Wheat-Ragi based infant food (Bola guli- sun dried balls)

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                                                                                   Dried bola guli

Makes – 50-60 of the above size

Time taken in all: 2-3 days (5-6 days to dry)


                                                                       Ready to serve Bolu

Ragi/finger millet/nanchano/in kannada, english and konakni respectively.  Ragi being the staple food of karnataka, Andhra and Tamil nadu, where in  people relish it in the form of  Ragi mudhe, roti and also dosa,  idli etc .  It is a source of protein, fiber,  iron and calcium.

Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East and Ethiopian Highlands, but now cultivated worldwide. We use wheat flour to  make roti, chapati and the wheat sujee is used in upma and also the broken wheat is used  in the preparation of payasam and also sugar patients use it for their diet.

Today i would like to put up a sun dried balls recipe,  an infant food (we call it Bola guli in konkani) with wheat and Ragi in a required  proportion in addition to ajwain, Dry dates and Almonds and the serving food is Bolu in konkani.

This is a great konkani infant recipe which i learnt it from my mom.(thanks amma)  I wanted to share it with you all since it has many advantages.  It is portable.- It can be stored in air tight containers.  The combination of Ragi and Wheat is highly nutritious and kids thrive for it.  The only disadvantage seems to be it is laborious.  Here goes the recipe:

What you need to have: 

1. Whole wheat – 500 grams

2. Ragi – 200 grams

3. Dry dates – 3-4

4. Almonds – 3-4

5. Ajwain seeds – 1/2 TeaspoonKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

                                                                               Ingredients of Bola guli

What you do with what you have:

1. Soak both Wheat and Ragi along with deseeded Dates, Almonds and Ajwain in water separately so that there is enough water to cover above it for about 10 hours.

2. In the evening grind wheat in a grinder to a coarse consistency some what like sand adding water in steps.  (if you squeeze you should be able to to get the husk in hand)  You should do it in batches.  I used my normal conventional hand grinder.  Transfer the grind dough to a wide container.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                     Soaked wheat being grind in the hand grinderKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                                Grind wheat dough

3. Grind Ragi in the mixer along with  deseeded dates, ajwain and pealed almonds to a fine consistency as shown in the picture and pour it in the same vessel and add as much water as you feel necessary.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                 Grind ragi dough being transfered

4. Now take a large and wide vessel and tie a muslin cloth around it using a rope.  Take 3-4 scoops of mixture and  pour  on cloth and  add water.  Move the mixture around vigorously on the cloth with your hands or a spoon however convenient.  The fine particles and water will pass through the cloth and husk will remain on top. One can use as much of  water as  you want till you feel that the husk is free of cream.  Once the whole grind mix is done remove the cloth and keep it aside for cream to settle for about 8-10 hours.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

                                                The grind Ragi-wheat mixture before straining

5. Close it with a lid and keep it in a corner  for the whole night.  The strained mix will be as below the next morning.  Do not keep it for more 10 hours as there are chances of  getting fermented.


                                                        The strained mix of Ragi and wheat

6. Just drain the water slowly with out distracting and you can find that the cream mix of both ragi and wheat in liquid form is settled at the bottom.  Keep the vessel slanting for a while for the clear liquid if any to settle .  By then keep a large thin muslin cloth ready to be poured with 4-5 layers fold and  unfold it to wring off water.  Cover with its upper layer for a while (say 10-20 minutes).


                                                          Cream mix being poured on muslin cloth

7. After a while an elastic paste is formed on the towel.


                                                                Elastic dough of the mix

8. Just pinch out a part of the dough knead it well with your hands  shape it and make impression in the middle to dry fast.  Dry it in hot  sun covering it with a muslin cloth for about 5-6 days till crisp.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

                                                                         Ready to dry Bola guli

9. When fully fry , cool it and store it in air tight containers!!!!


                                                                                       Dried Bola guli

Makes around : 50-60

Time taken in all : 2-3 days(5-6 days to dry)

 To prepare the serving bolu to infant:

1. Soak one dried ball in 2-3 tablespoons of milk for about 5 minutes.  It fluffs up and you can just stir it with your hands so that it is dissolved well.  Add some more milk and cook it on low gas stiring continuously till you get a soft and semi solid mass.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

                                                               Bola guli dissolved in milkKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

                                                                                Ready to serve bolu

Good to remember:

1. Use cleaned wheat and ragi for the dish.

2. Adding more water to the dough and using a bigger/wide vessel is easier for us to move the mixture vigorously with our hands.

3. while making the balls it should not have cracks.  Some times there are some mild like cracks.  But if the cracks is strong, there is every chance of it being  be powdered while drying and  it will be a mess.  Hence make sure to try making the balls when it is easier to knead and shape them.

4. Dry it for at-least 5-6 days in strong sun , else it may catch fungus.  It can be stored in air tight containers for about 5-6 months.  Close the lid of the container daily after using.

5. One can try to grind Wheat in a big electric grinder but not in the mixy, as wheat is very hard even after soaking for hours together to grind in the mixy. Please  do not even give a try.




10 thoughts on “Wheat-Ragi based infant food (Bola guli- sun dried balls)

    Priya said:
    June 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Wow very new for me, looks excellent and those sun dried balls looks fabulous.

      prathibalrao responded:
      June 9, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Hi Priya,

      These wheat-ragi infant food is so good from the health point of view to the infants as it is home made without any preservatives!!!The only thing is that it is too laborious for sure!!!

    ujwala said:
    July 1, 2014 at 8:17 am


    I have heard about this from my MIL.But never got an oppurtunity to know and see the entire receipe.Thank you for posting the receipe clearly with pictures!
    I will make this for my 9 months old son for sure.

    Thanks again!

    Sovani said:
    July 9, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Love your blog. Love the pics. The one with stone (grinding stone) reminded one we used to have, a massive one. Gone are those days!

      prathibalrao responded:
      July 10, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Hi Sovani,

      I had an old grinding stone as you see in the picture. I never use it at all and is lying in a corner. Since i did not have the courage to use either my mixy or my grinder to grind Wheat which has a lot of gum and hence i took a chance to grind in the grinding stone for the sake of my First grand son’s “Bola guli”. That is it. Thanx a lot for your comments.

    sheetal said:
    July 21, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Hello prathima. Please post some more infant foods. Nice blog.

      prathibalrao responded:
      July 23, 2014 at 8:47 am

      Hi Sheetal,

      I will surely do it at my leisure….

    Anjali said:
    August 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Hi AAunty, I am so impressed that you have posted this infant recipe! Infact I used to give the same ones to my daughter, my mother made those pellets for her.

    Reshma said:
    December 7, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Thank u for the recipe. Can u tell me why the bolu has become sour. It tastes very sour.

    prathibalrao responded:
    December 10, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    It can not actually. It could be a lil sour as we have soaked wheat and extracted milk

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