Ragi ambali or Finger millet masala malt – How to prepare Karnataka style summer drink

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Ragi ambali or finger millet masala malt recipe, is a delicious flavored healthy summer drink from the state of Karnataka. This drink has a cooling effect on body and helps in hydration during summer. The two key ingredients are ragi flour and buttermilk. This is a gluten free recipe. Ragi ambali is prepared every alternate days in my kitchen during summers. This drink is very stomach filling so comes under low calorie drink. This can be prepared either thick or thin depending on individual taste. Ragi ambali or malt (without any masala) is given to small babies to ensure good healthy and immunity.

Benefits of ragi ambali

Ragi or finger millets has rich fibre, it has highest amount of calcium, minerals and easily helps in weight loss. This is also glutenfree natural energy drink and also suitable for diabetic people as it maintains blood sugar level. It cuts down acidity and cholesterol levels.

Buttermilk is blessing in disguise during summers. It has a soothing effect on stomach and aids in digestion.

Learn to make perfect ragi ambali

Ragi flour used in the recipe should be fresh to ensure a perfect taste and flavour to the ambali. Ragi flour should be dissolved in water at room temperature and a lump free mixture should be prepared.  If ragi flour is added directly to hot boiling water, it forms lump.

Stirring and cooking on low heat is important. This avoids the burning of ragi flour at the base of the vessel.

Cook the ragi flour well until it changes in colour from light to dark brown and raw smell of the flour disappears. The ragi flour mixture thickens into smooth paste. This indicates it is well cooked. If you want the ragi ambali to cool fast, then keep in normal water for sometime.

How to make ragi ambali more delicious

Ragi flour, water and buttermilk are main ingredients and any flavour can be added to enhance the taste of ragi ambali.

Cumin powder, asafoetida, crushed garlic pods, finely chopped onion, coriander leaves, mint leaves, curry leaves are few tasty ingredients that can be added to ragi ambali to enhance the flavour.

Lemon juice, jaggery and salt also enhance the flavour of ragi ambali. Lemon juice is completely optional, if the buttermilk is sour then it can be skipped. We love this way with slight sourness in ragi ambali, so I add lemon juice. Black salt or kala namak can be added instead of rock salt which also gives a unique taste.

If you do not have buttermilk, take thick curd, water in equal proportions, whip this well and use it.


For summer drink recipes, check the below links

Cucumber mint drink

Chocolate banana lasssi shots

Lets see the recipe of ragi ambali with a small video and step by step recipe


Ragi Ambali or Finger Millet Masala Malt

Pavithra M AdigaPavithra M Adiga
Ragi ambali or finger millet masala malt recipe, is a delicious flavoured healthy summer drink.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine karnataka


  • Ragi flour – 2 ½ tbsp
  • Buttermilk - 2 cups
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Jaggery powder - ½ tbsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Onion (very finely chopped) – ¾ cup
  • Curry leaves - 5-6 nos
  • Roasted cumin or jeera powder - ¾ tsp
  • Asafoetida or hing powder - ½ tsp
  • Lemon juice - ¾ tsp (optional)


  • Dissolve ragi flour in water, cook the mixture on low heat.
  • Now add jaggery, salt mix well. Cook well with continuous stirring.
  • Ragi flour mixture thickens and changes in colour (this takes around 5 to 8 minutes)
  • Cool the mixture, add buttermilk, mix well.
  • Add finely chopped onion, curry leaves, roasted cumin powder, asafoetida and lemon juice. Adjust the salt as per taste.
  • Mix everything well. Serve this healthy nutritious ragi ambali or finger millet masala malt


If ragi flour thickens very fast during cooking, add more water and cook properly.
Salt, jaggery and lemon juice can be adjusted based on individual taste.
Thickness of ragi ambali can be adjusted with buttermilk and water.
Keyword Finger millet, Malt, Ragi, Summer drink

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