Every morning in Visakhapatnam’s MVP colony, one can spot a long line of customers waiting to eat steaming idlis.

But these are not your normal idlis made using rice batter on steel plates.

These unique idlis are made using a multi-millet batter consisting of ragi, jowar, bajra, korra, ooda, aarika, saama and variga, poured into a cone-shaped Vistaraku leaf.

The owner of Vasena Poli (meaning alternative idlis) enterprise is a 29-year-old postgraduate Chittem Sudheer, who ironically hated eating idlis as a kid.

He started the venture in 2018 with an investment of Rs 50,000.

His aim was to integrate organic millets along with rice into the diets of the city people; those in rural and semi-urban areas already used millets in their daily diets.

Sudheer procures around 700 kg of millet per month from tribal farmers from the villages of Srikakulam, Vijayanagar, and Visakhapatnam.

“It took me nearly two years to come up with the perfect proportions and recipe,” he says.

The hot idlis are served with chutneys prepared from vegetables like bottle gourd, ginger and carrot.

“One plate has three idlis and is priced at Rs 50, whereas a single piece is priced at Rs 17,” he says.