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  • Writer's pictureShalini Vemuri

Rava Idli

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

A popular South Indian breakfast dish made from semolina and yogurt. An instant and quick variation of the traditional Idli. Start your day with a steaming hot and healthy breakfast!

Rava Idli is said to have originated in the state of Karnataka, South India. It is usually found in restaurants that serve Udupi cuisine. It's a simple steamed dish made with a combination of Semolina and Yogurt. It is seasoned with green chilis, ginger, grated carrots and topped with a sizzling south Indian tempering.

There are several variations to Rava Idli. A bunch of grated vegetables can be added in the preparation. Also, some tend to combine Semolina and Vermicelli. I am not a big fan of that though. I like to keep it simple, and the addition of Ginger and Green chilis in the recipe takes it up a notch! To attain the fluffiness, a pinch of Baking Soda or Eno fruit salt are added to the batter just before setting them to steam.

A long line up of boxed versions are available in the store with some trusted brands like MTR, that make this instant dish all the more instant. You will get idlis in a perfect shape with clean edges but there are a whole bunch of dehydrated ingredients that go into the box. So, even if the edges aren't perfect lets shy away from it and whip up some roasted semolina/ rava with fresh yogurt for a healthy homemade breakfast!


Makes 10 Idlis Ready in 25 min



2 cups Semolina

1 Green Chilli chopped

3 cups yogurt

1 inch Ginger grated

1 cup Carrots grated

10 cashews chopped

1/4 tsp Baking soda or Eno Fruit salt

1/4 tsp Turmeric Optional

Salt to taste

Water as required

A few springs of Cilantro chopped

South Indian Tempering

2 tbsp oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

1/2 tsp split black gram

1/2 tsp Channa dhal

5 Curry leaves

Options to serve

Coconut Chutney


Chutney powder


1. Heat a sauté pan. Add oil, once hot add the ingredients under South Indian tempering. Let the mustard seeds crackle.

2. Its time to add the other ingredients. Toss in the chopped cashews, green chillis, ginger and carrots and give it a stir. Add turmeric at this point if you want your idlis to look yellow. Don't worry about the doneness of the carrots are they will be steamed later.

3. Add the semolina and salt and roast for a bit.

4. Take the mixture into a medium sized bowl. Add in the yogurt and water required to attain a pancake batter like consistency. Set aside for 10 min.

5. Grease the Idli plates with oil.

6. Semolina tends to soak up the liquid. If the batter is very thick after 10 min, add water to get the desired consistency. Add baking soda or a teaspoon of Eno salt and mix well. 

7. Immediately add the batter to the idli tray and steam them for 15 min.


Serve steaming idlis the traditional way, with a hot cup of coffee and a newspaper!!

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