Rava Idli

When I am moping, I lie in bed while my kids climb over me, I shut my eyes tight when Yuvan pries my eyes open. I hear Hasini echo my dad’s words – “You’re always late.” Back in the days when I was single, when I was free, I’d brood on the toilet seat for hours without visitors, knocks and questions – “why are you taking so long?”, “what are you doing?”, “Did you go out the window?” (That’s a good idea!). I’d lie in bed reading all day, sleeping in between, ransacking the fridge at midnight for something sweet, going back to bed to read. Chocolate soothes me. Reading drugs me. Those days, I like to eat Paal Saadam (Rice and milk). I feel comforted.

Rava Idli


When I am stressed, when I am wound up and exhausted after a frenetic day of work, I want to eat Dominoes Pizza and coke. I want to eat biryani and thumbs up. I want my soda. I want sugar. I want cheese. I want chocolate. I want empty calories and Vadivelu comedy.

When I am happy I want to eat Molagai bajji, chocolate cake and Lasagne.

When I miss home, I yearn for idli, vadai, sambar and thengai chutney and Ilayaraja songs. I want paruppu rasam saadam and fried egg and Balachander movies.

When I am angry, frustrated, I want Paneer soda and friends to hear my story. A small paper cup with watery canteen coffee would do too.

Rava Idli

When I am hungover, I want Jagan’s lemon soda in a dark room.

When I am busy at my laptop, I have filter coffee by my side and Hasini combing my hair.

I want pattani and uppu kadalai while watching TV.

There are times when I make Rava idli.
I make Rava idli every time my………………………………….. yogurt turns sour. Every single time I feel ingenious to be making rava idli instead of rava upma. I am terribly proud of my soft, tender rava idlis that I make from scratch. Rava idlis were one of the first things I made after my wedding. I’d make them from MTR’s rava idli mix. I’d make MTR rava idlis and coriander chutney and wait for the Maamiyaar to be impressed. I had no clue then that making them from scratch was just as easy. You’ll never go back to buying the readymade mix once you make these rava idlis. That is a bet.

rava idli

Kannadigas make the most amazing rava idlis. I love digging into rava idli, coriander chutney and sago when I am visiting Karnataka.

rava idli

You could even prepare your very own rava idli mix (up until the point of frying everything up) and store it in an air-tight container for your homemade version of rava idli mix. But it is so easy and quick, you could do it fresh every time you are in the mood for rava idli or every time your yogurt turns sour. Enjoy!  

rava idli

Homemade Rava idli

Jayanthi Padmanabhan
Easy, quick and so so soft and tasty, these rava idlis are sure to become your favourite tiffen
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins


  • Bombay Rava/Fine Sooji/Semolina – 2 cups
  • Whisked yogurt/curd – 3 cups
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 stem
  • Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp chopped
  • Cashew nuts – 10 broken into small pieces
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Oil – 2 tbsp + more for greasing the idli plates


  • Grease idli plates and set aside.
  • To a thick bottomed pan/kadai, add 2 tbsp oil and fry cashews till golden brown. Add in mustard seeds and curry leaves while the cashews are frying. Keep stirring. After the mustard seeds have spluttered and cashews are golden, add the rava and mix well over low heat. The rava needs to be heated through but not allowed to colour – about 2 minutes or so. Add the chopped coriander leaves and mix well. The rava mixture will resemble wet sand. Switch off. Transfer the rava mixture to a large bowl.
  • Whisk curd to remove lumps. Pour whisked curd into the rava mixture and mix well. Let the batter rest for about 10-15 minutes. At the end of that, the batter will be thick.
  • Add baking soda to the batter and mix well. Ladle the batter into the greased idli plates and steam for 8-10 minutes. Dip the tip of a wooden skewer into water and insert into the rava idli to check for doneness. It should come out clean. Cook for 1-2 minutes extra if the skewer comes out with idli crumbs. Switch off once the rava idlis are cooked. Remove idli plates from the pot and leave them on the counter for 5 minutes to cool down. Use a wet spoon to scoop out the rava idlis. Serve hot with chutney or podi of your choice. Enjoy!
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  1. Sangheetha says:

    That’s a long list of delicacies to try 🙂 in various moods..
    Only I eat Rava idli at home and I too use MTR mix. Faster than 2 mins “which must not be named”
    My home made Rava idli was too thick and rock like.
    Will try this sometime.. yes when curd turns sour..

    • foodbetterbegood says:

      Rava idli is one of my favourite tiffens. I made up this recipe after multiple failed attempts. i tried using eno salt like i read on a popular blog but that didn’t work for me. I then just went with my instinct and used baking soda instead and it worked. Baking soda is the key to create light, fluffy rava idlis. Don’t skip it.

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