Sathu Maavu or Sprouted Homemade Cerelac Powder Recipe for Babies and Toddlers

Sathu Maavu  or Homemade Cerelac powder is a nutritious healthy mix of many grains that you can offer your baby. 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 it 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 this 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 stove – and all will get done in an hour!

If you are making the sprouted version, then it can take a day as you would have to soak some of the grains overnight in water. Just pre-soak all the ingredients in filtered drinking water in separate containers the day before you are planning to make.

Pro Tip: If you are making in bulk, and don’t want the tedious job of grinding them in your mixer grinder, then get it done at a power mill. Always give one kg of wheat or rice to grind before grinding your baby’s powder. This is so because it will cleanse their mill of all masalas or chillies which they have ground. This will ensure that your Sathu Maauv is not contaminated.

Video Recipe of Sathu Maavu Power

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 your family has been eating. Here are some of the food grains I chose to use. You can experiment and tweak the recipe to customize for your baby.


  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

 Optional  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 healthy mix!

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

Step by Step Process of how to Prepare Sathu Maavu at home

  • Step 1: Wash all your ingredients in plain filtered water
  • Step 2: Soak all the ingredients in filtered water for 10 minutes
  • Step 3: Rinse all grains thoroughly
  • Step 4: Dry them on plain cotton cloths


Step 5:  Now comes the main part, where the maximum of your labor is required! Dry roast all the ingredients separately 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.

Step 6: 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.

Note: 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.

Also Read: Standard height and weight chart for babies

How to Prepare Sprouted Sathu Maavu 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 up to 2 tablespoons.

  • In a small stainless steel pan take half a spoon of homemade ghee. Add half a tablespoon of Sathu Maavu powder.
  • Once the 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 the 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.

Benefits of Sathu Maavu Powder

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.
  • Horse gram 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.

If you still are not able to find the time, then you can buy Sathu Maavu on Amazon as well.


Nutrition in Tamil Nadu

Development of healthy eating habits early in life