Rava Idli or the MTR style Rava Idli is a popular Karnataka style breakfast. Even though it is a breakfast staple in most Kannada homes, this dish became popular when the famous MTR foods brought out their Rava Idli mix.
Rava Idli or rather MTR style Rava Idli is something that I started liking during my Bangalore days. I love MTR s Rava Idli. For the uninitiated, MTR aka Mavalli Tiffin Rooms is a chain of restaurants that is insanely popular for its Karnataka-style menu.
What is Rava Idli?
Rava means semolina. Rava is also called as Rave in Kannada and Sooji in Hindi. Rava Idli is a no-fermentation needed instant Idli made with semolina. These are soft and fluffy. And they make the ideal South Indian breakfast when paired with the classic coconut chutney.
While semolina is the star ingredient in this Rava Idli recipe, we will also be using yogurt ( curd), some aromatics and a leavening agent to make some fluffy idlis.
A leavening agent is simply that ingredient which will help our batter to rise and fluff when steamed. Here, we will be using Eno fruit salt. Some people may not be very fond of this taste but if you add the right quantity as mentioned here, then you will not taste it at all.
Too much Eno in your Rava idli batter can make your Idlis hard, flat and they may also disintegrate. So, it is very important to use just the precise measure of Eno.
What can be used in place of Eno in Rava Idli?
Good old baking soda will work well too. For every cup of semolina you use, add 1/4 tsp baking soda and this will give you beautifully soft Idlis.
Can we make Rava Idli without curd?
While you can substitute the curd with water, I will not recommend it. The taste and texture become totally different. When made with water, these Idlis basically resemble something close to steamed upma. And this is definitely not our intended results.
- This recipe uses Bombay Rava. Idli rava and Bombay rava are different. So,please make sure to check the package before proceeding with the recipe.
- Make sure to roast the semolina till aromatic on low medium flame. This step makes sure that we get the perfect results.
- Use slightly tangy yogurt for a typical Idli taste. And whisking the yogurt well before mixing it into a batter makes measuring easier too.
- If you add the yogurt while the roasted semolina is hot or warm, the batter will release too much water when it cools down. Also, Semolina will absorb more yogurt than mentioned here. So, it is important to allow the roasted mixture to cool down fully.
- Cashews are optional but highly recommended.
- Other toppings that work well here are shredded or grated carrots. However, the typical MTR version does not have grated carrots.
- Add the Eno fruit salt only just before steaming the Idlis.
- Before placing the Idlis for steaming, add water to your steamer and allow it to come to a gentle boil. Place the steamer rack once the water begins to boil. This quickens the steaming process.
DIY MTR style Rava Idli Mix
Having some of this instant Sooji Idli mix at home, handy is a God send when you are sick or simply not in a mood to whip up breakfast. To make this DIY mix by yourself, simply follow all the steps till roasting the semolina. When the semolina has been roasted, remove from the pan, let it cool on a plate.
When the mixture has cooled, transfer it to a clean dry container. Label it appropriately with the date and store in a clean dry place. When you need to make Idlis, simply empty the contents of the jar into a bowl and proceed with the remaining steps mentioned here.
Steaming in Instant Pot
In this recipe, I have used my 6qt Instant Pot to steam the Idlis. You can do the steaming in a regular pressure cooker without the pressure weight on. Or you can use an Idli steamer too.
If you are using the Instant pot, please remember that the timer function does not work in the steamer option. So, you will need to use a kitchen timer to time the steaming process.
The best sidekick for these is definitely some coconut chutney. But you can also try some other accompaniments too
Rava Idli – Step By Step
Roasting the dry ingredients
In a wide-bottomed skillet or a pan, heat the ghee. Add the mustard seeds. After they splutter, add the hing, channa dal and saute for a minute. Now add the cashews and saute till light brown.
Next add the sooji and saute it till an aroma comes. The sooji would have turned a very light brown at this stage. Do this entirely on a low medium flame. This takes roughly 3 to 4 mins depending on how low the heat is.
Now, take it off the heat and let it cool down completely.
Making the batter
Next, add half of the curd to the Sooji and mix well. Let it sit for 15 mins.
Steaming the Idli in Instant Pot
Fill the inner pot of the IP with 1.75 c water. Place it in the IP and turn it on. Set the Saute mode on for 5 mins. Allow the water to heat up and come to a gentle boil while you prep the Idli for steaming.
After 15 mins, add the remaining curd and eno and add combine well. You can see that the batter becomes light and airy when you stir in the Eno. Add the cilantro and salt and mix well.
Now, grease an idli mould, place one roasted cashew half in the middle. This is optional but the Idli looks pretty when you take them out. Fill 3/4th of each Idli groove with batter.
As i mentioned in the recipe notes above, the steam function in the Instant Pot does not support the timer. So, use a kitchen timer to time when the steaming begins.
Steam for 10 mins in the Instant pot or in an Idli steamer or in a pressure cooker without the pressure valve for 10 mins.
To check if they are done cooking, after 10 mins, insert a tooth pick into one of the Idlis. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are done.
Take them out and let them cool down a bit. Spoon them out from the mould and serve hot with coconut chutney or coriander chutney.
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Rava Idli Recipe
- 1 c Sooji Bombay sooji
- 2.5 c Whisked slightly sour yogurt
- 2 tsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp Channa Dal
- 1/8th tsp Hing
- 1 tsp Eno fruit salt
- 12 whole Cashews broken into halves
- 2-3 tbsp Coriander leaves finely chopped
- 1 tsp Salt as per taste
- In a wide bottomed skillet or a pan, heat the ghee.
- Add the mustard seeds. After they splutter, add the hing, channa dal and saute for a minute.
- Now add the cashews and saute till light brown.
- Next add the sooji and roast till aromatic on low-medium flame. It should not change color completely.
- Now, take it off the heat and let it cool down completely.
- Next, add half of the curd to the rawa and mix well. Let it sit for 15 mins.
- After 15 mins, add the remaining curd and eno and add combine well. Add the cilantro and salt and mix well.
- You can see that the batter becomes light and airy when you stir in the fruit salt.
- Fill the inner pot of the IP with 1.75 c water.
- Place it in the IP and turn it on. Set the Saute mode on for 5 mins.
- Allow the water to heat up and come to a gentle boil while you prep the Idli for steaming.
- Now, grease an idli mould, place one roasted cashew half in the middle.
- This is optional but the Idli looks pretty when you take them out.
- Fill 3/4th of each Idli groove with batter.
- Steam for 10 mins in the Instant pot or in an Idli steamer or in a pressure cooker without the pressure valve for 10 mins.
- To check if they are done cooking, after 10 mins, insert a tooth pick into one of the Idlis. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are done.
- Take them out and let them cool down a bit. Spoon them out from the mould and serve hot with coconut chutney or coriander chutney.
For Instant Pot & Air Fryer Recipes
Instant Pot timings may vary based on your geographic location. Air fryer settings and timings may vary based on the capacity and the model of the Air fryer.
Nutrition values are provided here as a courtesy and are only a rough guide. Please consult a health care provider if you have any concerns.