi Porridge (not just for babies!) « Ask Amma on Dec 17, 2012

[...] food has inspired urbanites to from their rural cousins. Here is a beautiful site explaining how to sprout the ragi at [...]

By Sumi on Sep 22, 2012

Hi I did this sprouted ragi and I didn't have a bright sunlight I actually Don't want to keep in oven or fry them as I am doing it for my 6 months Old baby It is ok if I keep it in warm room

By cookie on Sep 10, 2012

how can u use cloth to sprout plz explain....

By Jay on Aug 17, 2012

Hi, Thanks for the wonderful post. Can you tell me how you eventually grind it into a powder? I don't think the mixies do a good job of grinding ragi (for tha matter any grain) into a fine powder. Can we use the Ultra grinder instead?

By shekhar N on May 2, 2012

You have a nice way. Tell me just sprout is good or green leaffy sprout is good for health? Thanks

By Petra on Jan 9, 2012

Can you tell me where to buy the finger millet in the U.S.? Thank you, Petra

By jayshree on Jan 6, 2012

Hi, your recipie is very useful for me. iam trying to make nuti mix for my daughter. i have a doubt., u have placed the ragi in a steamer, which means to simply drain the excess water or the steamer is hot? kindly reply, thanks in advance

By Bhakti on Nov 30, 2011

Hi, this is such an informative post. How long can we store the sprouted ragi in the fridge?

By Mahesh S on Dec 1, 2010

Hi DK, could you please tell me if Ragi sprouts could be eaten raw or do they need cooking or roasting etc.

To my knowledge, its not eaten raw. Its needs roasting to be made into flour or cooked with something else. You can further refer to these recipes for using the sprouts

By sweet on Nov 26, 2010

where to get ragi grains in north india? delhi. tried many shops but no success. can u help ?

By Introducing foods | Ask Amma on Oct 16, 2010

[...] on Ragi. and instructions for sprouting ragi at [...]

By SJ on Aug 20, 2010

Ragi grain is available at Patel brothers, hillcroft, houston. They send it by ups to any address in US. Can someone tell me how much sprouting is required for baby good ragi and how is it filtered and made

By SJ on Aug 20, 2010

:wink: Great posting. Ragi is available at patel brothers, hillcroft, houston. They do send it by spa as well.

By Shivani on May 5, 2010

Hiya! Nice pictures..And great post as usual. I just wanted to drop a line to say that Rainbow Groceries (In San Francisco) carries the yellow millet grains. I am not sure about the differences between yellow and black millet grains, but I have started sprouting the yellow ones.

By Sprouted Ragi & Black eyed peas cutlets (copied from « DanceFantasy’s World of Weird Food on May 2, 2010

[...] cup Sprouted Ragi (see how [...]

By sanjay tiwari on Jan 13, 2010

I too have a thing for whole grains and can appreciate your passion. I liked the way you explained the process of sprouting ragi. :-|

Thanks Sanjay :) --DK

By Thomas McGarrigle on Jan 4, 2010

Beautiful photos. Just read a section of a book recommending sprouted millet for treating candida. This millet looks very appetizing, but looks like it is not available (why not)?. Anyway I am going to try to find some regular hulled millet at Whole Foods. Again great post. Thanks. TM

Thank you Thomas. Yes it amazes me that this nutritious wholegrain is not available in the US. Only v v few Indian stores carry the Ragi flour and the ones carrying the whole grain is almost non-existent. I am searching it in local stores by name of African Millet - will update if and when I find some :) --DK

By Anandi on Dec 26, 2009

hi i have a baby girl and she is 1.3 yrs old. Our doctor told me that she has vitamin deficiency.. and white spots in her face and leg. so could u plz send me some receipes that can be prepared with sprouted raggi.

Will surely post more recipes here...--DK

By Kamala on Aug 9, 2009

very useful post i use to do this with casserole[hot-pack]

By Rao on Aug 1, 2009

Whole Raagi can be found in Indian grocery stores in Oak Tree, Edison(new jersey). Only in couple of stores. so many of us are searching for Raagi in the US - your information on where to find it is indeed very useful. Thanks a bunch Rao :) appreciate it - DK

By Madhuram on May 19, 2009

I can guess how ecstatic it would have been seeing ragi after a couple of years. Last Saturday we were exploring the grocery stores here and was so happy to find finger millet in the Indian store. I was also going to sprout it. I also found another amazing store here (Bulk Barn) and was literally jumping with joy seeing the specialty flours/grains/baking supplies etc. They were also selling the chocolate cookie crumbs and graham cracker crumbs I had mentioned in the previous post. I think I have to take back my words about not finding anything in Canada. When my son was starting solids, my grandmother prepared the ragi kanji powder (after sprouting, drying and powdering it) in kilos and I brought it from India. Another key is adding powdered pottu kadalai to that powder so children will not be affected by Primary Complex. My grandmother also used to prepare these sprouts during Navrathri while keeping Golu to imitate grass. She use to sprinkle the soaked seeds with small sprouts in the sand 2 days prior the golu and it will start growing and look very good.

By suparna on May 18, 2009

hi, Didn't know that ragic could be sprouted. What a wonderful pictorial presentation :) I don't cook much with ragi...except for ragi dosa, Waiting for ur post of sprouted ragi drinks . Love the answer for mamtha's query :) good job DK. Love ur blog TC

By Ashley on May 18, 2009

Thanks for making this healthful step so visually stunning and easy. I have heard of the wonders of sprouting your own grains but I have yet to try it myself. Thanks for the boost.

By Mamatha on May 18, 2009

Informative post DK. How do you manage to take pictures even while rinsing the ragi! Btw, what did you make with the sprouted Ragi? Will wait for your next post. Thanks Mamatha :) Well the trick is to take one shot with right hand while the left hand is bc with the food. one shot, keep the camera down and then do a proper rinsing :) I made one of the most famous drinks with the sprouted ragi and its coming soon :)

By Pavani on May 17, 2009

Great post DK. I've never sprouted ragi myself, but my cousin mentioned that sprouted ragi powder is a very nutritious food for infants. Great pics.

By Nags on May 17, 2009

lovely pics! and very useful step by step :)

By Cynthia on May 17, 2009

An outstanding post - entertaining and very informative. Thank you.

By Usha on May 17, 2009

Love your blog. Have been a longtime reader . Where can you buy Ragi in US ? I used to buy from an Indian store in MI but they stopped selling . They say Ragi has been banned in US but not the powder(go figure). The powder tastes like dirt. Used to make dosai. Loved your post. Hi Usha, thanks for dropping a note. Yes, US does not carry whole Raagi - at least most of the stores dont. Few friends informed me that at one time, few Indian grocery stores in their state - New Jersey sold them but dont in recent times. I have personally not been able to get whole Raagi here except the flour which you rightly mentioned tastes like mud. I just got lucky that my neighbor got them from India - guess thats the only option now. I am doing my research - will surely update once I figure out a way :) Usha

By Sumi on May 17, 2009

wow, gorgeous sprouts, waiting to see some interesting recipes using this healthy sprouts.

By Rashmi on May 17, 2009

i've been thinking of adding ragi to our diet and you've shown a great way to start. Thanks for the step by step

By Ashwini on May 16, 2009

Lovely pictures. My mom always sprouts ragi. It is very healthy. I just use the powder:-).

By Siri on May 16, 2009

Hmmm, this is very interesting.. never knew we can sprout ragi too. Love pics as usual Dhivs :D Hugs, Siri oh of course you can....U actually probably consume one 'famous dish' with the sprouted ones. I think its just that U dint realise ;) And thats next post :)

By Ramya Vijaykumar on May 16, 2009

Oh this reminds me of those summer days when we were given the job of germinating Raagi... Its an absolute joy to see those sprouts come up!!! I totally agree with you Ramya :)

By Priti on May 16, 2009

Nice post..wonderful dear....shoud we expect next post with sprouted raggi recipes ? ;) you are one smart gal, arent you ;)

By CurryLeaf on May 15, 2009

Never knew you could sprout Ragi.Thanks for the info,post and the very useful pics.This is too new to me

By Dana Zia on May 15, 2009

Aloha! I love this post! I haven't ever worked with this grain before and it looks fantastic! I am a solid believer in sprouts. in fact, I'm going to go start some right now. (just got back from a trip) Come over for a visit a posting I did on sprouts. Dana Zia

By Gita Jaishankar on May 15, 2009

great post DK...nice step-by-step explanation :)

By Pages tagged "how-to" on May 15, 2009

[...] bookmarks tagged how-to How to sprout Ragi (Finger Millet) | Chef In You saved by 1 others     narutoboi92 bookmarked on 05/15/09 | [...]

By parita on May 15, 2009

Very useful information....thanks for sharing :) Thanks Parita :)

By Priya on May 15, 2009

Woww this is really very helpful and great post DK.. Thanks Priya :) My pleasure