Rava idli step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Rave idli or suji idli is a variation of a popular South Indian breakfast, idli. Traditionally, idli is made by fermentation of a batter made using rice and split black lentils (urad dal). The batter used to make rava idlis do not require any fermentation, making them instant idli. It is made with semolina and yogurt as the main ingredients.
It is an excellent variation from the regular idlis that can be ready in minutes. These are my go-to idlis, especially in winter. The instant mix to make these idlis is widely available in Indian grocery stores; however, it is very easy to make the mixture at home.
You can make a large batch of the roasted rava mixture and store it in the refrigerator for up to six months. This way, the rava idli is ready in no time. However, it is important not to store the batter, especially after adding the baking soda as that may make the idlis hard.
These delicious instant idlis originate from Karnataka in South India. Rave idli is said to be invented at the famous restaurant chain Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR) at the time of World War II. There was a shortage of rice during the time, due to which the cooks replaced rice with semolina in idlis and it then became widely popular.
Try this popular South Indian breakfast any time during the day or pack them for a filling and satisfying lunch box. Pair it with coconut chutney, peanut chutney, or delicious tomato chutney. Read on for the ingredients, useful tips, and serving suggestions of this popular South Indian breakfast.
Semolina: Rave/suji, is the main ingredient for this dish.
Yogurt: Yogurt with a slight tang works best.
Ghee: I use ghee to make the tempering; however, it can be replaced with regular cooking oil.
Tempering: (seasoning/tadka) Also called oggarane in Kannada, it is made using mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, chana dal, and hing.
Cashew: This is optional but adds a great crunch and texture to the idli.
Baking soda: A small amount of baking soda is added to give the batter a rise.
Other ingredients: Curry leaves, cilantro/coriander leaves, green chili (or serrano peppers), and grated ginger.
Heat ghee in a frying pan or kadhai. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add asafoetida, chana dal, urad dal, and cumin seeds. Saute for a few seconds (step 1).
Add the ginger, green chili, curry leaves, cilantro, and cashew. Saute for 1-2 minutes until the cashew is golden (step 2).
Add the semolina and saute on medium to low heat for 5-6 minutes until it is aromatic. Let it cool completely (steps 3,4).
At this stage, the suji mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months.
Add yogurt and salt to the cooled semolina. Slowly add water (approximately 1½ cups) and mix well to form a smooth thick batter. Cover and let the batter rest for 30 minutes (steps 5,6).
Once the batter is rested, add baking soda and mix well. Add some water to adjust the consistency if needed and mix well (steps 7,8).
Spoon the mixture into greased idli molds and steam for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit in the steamer for another 5 minutes (steps 9,10).
Use a medium or coarse variety of rava for the best results.
It is important to roast the semolina well before making the batter. If the suji is not roasted, the idlis will become sticky.
Use yogurt that is slightly sour/tangy to make this dish. It works better than fresh yogurt. If you have fresh yogurt, leave it at room temperature for a few hours before using it.
Baking soda helps raise the batter and makes the idlis soft and light. However, do not add a lot of soda as it may alter the taste of the idli.
The suji mixture can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator for up to six months. However, it is best not to store the batter, especially after adding the soda. If you store the batter after adding soda, the idlis will turn out hard.
You can add some vegetables to the mixture. Grated carrots, finely chopped green beans, bell pepper, hyacinth beans, etc. work well with this.
This can happen if the batter is not aerated. Make sure you steam the idlis as soon as you add the soda.
This will happen if the suji/semolina is not roasted well. Use medium-thickness semolina and roast it well before making the batter to avoid sticky idlis.
These rava idlis are:
- very easy to make,
- a great alternative for regular idlis,
- perfect for breakfast and lunch boxes.
Rava Idli / Suji Idli
- 1½ cups semolina medium or coarse variety
- 1 cup yogurt
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoon chana dal (split yellow pea or Bengal gram)
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (split black gram)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ inch ginger grated
- 2-3 green chili finely chopped (or as per taste)
- 10 cashew chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 sprig curry leaves finely chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon asafetida hing
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Make the suji mixture:
- Heat ghee in a frying pan or kadhai. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Add hing, chana dal, urad dal, and cumin seeds. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add the ginger, green chili, curry leaves, cilantro, and cashew. Saute for 1-2 minutes until the cashew is golden.
- Add the semolina and saute on medium to low heat for 5-6 minutes until it is aromatic.
- Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool completely.
- Add yogurt and salt to the cooled semolina and mix well.
- Slowly add water (approximately 1½ cup) and mix well to form a smooth thick batter.
- Cover and let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
Make the idlis:
- Once the batter is rested, add baking soda and mix well. Add some water if needed and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into greased idli molds and steam for 14 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the idli sit in the steamer for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from mold and serve hot with chutney.