Mum's Rava Idli, The Ideal Coffee-Time Snack

 Ideal Coffee-Time Snack
By Bhamini S. 

Idli is very common in South Indian households and is made frequently for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This recipe does not require much prep or overnight fermentation, which is a huge bonus.

All you have to do is mix the rava or semolina mixture with yogurt and sodium bicarbonate, let it rest for a couple of minutes and then steam the idlis in an idli maker for a healthy and tasty meal every time. 

This can be served with coconut chutney and a curry like potato masala. 


Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 10 idlis



  • 3 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
  • 3-4 curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp grated carrot
  • 2 tbsp steamed peas
  • 1 cup coarse semolina
  • ¾ cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped (optional)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 cashew nuts, broken into halves
  • ½ tsp sodium bicarbonate AKA baking soda



You can add your choice of steamed vegetables like peas, carrots and green beans. Make sure to chop them finely beforehand.  



  1. In a deep pan, heat 3 tsp oil. Once hot, add 1 tsp mustard seeds and wait until they begin to sputter and burst.
  2. Add ½ tsp jeera (cumin seeds), 1 tsp chana dal, a pinch of hing (asafoetida) and 3-4 chopped curry leaves. 
  3. After a few moments, add 1 chilli if using, and add 1 inch chopped ginger and saute for a minute. 
  4. Add 5 split cashews, and then add finely chopped vegetables of your choice. Saute for a few minutes. 
  5. Transfer all the fried items to a bowl, and leave the oil in the pan. 
  6. Add 1 cup rava (semolina) to the pan and roast until it turns aromatic. If you wish you can store this fried rava for a day or two in the fridge and use it when you wish. Alternatively, make the idlis right away using the following steps.
  7. Mix ¾ cup of yogurt, 2 tbsp coriander, ½ salt in a large bowl. Into this, add all the fried items including the rava.
  8. Mix well and stream in ½ cup water slowly to form a batter. 
  9. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Now stir the sodium bicarbonate or baking soda into the mixture, and allow it to rest for a couple of minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, grease the idli plates with a little oil to prevent sticking. When ready, pour the batter slowly into each plate.  
  12. Steam the idlis in a steamer for 12-13 minutes.
  13. Finally, scoop them out from each plate using a spoon.


We recommend you serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar or a curry, and of course, a cup of Malgudi Days filter kaapi!

Try our recipe and tell us what you think in the comments below.

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