Rava idli is a delicious & popular south Indian breakfast recipe from Karnataka. This is an instant idli recipe made with semolina, yogurt, spices & herbs. The no grind batter does not require fermentation unlike traditional idli batter & can be used immediately.
Making rava idli is really easy and gets done in less than 30 minutes. You can whip up quick breakfast when you don’t have any batter handy and don’t want to eat upma 🙂
Here I am sharing my tried and tested recipe of instant rava idli that is soft, fluffy, light & delicious. Serve with a good coconut chutney, tomato chutney & coffee for an excellent breakfast.
Now if you are wondering what this dish is all about, read on!
What Is Rava Idli?
Rava idli or suji idli is an instant idli recipe from south Indian cuisine. Idli is a steamed rice cake made with rice and skinned black lentils or urad dal batter. You first make a smooth batter out of rice, lentils and ferment it over night. This batter is then steamed into small cakes.
Idli is a very popular and most commonly made breakfast in south India and naturally there are many variations to it.
Instant Rava Idli Recipe
Rava or suji means semolina in India & rava idli is a variation of instant idli with suji and few other ingredients.
This recipe is simple, easy to make and handy when you want to make something quick, delicious and filling 🙂
To make rava idli batter you will have to simply mix roasted rava or emolina with yogurt, add salt and simple tempering or tadka of mustard seeds, green chilies etx.
One important ingredient we will add to the batter is fruit salt, commonly known as eno fruit salt or a mix of baking soda and lemon juice. This will activate the batter immediately and make it light and fluffy.
This is important as we are not fermenting the batter in this recipe unlike traditional idli batter. Once the batter is ready you have to make rava idlis using idli plates immediately. Do not let the batter stand for long after mixing fruit salt.
You can make plain rava idli or add some vegetables as I did and make vegetable rava idli recipe too. In Karnataka, a famous restaurant called MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Rooms) first served this dish and it has been ever popular since 🙂
My recipe I am sharing here will yield you super soft, fluffy and absolutely delicious sooji idli just like MTR rava idli. I have addressed few common problems while making rava idli like idlis turning hard, turning too soft and shapeless etc in tips section.
Khara bath, kesari bath are few more specialties from MTR 🙂
Rava or Sooji
You can use both coarse rava or fine rava or bombay rava for this recipe. Make sure to roast rava well before adding to yogurt. Even if you purchase roasted rava from stores, I suggest you roast it once along with ingredients for good flavor and texture.
You will need slightly sour curd or yogurt for making rava idli batter. As we are not fermenting the batter it is important to add slightly sour curd for the flavor and make the batter a bit sour.
If you are using store bought yogurt make sure it is plain and unsweetened.
As mentioned above fruit salt or eno is added to activate the batter. If you don’t have fruit salt you can add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda combined with 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or lime juice.
We will make a simple tadka or tempering to add to the idli batter. You will need mustard seeds, chana dal, cumin seeds if you like the flavor, chopped green chilies, curry leaves, cashews and grated ginger.
I always add some chopped vegetables like grated carrots, chopped bell peppers, chopped coriander leaves etc. Finally I like to garnish each idli with half cashew 🙂 Just for fun 🙂
Preparing Rava Idli Batter
Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a heavy pan and add 12 cashews.
Fry until it becomes golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
To the same pan add 1 cup rava and roast for few minutes. Remove to a plate and let it cool for few minutes.
To the same ghee add 1 more tablespoon oil and heat it. Now add mustard seeds, add chana dal, curry leaves, chopped green chilies. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the heat and remove to a plate.
Now place 3/4 cup sour curd in a mixing bowl and whisk well.
Add the rava, tempered ingredients, salt to taste and mix well. The batter should be thick yet pourable.
Now set aside the batter for 15 minutes.
How To Make Rava Idli Recipe
Once the batter had been kept aside for 15 minutes add 1/3-2/3 cup water and mix. it is ready.
To make idlis you will need idli plates or idli moulds and an idli stand. If stand is unavailable you can use any steamer pot or pressure cooker or instant pot too.
Pour 1 cup water into your steamer pot or pressure cooker or inner vessel of instant pot and bring it to a boil. Grease the idli plate with few drops of oil and place a roasted cashew. Also add some grated vegetables as seen.
Now add eno fruit salt to the prepared batter.
The batter immediately will bubble and froth. Mix it very well. After adding eno salt use the batter immediately.
Finally add chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.
Pour the batter into each mould until 3/4 full. Place the idli stand inside the steamer pot or idli maker.
Close the pot and steam for 12 minutes in medium flame.
After 15 minutes, open the steamer and unmould the idlis or steamed cakes with a spoon dipped in warm water. Serve rava idlis immediately with prefered side dish.
Rava idli tastes absolutely delicious with added toppings like chopped green chili, grated carrot, cashews etc. I like to serve this with spicy tomato chutney, onion chutney or even idli podi when I am in short of time.
In some restaurants rava idli is served with potato sagu, a mildly spiced slightly runny curry and chutney powder. I have shared the making of potato sagu briefly in tips the section.
The key point to take care while making rava idli recipe to roast the rava properly. If you make idli with rava that is not roasted properly, it will turn out sticky and not fluffy& light.
Even if you are using pre roasted rava from stores, make sure to roast it well in some ghee before making the recipe.
Also add the given quantity of ghee to make non sticky rava idlis. Please note that you have to use fine semolina or bombay rava or chiroti rava for this recipe and rice rava is not suitable here.
Using Baking Soda Instead of Eno
If you dont have eno salt you can simply use same amount of baking soda combined with few drops of lime juice. Just add the baking soda and add lime or lemon juice on top of it. It will bubble and froth immediately. Mix the batter well and steam rava idli at once.
It is important to get the batter consistency right for making perfect rava idli that is soft, fluffy and light. The batter should be thick yet pourable. If you make batter very thick, the idlis will turn out hard and on the other hand if you make the batter thin, idlis will turn flat and sticky.
Skipping Leavening Agents
If you want to make instant rava idli that is fluffy, soft and moist do not skip the leavening agents. However you can let the batter ferment for 6 hours and make idlis without eno or baking soda.
Setting The Batter Aside
Again this is an important step in the recipe. After mixing the yogurt with rava do set aside the batter for 15-20 minutes. Rava absorbs water, in this case yogurt and swells up and improves the texture of rava idli by making it fluffy.
After setting aside, the rava will become slightly dry so it is also important to add water to adjust the consistency.
Steam Rava Idli
Unlike traditional idli with lentil batter, these rava idlis should be steamed for slightly longer time. I usually steam for 12 minutes but depending on the variety of rava used you may to steam these idlis for up to 15 mins. If yo use thick rava you will have steam for few more minutes.
Variations With Rava Idli Recipe
Once you make the basic rava idli recipe you can further improve it by adding few other ingredients and make it healthier too.
Oats idli– Check out this easy recipe to make oats idli
Ragi idli– Along with rava we are using some finger millet flour in ragi idli recipe.
Instead of regular rava you can use any millet rava or wheat rava too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does rava idli turn crumbly?
If you add more leavening agent then there are chances for idli to crumble as it cooks.
Why does rava lid turn out dense and hard?
If you add less leavening agent than required your idlis will turn dense and hard on the other hand. Do not alter the quantity of eno fruit salt or baking soda to make soft idlis.
How to make non sticky rava idly?
Roasting the rava until it turns slightly golden and aromatic is the key for making non sticky rava idli. You also have to add the given amount of ghee and oil in the batter.
Can I use baking powder instead of baking soda?
No, baking powder and baking soda are two different ingredients and cannot be interchanged.
More Rava Recipes
Easy rava upma
Crispy rava dosa
Easy rava paniyaram
Rava Idli Recipe
Rava Idli Recipe | Instant Idli With Suji
1 CUP = 250 ml
- 1 cup semolina sooji/rava
- 3/4 cup yogurt slightly sour prefered, thick
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons grated carrot optional, I didn’t use
- 12 cashews
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon Eno fruit salt or baking soda
- 1 tablespoon Ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon urad dal
- 1 teaspoon channa dal
- 3 green chillies chopped fine
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon Oil
Preparing Rava Idli Batter
- Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a heavy pan and add 12 cashews.
- Fry until it becomes golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
- To the same pan add 1 cup rava and roast for few minutes. Remove to a plate and let it cool for few minutes.
- To the same ghee add 1 more tablespoon oil and heat it. Now add mustard seeds, add chana dal, curry leaves, chopped green chilies. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the heat and remove to a plate.
- Now place 3/4 cup sour curd in a mixing bowl and whisk well.
- Add the rava, tempered ingredients, salt to taste and mix well. The batter should be thick yet pourable.
- Now set aside the batter for 15 minutes.
How To Make Rava Idli Recipe
- Once the batter had been kept aside for 15 minutes add 1/3-2/3 cup water and mix. it is ready.
- To make idlis you will need idli plates or idli moulds and an idli stand. If stand is unavailable you can use any steamer pot or pressure cooker or instant pot too.Pour 1 cup water into your steamer pot or pressure cooker or inner vessel of instant pot and bring it to a boil. Grease the idli plate with few drops of oil and place a roasted cashew. Also add some grated vegetables as seen.
- Now add eno fruit salt to the prepared batter.
- The batter immediately will bubble and froth. Mix it very well. After adding eno salt use the batter immediately.
- Finally add chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.
- Pour the batter into each mould until 3/4 full. Place the idli stand inside the steamer pot or idli maker.
- Close the pot and steam for 12 minutes in medium flame.After 15 minutes, open the steamer and unmould the idlis or steamed cakes with a spoon dipped in warm water. Serve rava idlis immediately with prefered side dish.
Kanak Hagjer says
Looks delicious!I’d like to try using the fruit salt…haven’t tried it before.
how much of eno fruit salt
Usually i like idly…i like rava idly also after saw your recipes.
Thank you Ranjitha,do give this a try.
I tried your rava idli recipe it last night it came really well and so yummy.I love your blog and the collection of recipes it was really so delicious and yummy.Definitely i will try your all recipes.Thanks for sharing:-)
I didn’t roast the rava(also had to use suji rava) because… Ermmmm… I skipped that step
Added a little baking soda instead of fruit salt
Chopped capsicum instead of carrots
And finally had to make it in a cup cake mold because I don’t have a stand.
However…. It came out perfectly…
Thank you so so so much