Rava idli

Rava idli is a famous south Indian breakfast from Karnataka and is one more variety of idli. Rava idli is different from the normal idli and can be prepared instantly. There is no need to ferment whereas normal idli has to be fermented and both tastes different also. Rava idli is easy and quick to prepare. Rava means sooji/semolina. You can use Bombay rava if ordinary rava is not available. When I prepared my rava idli, it just tasted like the ones you get in restaurants. It was so delicious, soft and full of aroma. Rava idli can be served with peanut chutney, coconut chutney, sambar or any side you like. You can prepare rava idli with or without vegetables like me and I have shown below in the recipe. I prefer plain rava idli myself.

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 12 mins

Cuisine: South Indian, Karnataka

Serves: 3 people (14 medium sized idlis)

Spiciness: Mild


  • Wheat rava (Bombay rava) – 1 1/2 cup
  • Curd – 1 1/3 cup
  • Water – 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Soda – 1/4 tsp
  • Tadka / tempering

  • Ghee/Oil – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 3/4 tsp
  • Chana dal (bengal gram) – 2 tsp
  • Asafoetida (hing) – a pinch or more
  • Ginger – 3/4 tsp
  • Green chillies (chopped) – 2
  • Curry leaves – 15
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1/4 cup or 3 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts – 10
  • Optional

  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Green peas (frozen and parboiled) – 1/3 cup


  • Whisk curd with a fork or whisk to make it smooth and there are no lumps.
  • Roast Bombay rava on low flame for 10 to 15 minutes until a pleasant aroma comes. Keep stirring, otherwise it can get burnt.
  • Pour the rava in a vessel or bowl. Keep it ready.
  • Chop green chillies, ginger and coriander leaves finely. Keep it aside.
  • Split the cashew nuts into halves. Keep it aside.
  • Heat kadai or a pan, add ghee and when hot add cashew nuts and cook until it is golden in colour. Remove and keep it aside.
  • Tadka / tempering

  • Heat the vessel for tadka/seasoning, add ghee and when hot add mustard seeds, chanadal, hing and curry leaves. Sauté for 1 to 2 mins on a medium flame. Add ginger and green chillies, cook for about 30 seconds. Switch off. Allow it to cool.
  • Optionally you can add turmeric powder and peas after tempering. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Switch off.
  • Add this tempering mixture to the curd bowl and mix well. Add the roasted semolina and mix well.
  • Add water as per the consistency required. Add salt and soda. Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes or if you have time for about an hour.
  • Grease the idli plates with oil/ghee.
  • Place one or 2 pieces of cashew nuts in each idli mould so that everyone will get the crunchiness in the idli.
  • Pour the batter into the idli moulds and steam for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Allow it to cool until it is still a little warm.
  • Scoop the idlis in the serving plate and serve hot with sambar and chutney. I have served it with south Indian peanut chutney.


  • When the curd and water is added to the rava mixture it will look thin and runny but later it will become thick.
  • Instead of soda you can add Eno for immediate, instant and fluffy idlis when you do not have enough time to rest the batter. As soon as Eno is added instead of soda, mix and pour the batter into the idli mould immediately.
  • You can add vegetables like mushroom, carrot, peas, cauliflower and/or cabbage to make vegetable rava idli.

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