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Koozhu ( Fermented Ragi Porridge )

Koozhu with pearl onion – JFI-Flour

The month of aadi and the thiruvizha (festival) is something that every kid in Tamilnadu would remember. I am sure that there would be several analogous festivals in different states. It signifies the start of sowing seeds again. The festival is primarily to please Goddess Amman. All the streets in the temple vicinity would be adorned with rows and rows of neem leaves. Compulsarily LR Eeswari (famous playback singer who sings Amman songs) would be blaring in all the street corners via speakers.

Generally people would pray for some blessings and in return would offer to please God either by cooking and serving sweet pongal in the temple ( Venduthal ), or walking on fire, or serving food to people, so on and so forth.

I remember vividly how many ladies would be pretexed with God and they will be shaking violently. They beleive that God “enter” their bodies for a short time. After a while they kind of faint and means God “left” her body. Only women are pretexed by God.

During this festival, koozhu** ( fermented ragi porridge ) will be made at home and donated to the temple. The koozhu from all homes will be mixed in giant vessels and donated to the people of the village.

Koozhu the drink has many health benefits. It is made of millet (ragi) which is very healthy. It is fermented and its properties are increased many folds by this process. Also koozhu is very very cooling on the body and suits apt for the hot summer the festival is conducted. You can drink a glass of this and not feel hungry for alteast 8 hours. Its so filling, hearty and very healthy.

I am sure I missed several key points about the festival. I googled without much success. Please let me know if you have more information about it. I found a forum with a detailed way to prepare koozhu. Also check out the unfermented version – Indira’s Ragi mudda. Here is how I prepared after asking my mother about it.


  • A cup of ragi flour
  • A couple of tablespoons boiled rice
  • half cup of non-fat yoghurt/buttermilk
  • a tsp of kosher/crystal salt

Cook ragi to the consistency above. Ready-made ragi flour (below)

  • Mix a cup of ragi flour ( Store-bought ) with two cups of water nicely with your hand.
  • Leave it overnight to make it sour
  • Cook the ragi on medium-low heat till almost all the water is evaporated and raagi is well-cooked. Around 10 to 15 minutes
  • Be sure to be stirring every second to avoid any lumps. Add more water if needed.
  • When the koozhu is the right consistency ( cake batter consistency ), add a tablespoon of cooked rice and switch off.
  • Let it cool and mix with half a cup of yoghurt and a tsp of crystal or kosher salt
  • Perfect accompaniments would be raw pearl onions, black-eyed beans curry ( karakozhambu ), dried fish curry ( karuvaatu kozhambu ), fish curry.


  • If the raagi lumps out, transfer contents to blender and whip up
  • You can let the koozhu sit after cooking it and it will continue to ferment
  • Cooking it in clay pots enhances the flavour
  • To test that the ragi is cooked ( as Mr. Gopinath says – Wet your hands and slightly dip your finger inthe boiling solution. If the raagi + rice sticks to your finger it is not yet cooked. Allow it tocontinue. Then test again, if it doesn’t stick to your hands then it is cooked. )

** As to how to pronounce Koozhu, z and h has no significance, it could be said roughly as “Koolu” though Tamil-lovers consider it as a cardinal sin. I will try to search for an audio file on how to pronounce the all-famous “zh” in Tamil.


August 1, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. very intresting recipe Revathi..
    Thank you..

    Sorry abt no entry for FMR :(:(
    I still have no entry for JFI!!!!!!!!!!

    can u believe, I am hosting and no entry from me :(:(:(:(:(

    Comment by santhi | August 1, 2006 | Reply

  2. No!!!! it is pronounced koozhu in senthamil! Koolu is the neo-tmail. ‘zh’ turns ‘l’ in new Tamil.
    Thats is not fair….zh is so beautiful! 🙂

    Comment by Inji Pennu | August 1, 2006 | Reply

  3. Enjoyed your write up, i have never heard of this recipe before. I used to love ragi porridge as a kid. This sounds so different and unique. Thank you for the recipe.

    Comment by archana | August 2, 2006 | Reply

  4. Revathi, Im posting the entry for FMR tom..hope its ok..was not well for quite sometime, thats y this delay hope this ok.

    super entry for JFI revathi. koozhu is given to the babies too from the 3rd month ..its belived to be really healthy for kids..Sugar is added instead of salt sometime while giving to kids..

    Comment by sudhav | August 2, 2006 | Reply

  5. Thanks Revathi for the pronounciation tips. The ZH’s in recipe names are killing me and I have no clue how to pronounce these names.:)

    A sour ragi mudda, wow! I guess for it to taste good, the flour must be super fresh, right? I’d love to try this recipe but I am little afraid about the taste.:)

    Comment by Indira | August 2, 2006 | Reply

  6. I am so sorry Santhi, You tell me the recipe, I will take a picture and send you !! Does that work ??

    He he heee Inji pennu I know what you mean but its not easy for everyone to pronounce that !!

    Thank you archana !! Unfortunatly I could not get much information about the festival itself.

    Sudha, its absolutely fine. I hope you are feeling well. I am doing the round up only this weekend. So take your time.

    Indira, thanks for the comments. Yes I know its difficult plus I have a telugu husband !! He tried it so many times to pronounce the letter and every time I would say its wrong !!
    I did think about preparing the powder from ragi grains myself but I harldly had the time !! And beleive me the sourness will be suttle and absolutely different flavour. Try it and let me know !!

    Comment by Revathi | August 2, 2006 | Reply

  7. Great :D. Anything with ragi, and I am gonnu try it. I got few very interesting raagi dishes few days back and I am bookmarking your recipe along with them.

    Comment by shilpa | August 2, 2006 | Reply

  8. I never thought that I would see this recipe. My mom used make this when I was growing up and I loved it. It has been a longtime since I had this and I am going to try this today.

    Comment by Anonymous | August 2, 2006 | Reply

  9. Hi Revathi,

    I think we both are sailing in the same boat…I am from Tamilnadu and I have a Telugu husband..Am teaching him Tamil and the most difficult part is the ‘zh’. Koozhu is ‘Koozhu’. Koolu will never do!! :-))
    A week back, I made koozhu, gulped down glass after glass and am down with severe cold!! 🙂 But its worth the taste…

    Wonderful entry!

    Comment by Chandrika | August 2, 2006 | Reply

  10. Another fabulous entry.. It is a heartening food and highly nutritious.. how about fried onion combo…
    i used to give it to Vishrut until he was 7 months, not anymore (he was more particular about the taste them:)
    Sorry, no entry as of now… i have pictures, but couldn’t sit in computer for more than 10 mins, i will try to make it up and send you, if possible (i remember your comment on doing the roundup over the weekend)… not taking you for granted:) only if you approve
    BTW: Any idea about the kambangh koozhu (oh, i long for it)

    Comment by Kitchenmate | August 2, 2006 | Reply

  11. Shilpa
    Let me know how it comes.

    Thank you “anonymous” – let me know how it turns out

    Chandrika – thats interesting. we must be having a lot in common.. !!!!!!!

    Karthi – never heard of fried onion combo with koozhu – Kambang koozhu – Ravi likes it a lot. I will post it sometime. I have not personally tasted it even once.. Will wait for your entry till the weekend !!

    Comment by Revathi | August 3, 2006 | Reply

  12. Very interesting koozhu. I only know of the one that is served in temples. I love it so much. Itz made of rice, coconut, mung beans and lots of ginger. Would u share itz recipe if u happen to know it?

    Comment by Puspha | August 3, 2006 | Reply

  13. What an interesting dis Revathi…I love the use of hardy grains like millet and sorghum..I dont know why we have moved away from them

    Comment by Ashwini | August 3, 2006 | Reply

  14. >Have not really heard of this very healthy dish…thanx to blogging…we learn so much from each other…n thanx to u too for sharing…

    Comment by indianadoc | August 4, 2006 | Reply

  15. Hi Revathi,
    Very Healthy recipe. Thanx for sharing.

    Comment by Menu Today | August 5, 2006 | Reply

  16. Very interesting! Thanks!


    Comment by paz | August 5, 2006 | Reply

  17. Koozhu … kanji.. perfect comfort foods isn’t it ? Never tried sour ragi koozhu. Thanks for the recipe.

    To Inji Pennu … it is senthamizh 🙂

    Comment by Krithika | August 5, 2006 | Reply

  18. Hi Revathi,

    Here goes my version of koozh.I hope this helps


    The koozh of ragi is prepared out of ragi flour. Soak 1/2 kilo of ragi in water for more than 10 hours. After draining the water, wash 3 or 4 times the ragi with lots of water. Then drain the water completely. Prepare ragi sprouts either by using a sprout maker or tying the soaked ragi in a white cloth for 24 hours. Then dry the sprouted ragi on a white cloth for some hours. Then roast them in a dry pan for a few minutes. After it is cooled down, grind them to fine flour. Sieve it twice. This is the prepared flour to use for khoozh, adai, dosai etc.

    Take a cup of water and warm it. Add 1 tsp of this ragi flour and mix well without any lumps. Place it on fire and allow it to simmer for a few minutes. You can drink it either by adding thick butter milk with salt or by adding milk with can fry a little onion, cumin seeds and tomato in a tsp of oil and add this to the ragi khoozh with fresh curd. This will enhance the taste.
    One main importance of having koozh is its very healthy and they say it will cool the body.Its given as diest to people when they suffer from chickenpox.

    Thats so much I know abt koozh.Wonderful recipes.Great Job


    Comment by Anonymous | August 6, 2006 | Reply

  19. Revathi, do you know if ragi is the same as Nachni. They are the same colour.

    Comment by Anupama | August 7, 2006 | Reply

  20. Revathi…I just had a doubt…I had a friend called Revathi with a similar surname…she was from Vellore…She too spoke telugu and tamil…R u by any chance fr vellore…even otherwise I am happy to get to know u :)…looking forward for u’r round up…

    Comment by indianadoc | August 7, 2006 | Reply

  21. I tried your recipe and it was excellent.

    Comment by Anonymous | August 7, 2006 | Reply

  22. revathi
    my introduction to this porridge was when my son was 6 months old and starting solid food. he used to love a version of this recipe and me too. now i use the ragi podi to make ragi puttu, but this jolted my memory.thanks

    Comment by Shaheen | August 8, 2006 | Reply

  23. hi
    just i am searching for ragi receipies i found ur blog. me i born in vijayawada n bought rayalaseema married madrasi bangalore when i was yound we used to eat lot of ragi varieties. now i am in toronto i would like to give ragi food to my 9 months old daughter. can i have some recipies for her plzzzzzzz thanks in advance

    Comment by durga mikkilineni | August 13, 2006 | Reply

  24. Hi, can the store brand ragi flour be used for making ragi porridge for 9mth old baby?? I live in i can check whether i get bansi brand flour here. Is it safe?? Is the preparing pattern same for feeding it to infant?? Thank you.

    Comment by Anonymous | October 10, 2006 | Reply

  25. Best regards from NY! »

    Comment by Anonymous | March 14, 2007 | Reply

  26. best regards, nice info Community watch articles

    Comment by Anonymous | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  27. Ragi is good for your health.Vijay India

    Comment by Anonymous | June 29, 2007 | Reply

  28. Hi Revathi, I was searching for this recipe and found a good blog. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Good work..

    Comment by Vijitha | January 13, 2008 | Reply

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