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Rava / Sooji / Semolina Idli – Instant Pot, Stove Top

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Rava Idli – a quick and easy, popular Indian breakfast recipe. These idli or steamed cake are made with semolina and are served with some Sambar (lentils curry) and some Cranberry coconut chutney. These are instant idli and require no grinding or fermentation.

 

 

 

WHAT IS IDLI

Idli is a popular breakfast recipe from South India. It is one of the dishes which we love to have all year around, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Idli is basically steamed cake made with rice and lentils, served with Sambar (lentils curry) & Cranberry coconut chutney.

Traditionally, process of making idli is quite time consuming. Firstly, rice and lentils are soaked overnight, than grind to a smooth paste using stone grinder and thereafter kept for fermentation. This takes almost 1-2 days before actually the idli batter can be used for making the idli, depending upon the temperature. The warmer the temperature, the fermentation process is quick.

I have been making idli for many years using this same old traditional method. And the idli come out amazing, the only time consuming part is the time it takes to make the batter for the idli. With our busy lifestyles, sometimes you need recipes that are quick to make but at the same time they taste good too. 

Weekdays are busy, but weekends are even busier. With all the kiddo activities, car pooling, picking, dropping kids to their soccer practices, games, play dates. I just wish I had meals served effortlessly. And that’s were this Rava Idli recipe comes in handy. So convenient to put together and is ready in jiffy. Without any elaborate cooking, we have meals that is so satisfying and filling at the same time.

WHAT IS RAVA IDLI

Rava idli are instant idli made with semolina or sooji and require no grinding or fermentation. These instant Rava idli are soft, light and spongy in texture just like the traditional idli.

This rava idli can be made with fresh or sour yogurt. The  sour yogurt gives a nice taste to idli, just like we get when the batter is fermented. However, fresh yogurt also works fine in this recipe.

Some recipes also add vegetables such as carrots, peas, green beans to their idli. 

Since this recipe does not require fermentation of the batter, fruit salt or baking soda is used to make soft, fluffy idli.

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS FOR RAVA IDLI

RAVA – fine or coarse sooji or semolina can be used for this recipe. This rava or sooji is also called cream of wheat and is not the same as rice rava, which is made of rice.

YOGURT – fresh or sour yogurt can be used. As there is no fermentation required in this recipe, sour yogurt gives a nice sourly taste to the idli.

GREEN CHILI – adds spice to idli, increase or decrease the quantity to taste.

GINGER – adds a nice peppery flavor.

VEGGIES – are optional, you may add veggies of your choice such as carrots, peas, green beans.

CASHEWS – are optional, you can skip nuts to make it nut-free.

URAD DAL, CHANA DAL – lentils are used in tempering and add flavor and texture to the idli.

MUSTARD SEEDS – traditionally mustard seeds are used for tempering. 

HING – or asafoetida, adds flavor and nutritional benefits.

CURRY LEAVES – are optional, few curry leaves, fresh or dry work fine, add a punch of flavor

ENO – eno or fruit salt is used to make soft, fluffy idli. Baking soda can also be used instead. Baking soda gives a mild soapy flavor, hence reduce the quantity to half if using it in the recipe. 

 

HOW TO MAKE RAVA IDLI

Making rava idli is a two step process. First make the idli batter and then steamed the idli. Since, this recipe does not require any fermentation, allow batter to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour. This helps rava with a quick ferment, thus resulting in soft, fluffy idli.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR RAVA IDLI BATTER:

  1. In a pan heat oil. When oil is hot add mustard seeds, let the mustard seeds splutter. Reduce the heat to medium, add urad dal, chana dal, saute for 2-3 minutes, or until lentils change color to light brown.
  2. Add asafoetida, green chili, ginger and broken cashews, saute for a minute.
  3. Add semolina, salt to taste. Roast the mixture on low to medium heat until the semolina is puffed, around 4-5 minutes. As the rava gets roasted, it turns aromatic. Continue to stir the rava often to prevent any burnt rava. Note: The semolina does not change color, it only gets puffed.
  4. Transfer the roasted rava to a bowl, add yogurt, mix well. Gradually add water and make a smooth batter, keep this batter aside for 30 minutes to an hour max.
  5. After 30 minutes, check the consistency of the batter, it should not be too thick or too thin. The rava absorbs all the liquid as it is soaked. Therefore, if the batter looks too thick add couple of tablespoons of water, and adjust the consistency of the batter. 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR INSTANT POT RAVA IDLI:

  1. Turn ON Instant Pot to saute mode (high), add 1-1/2 cups of water to the inner pot of IP and bring it to a boil. 
  2. While water is heating, grease the Idli mold with some oil. 
  3. Add fruit salt to the batter and mix well. Pour spoonful of batter into each mold. 
  4. Place the Idli stand in IP. Cover the IP with a glass lid. Note: You can use the IP lid with pressure value on venting position. 
  5. Cancel saute mode. Turn ON steam mode, set external timer for 8 minutes. Note: IP timer does not work with steam mode.
  6. After 8 minutes, insert a clean knife in the center of the idli, if it comes out clean, then idli is done. If not, steam idli for couple of minutes more. It takes around 8-10 minutes for idli to cook. Note: Do not overcook the idli it will turn hard.
  7. Once Idli are done, carefully remove the Idli stand, using a spoon or a knife, remove Idli from the mold.
  8. Idli is ready to be served. Serve Idli with some Sambar and coconut chutney.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR STOVE TOP RAVA IDLI:

Take a pot big enough to hold the idli stand. Add water, bring it to a boil. Follow the same recipe as discussed for Instant Pot.

 

PRO TIPS FOR SOFT, FLUFFY RAVA IDLI

Roast the rava on low to medium heat until the rava is puffed. As the rava gets roasted, it turns aromatic. Continue to stir the rava often to prevent any burnt rava. The rava does not change color, it will only get puffed.

Check the consistency of the batter, it should not be too thick or too thin. The rava absorbs all the liquid as it is soaked. Therefore, if the batter looks too thick add couple of tablespoons of water, and adjust the consistency of the batter. 

Add ENO just before steaming the idli, when eno is added to the batter it turns light and airy. If the batter is not used immediately it will lose its airiness and the idli will turn hard.

If making idli in large quantity, only add eno to the portion of batter that will be used for steaming idli.

Do not overcook the idli. Idli will turn hard. It does not take long for rava to cook, and therefore 8-10 minutes of steaming is all you need for soft, fluffy idli.

Use the batter within an hour or so. This batter cannot be stored like the traditional batter. 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR RAVA IDLI

Rava idli goes well with some Sambar (lentils curry) and some Cranberry coconut chutney. Idli tastes best when served warm. 

 

 

 

HOW TO STORE RAVA IDLI

Rava idli stays fresh for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. To reheat the idli, microwave idli for 10 seconds. Serve idli with some Sambar and Cranberry coconut chutney.

Rava idli can be frozen for upto a month. Defrost it in the refrigerator, reheat the idli in a microwave and serve warm.

Here are some more recipes for you to enjoy!!

Ragda Pattice– white peas curry served over potato pattice

Dal Makhani –  creamy, flavorful dal made with black gram lentils, kidney beans

Aloo Gobi – simple, easy, delicious Potato Cauliflower curry

Broccoli Cheddar Soup – thick, creamy soup made with broccoli, cheddar cheese

Gajar ka Halwa – quick and easy carrot halwa.

Cranberry Mint Cilantro Chutney

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Rava/ Sooji /Semolina Idli

Rava Idli - a quick and easy, popular Indian breakfast recipe. These idli or steamed cake are made with semolina and are served with some Sambar (lentils curry) and some Cranberry coconut chutney. These are instant idli and require no grinding or fermentation.
Course Breakfast/Brunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword idli, rava idli, sooji idli, semolina cake,instant pot, instant pot idli, instant pot rava idli, vegetarian recipes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 Idli
Author Jyoti Behrani

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Rava/SOOJI (Semolina)/Cream of Wheat
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp MUSTARD SEEDS
  • 1 tsp URAD DAL
  • 1 tsp CHANA DAL
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida / HING
  • 1-2 Green chili, chopped (as per taste)
  • 1/2 inch Ginger, chopped
  • 8-10 RAW CASHEWS, broken
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup thick yogurt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water, (add more if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp ENO (Fruit salt)
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, around 8-10 leaves (optional)

For steaming the Idli:

  • 1-1/2 cup water
  • Oil for greasing the Idli mold

Instructions

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR IDLI BATTER:

  • In a pan heat oil. When oil is hot add mustard seeds, let the mustard seeds splutter. Reduce the heat to medium, add urad dal, chana dal, saute for 2-3 minutes, or until lentils change color to light brown.
  • Add asafoetida, green chili, ginger and broken cashews, saute for a minute.
  • Add semolina, salt to taste. Roast the mixture on low to medium heat until the semolina is puffed, around 4-5 minutes. As the rava gets roasted, it turns aromatic. Continue to stir the rava often to prevent any burnt rava. 
    Note: The semolina does not change color, it only gets puffed.
  • Transfer the roasted rava to a bowl, add yogurt, mix well. Gradually add water and make a smooth batter, keep this batter aside for 30 minutes to an hour max.
  • After 30 minutes, check the consistency of the batter, it should not be too thick or too thin. The rava absorbs all the liquid as it is soaked. Therefore, if the batter looks too thick add couple of tablespoons of water, and adjust the consistency of the batter. 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR STEAMING IDLI IN INSTANT POT:

  • Turn ON Instant Pot to saute mode (high), add 1-1/2 cups of water to the inner pot of IP and bring it to a boil. 
  • While water is heating, grease the Idli mold with some oil. 
  • Add fruit salt to the batter and mix well. Pour spoonful of batter into each mold. 
  • Place the Idli stand in IP. Cover the IP with a glass lid. Note: You can use the IP lid with pressure value on venting position. 
  • Cancel saute mode. Turn ON steam mode, set external timer for 8 minutes. Note: IP timer does not work with steam mode.
  • After 8 minutes, insert a clean knife in the center of the idli, if it comes out clean, then idli is done. If not, steam idli for couple of minutes more. It takes around 8-10 minutes for idli to cook. Note: Do not overcook the idli it will turn hard.
  • Once Idli are done, carefully remove the Idli stand, using a spoon or a knife, remove Idli from the mold.
  • Idli is ready to be served. Serve Idli with some sambar and coconut chutney.

Notes

  1. INSTRUCTIONS FOR STOVE TOP RAVA IDLI - Take a pot big enough to hold the idli stand. Add water, bring it to a boil. Follow the same recipe as Instant Pot
  2. PRO TIPS FOR SOFT, FLUFFY RAVA IDLI - please refer to the post as discussed earlier.
  3. SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR RAVA IDLI - please refer to the post as discussed earlier.
  4. HOW TO STORE RAVA IDLI - please refer to the post as discussed earlier.

Jyoti Behrani

Hello!! Welcome to my blog, my journey Living Smart and Healthy! Cook with me easy and authentic Indian food and around the globe. Will be sharing tips and tricks on easy authentic cooking, without spending hours in the kitchen or comprising on authentic flavors. Keeping things simple and healthy is what I am all about. Life is simple, so lets keep cooking simple too!!

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