Sathu Maavu Recipe for Babies

Sathu Maavu  or Homemade Cerelac powder is a nutritious healthy mix of all major food grains that you can offer your baby and family. For babies and toddlers, it is considered among the top most weight gaining food.

Sathu Maavu is an excellent supplement to homemade food as it contains all vitamins and minerals required for your baby’s growing body. Babies with few teeth can easily gobble it all up. For babies with teeth, you can also try to make variations from the Sathu Maavu flour like pancakes and cupcakes.

It is a traditional South Indian recipe. Some mommies from the north should not confuse it with “sattu” which is just powdered chana dal used in many north Indian dishes. As with any popular traditional product, there is now mass commercialization of it as well. Why would you want to purchase over processed Cerelac packs from the market, when you can customize a health mix at home for your little one.

Making Sathu Maavu does seem like a daunting task. But once you begin, it really doesn’t take that long. Purchase and keep all the ingredients ready. Just dry roast all ingredients on your 3 or 4 burner gas – and all will get done in under an hour!

If you are making the sprouted version, then yes it can take a day as you would have to soak some of the grains overnight in water. But that too is not very cumbersome. Just soak all the ingredients in filtered drinking water in separate containers the day before you are planning to make.

I was so afraid that I would run out of it and have to resort to using one from the market that I ended up making 20 kgs of it, enough to last me a year. I have stored in bulk in my freezer in a stainless steel container. I take out enough for a week and keep outside the fridge.

Since I was making in bulk, I didn’t want to do the tedious job of doing it in my mixer grinder. Luckily where we are currently living in Kanpur there is a power mill just near our society.

If you are also lucky enough to find one near your house, always give one kg of wheat or rice to them to grind before getting your baby’s powder done. This is so because it will cleanse their mill of all masalas or chillies which they have ground for someone else. This will ensure that your Sathu Maauv is not contaminated.

Recipe for Making Sathu Maavu or Homemade Cerelac

The best part of this recipe is that you can use any kind of grains you want. It is always better to eat the local grains which are produced. Here are some of the food grains I chose to use. You can experiment and tweak recipe to customize for your baby

All you need to do is wash and dry roast them. Grind them in your mixer grinder or at your local power mill.


  1. Rice -500 gms (I used brown rice for more nutrition. I also added Assamese rice which was homegrown at our family farm)
  2. Barley – 500 gms
  3. Johar – 500 gms
  4. Bajra – 500 gms
  5. Wheat – 500 gms
  6. Chana Dal – 500 gms
  7. Black Urad Dal – 500 gms
  8. Whole Green Moong Dal – 250 gms
  9. Whole Black Dal – 250 gms
  10. Yellow Moong Dal – 250 gms
  11. Whole Masoor Dal – 250 gms
  12. Dalia – 250 gms
  13. Chickpeas – 250gms
  14. Horse Gram – 250 gms
  15. Cowpeas – 250 gms
  16. Corn – 250 gms
  17. Sabudana – 250 gms
  18. Peanuts – 250 gms
  19. Cashews – 100 gms
  20. Almonds – 100 gms
  21. Pistas – 100 gms
  22. Cumin Seeds – 10 gms
  23. Ajwain Seeds – 10 gms
  24. Cardamom = 10gms

Customizing Sathu Maavu with other ingredients

While most of the popular websites that have this recipe limit themselves to the above ingredients, who says that you have to! And any or all of the following ingredients to make a super health mix!

  • Ragi
  • Millets
  • Oats
  • Black eyed peas
  • Dried white peas
  • Dried green peas
  • Lal Channa
  • Green Channa

I used almost every single grain I could find in the aisles of Big Bazar. Wherever you live, if you have a local grain, not mentioned here then don’t hesitate to include it. Feel free to add or subtract the quantities. It all depends on how much Sathu Maavu you want to make and store.

How to Prepare Sathu Maavu

  • Wash all your ingredients in plain filtered water
  • Soak all the ingredients in filtered water for 10 minutes
  • Rinse all grains thoroughly
  • Dry them on plain cotton cloths


Now comes the main part, where the maximum of your labor is required! Dry roast all the ingredients seperately as follows:

  • Dry roast the rice till they begin to look like puffed rice.
  • Dry Roast all the dals till they become golden brown.
  • Dry roast Sago and peanuts till they are dry and crispy.
  • Roast daliya till they are golden brown.
  • Green Gram should be dry roasted them till the color changes to brown
  • Roast corn till they begin to crackle.
  • Roast all dry fruits like almonds, cashews and elachi till they leave aroma.

Let all the ingredients cool down completely. Now you can grind all the grains in your own mixer grinder, else get it done from a local power mill.

For babies, younger than 9 months, remember to sift the powdered flour to remove any debri chunks. You can store the powder in a steel airtight container in your fridge. Since I had ended up making a hug amount I chose to store it in my freezer.

How to Prepare Sathu Maavu Mix or Homemade Cerelac Mix

To make the sprouted Sathu Maavu version some of the ingredients will need to be soaked, sprouted, dry roasted and then powdered. The process is exactly the same; all you do is sprout some of the grains.  The sprouted version is more healthy and nutritious as it contains more proteins.

homemade cerelac or sathumaavu

The following grains can be sprouted. Soak them overnight. The next day tie all the grains separately in different muslin cloths, and wait for the grains to sprout.

  • Ragi
  • Lal Chana
  • Green Chana
  • White peas
  • Green peas
  • Whole Green Gram
  • Whole Black Gram
  • Chickpeas
  • Cowpeas
  • Jowar
  • Horsegram
  • Wheat
  • Corn

Important points to keep in mind, when sprouting grains:

  • Use clean utensils to soak the grains
  • Soak each grain overnight in a separate bowl
  • The next day they will begin to have sprouts
  • If you want longer sprouts, then tie them in a muslin cloth and leave for one more night.
  • Sun dry them for a day or do.
  • If any grain begins to give a funny or an off smell, discard immediately
  • Due to varying climate conditions sprouts can grow faster or more slowly – so keep this in mind when planning to make homemade cerelac powder.

How to feed Sathu Maavu kanji  to your baby or toddler

So, now you have your nutrition packed health mix, how are you going to feed your little one? That itself is a separate challenge, isn’t it?

Sathu Maavu Porridge for baby or toddler:

The easiest and simple way is to make a porridge or kanji out of it. If you are just starting to wean your baby, start small, begin with half a tablespoon and work your way upto 2 tablespoons.

  • In a small stainless steel pan take half a spoon of homemade ghee. Add half a tablespoon of Sathu Maavu powder.
  • Once powder has dissolved in the ghee, immediately add one cup milk (125mls) and stir so that no lumps are formed.
  • If your baby is less than one year old, and you have not started cow milk then use same amount of water.
  • Cook on medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Let cool and feed your little one

Making Sathu Maavu even more nutritious:

  • Add gur to sweeten the porridge, but only if baby is more than 1 year old
  • Add a variety of fruit purees to sweeten Sathumaavu
  • Add honey for a change in taste, but only if baby is more than 1 year old.
  • Add dry fruits powder to make the dish even more nutritious.

Why Sathu Maavu powder is so nutritious?

Do we really need to ask this question? The ingredients speak for themselves! It is considered one of the best weight gain food for babies.

Rice or brown rice is a very good source of dietary fiber and carbohydrates. Black urad dal is very rich in protein and Vitamin B complex. Whole masoor dal is power packed with protein and iron.

Though we normally don’t eat horse gram on a daily basis it contains protein and is an excellent source of iron, calcium and molybdenum. Wheat and dalia are rich in carbohydrates proteins and magnesium.

Whole green gram is quite a popular food for increasing dietary fiber. It is also rich in Iron and magnesium. Sago or Sabudana is pure carbohydrate and has good calorific value for a growing child. Corn is an antioxidant, rich in protein and vitamin B6. Cashews, almonds and elachis are good in fat, magnesium, vitamin B6 and iron to name a few.

If you still are not able to find the time, then I would recommend the Sprouted Sathu Maavu Powder by Dr Hema of MyLittleMoppet. She is truly doing a commendable job by using organic ingredients to make homemade cerelac. She too recommends that you first try making at home, and if not possible then only look for options outside.

Is that your toddler crying? Enough recipe hunting for the day! Go feed him a bowl of nutritious sathu maavu. While you’re at it, whip up some of this health mix for yourself as well!


  • Aesha Shah

    That’s such an elaborate recipe but with the health benefits it has one should give this to the baby. Moms would do anything for the babies good health.

  • Anupriya Gupta

    Woah! So much effort to put together such a detailed post. I too prepared something similaar for my elder kid when he started having solids. Thanks for sharing

  • Mahak Kewalramani Wadhwani

    This will certainly help new moms. Thanks for sharing this recipe

  • Roopika Sareen Akhtar

    That’s a great recipe.. and healthy too! Thanks for sharing

  • Vidhi Duggal

    Very healthy and nutritious recipe. Excellent for babies.

  • Anchal Narayan

    Thanks for sharing. I am going to share this with my friends.

  • What a balanced diet .But definitely needs dedication.I have never made sathumaavu at home.

  • Nayantara Hegde-Karkhanis

    This is amazing. I had no idea making this could be so easy. Will try this some day soon

  • Deepa Malhotra Gandhi

    Wow..this is superb. Sathu maavu is surely nutritious. It is a lot of hard work to make it but its all worth it.

  • Khushboo Periwal

    Wow! You made 20 kilos of this 🙂 you are one enthusiastic mommy 🙂 I have read and heard about sathu mavu but never tried it.. your elaborate post gives me the confidence to give it a try. Thanks for this

  • Kinshoo Agarwal

    Awesome nutritious recipe for babies. A complete meal in itself. I loved the pic with ingredients on wooden spoons.