Rava/Sooji Idli recipe is a soft, fluffy, and instant traditional South Indian savory breakfast dish. This Instant Rava idli is usually prepared with a fresh batter made of Rava, yogurt, and a leavening agent. Rava/sooji idli does not require grinding and fermentation processes like the traditional rice and urad dal idli which makes this dish so simple, and instant. And it takes only just 30 minutes to make this quick and tasty meal. This Rava/sooji idli is easy to make in the pot, instant pot, steamer, or electric cooker and is usually served for breakfast and dinner.
What is Rava Idli?
Rava idli is a tasty and quick breakfast dish that has its origin in Karnataka, a South Indian state. Rava is nothing but Semolina in English and it is called Sooji or Suji In Hindi. This dish is usually prepared with Rava that is roasted with spices and then mixed with yogurt and leavening agent. It is then steamed in an idli mold which delivers a soft and fluffy cake called Idli.
"Mavalli Tiffin Room"(MTR) a popular restaurant from the state of Karnataka introduced this Rava/Sooji idli during the period of the second world war. Due to a shortage of rice, it was not easy for them to serve the traditional idli which requires rice. Hence they replaced Rava instead of rice and made these instant Rava idlis. And served to the people along with potato sagu in their tiffin center which then became popular across India.
This Rava idli recipe is prepared under 30 minutes, since the process does not involve soaking, grinding, and fermentation processes like the rice and urad dal idli. It is not only quick to make but also gluten-free and easy to digest which makes this dish healthy like the South Indian Vegetable Semiya Upma. The yogurt used in the recipe is a good source of Probiotics and it aids in easy digestion. Hence it is also a perfect wholesome meal for weight loss.
Rava idli is one of the easiest and the tastiest quick meals that of course has a lot of variations. Usually, the traditional Rava idli recipe uses Eno or baking soda that helps in the fermentation process. And it helps the Idlis to turn moist, soft, and fluffy. But to make it healthy you can skip those sodas, and allow the Rava to soak in yogurt for extra 15 minutes from the regular resting time
You could add more veggies like peas, beans, corn, beetroots to make the dish healthier and extra flavorful. And you could also replace Rava with oats, quinoa, and finger millet flour, to enjoy the other variations of this Rava idli recipe. To relish a Vegan-friendly version, replace yogurt with any plant-based yogurt.
How to make Rava Idli Batter?
Are you craving for idli and no patience and time for making the traditional idli? Then this Rava idli recipe is a keeper. And here is the process on how to make a perfect yet instant Rava idli batter. To make this batter all you need is Rava, a few spices, yogurt, and soda. Initially, in medium heat sizzle the Indian spices like mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chili, and ginger. Saute the onion and carrots for 2 to 3 minutes. Then roast the Rava along with those spices until it turns aromatic and remove it from heat.
Allow the Rava mixture to cool down completely to room temperature. Now at this stage add the ¾ cup of curd/yogurt and mix well without any lumps. Close the batter vessel with the lid and allow the mixture to rest for 5 to 7 minutes. After that open the lid and add soda or Eno salt and ½ cup of water and mix well to a thick batter consistency. This batter consistency helps the idli to hold the shape while steaming. That's it! Altogether it takes only 15 minutes to make this Rava idli batter and the rest 10 minutes for steaming.
How to make Instant Rava Idli?
The recipe I have shared here is a simple and basic Rava/Sooji idli. It is healthy, tasty and makes 10 medium size idlis. As I mentioned above, initially I prepared the Rava idli batter, and in an oil greased idli mold poured a ladle full of batter in each mold.
Note that I made sure to pour the batter immediately once mixing it with soda which helps in achieving soft and fluffy idlis. Then in a pot with boiling water, I placed the idli mold and steamed the idli for 10 minutes.
After that, I removed the Idli mold from the heat and allowed it to rest for 5 minutes. Then I removed the idlis with a spoon and served hot with tomato chutney.
Rava Idli in Instant Pot
The recipe shared here is made in the traditional pot method. But you could also make this Rava idli in Instant pot. To do that, the Rava idli batter process remains the same and to steam, set the instant pot in Sauté mode and bring the water to boil. Then place the idli mold and secure the lid. Now steam the idlis in the steam mode for 10 minutes. And then remove the Rava Idlis from the instant pot and allow it to rest for five minutes.
The Rava Idli can also be prepared in an electric rice cooker similar to the Instant pot Version. For that, follow the same process of Rava idli batter and place the Idli mold inside the electric cooker and steam for the same 10 minutes.
This Rava idli recipe is really simple that even beginners can make at home. It can be perfect light yet filling breakfast or dinner for any busy days, parties, or even for a lunch box. I believe you will try and enjoy this recipe with your family and loved ones.
This dish tastes great on its own but to make it more delicious pair it with coconut, coriander, tomato, or peanut chutneys. It also tastes divine with mixed vegetables, tiffin sambar, Tomato Onion Chutney along with Soft and Crispy Medu Vada.
Looking for quick and easy breakfast recipes to kick start your busy mornings? Then you could also check this collection of Indian Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes to enjoy with your family and loved ones.
Instant Rava Idli video instructions
I have shared the video instructions for this recipe below and I believe this will help you to make the dish quick and easy at home. You could also find the story format of Instant Rava/Sooji Idli for a quick reference.
- 1 cup Rava
- ¼ cup Onion, chopped
- ¼ cup Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Urad Dal
- ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 sprig, Curry Leaves, chopped
- 3 Green Chili, chopped
- 1 tbsp Ginger, chopped
- ¼ cup Carrot, shredded
- ¾ cup Curd
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- Salt, as needed
- 1 + ½ cup Water
Preparation of Rava Idli
- In a pan with medium heat, pour oil and add mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chili, ginger, and saute until it turns fragrant
- Add onion and saute until it turns soft. And then add carrots, turmeric powder, salt and saute for 2 to 3 minutes
- Add Rava and roast until it turns aromatic. Usually, it takes 5 to 7 minutes
- Now transfer the roasted Rava mixture to the glass bowl and allow it to cool down completely
- Add curd and mix well without lumps. Once it is done, close the bowl with the lid and rest for 10 minutes
- Open the lid and add ½ cup of water and mix well to form a thick batter
- Add baking soda and mix well
To Steam Rava Idli
- Grease the idli mold with oil and pour the Rava idli batter
- Add water in an idli pot and place the mold filled with batter
- Close the pot with the lid and steam for 7 to 10 minutes
- Open the lid and remove the idli mold from heat and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Now with a spoon remove the Rava idlis and it is ready for you to taste and enjoy
- Serve the delicious Instant Rava Idli with tomato chutney, coconut chutney, or just as it is
- The baking soda used in the recipe is the main ingredient for making Rava idli soft and fluffy. So I recommend you not to skip this step. But you can also use Eno fruit salt instead of baking soda which does the same job
- The batter for Rava idli should be thick which helps it to hold the shape. So make sure to use the right amount of water
- Steam the idli immediately as soon as you add soda or Eno salt. If you rest the batter then the idlis won't turn soft and fluffy
- I have used carrots in this recipe which gives a nice flavor to the dish. And you could also use other veggies like peas, beans, and beetroot to make it more healthy and flavorful
- The Idli looks yellow as the turmeric powder is part of the ingredients. But this is completely optional and you could skip it to get the Idli with regular, white color
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 5 idli
Amount Per Serving Calories 348Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 26gCholesterol 8mgSodium 660mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 3gSugar 9gProtein 5g
Disclaimer: Nutrition information comes from third-party apps and calculators. The information is purely an estimate and provided for information purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Frequently asked questions
Rava idli is a soft, fluffy, and moist South Indian savory dish made with Semolina/sooji, Indian spices, yogurt, and leavening agents like soda or Eno salt. It is usually served for breakfast and dinner with coconut, coriander, or tomato chutneys.
Yes, it is. The Rava idli recipe uses fresh ingredients like semolina, curd/yogurt, spices, and herbs that are easy to digest and it is also gluten-free.
Yes, you can replace yogurt/curd with an equal amount of water. And add 3 tbsp of lemon juice along with baking soda which gives similar soft and fluffy idlis.
Eno or baking soda is the main ingredient that helps in the instant fermentation process for soft and fluffy Idli. But you could skip them and allow the Rava to soak in yogurt for extra 15 minutes. This would also produce similar output.
Roasting Rava helps the idli to avoid turning mushy or sticky, so I recommend you to roast Rava, or to speed up the process try using the roasted Rava that is available in Indian grocery stores.
I really hope you enjoyed the recipe that I have shared here and I would love to hear from you on how it turned out for you. Please let me know.
If you have any other questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.