Instant Rava Idli (Steamed suji or semolina cakes)


Rava idlis are soft and fluffy steamed suji (rava) or semolina cakes made with yogurt, some spices and baking soda or some people use Eno fruit salt. It is a variation of the famous South Indian breakfast dish, idli (steamed rice-lentil cakes).

The regular idlis, which is also a favorite in our house, involves a long process of soaking the rice and lentils, blending or grinding them to a batter, fermenting the batter for a few hours and then steaming. It takes some planning and preparation, but rava idlis take just 30 minutes to make.

 These quick and easy instant rava idlis can be served with any chutney like coconut chutney, peanut chutney, spicy onion chutney or sambhar.

Instant Rava Idli (Steamed suji or semolina cakes)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 15 to 20 idlis

Instant Rava Idli (Steamed suji or semolina cakes)


  • 2 cups coarse suji, rava, semolina or cream of wheat
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon urad dhal or split black lentils
  • ½ teaspoon grated or finely chopped ginger
  • 2 medium green chillies, finely chopped
  • 6 to 8 curry leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon hing or asafetida
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup yogurt or curd, beaten well
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in a medium, deep pan.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and when they splutter, add the urad dhal, grated ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and hing. Sauté for a few seconds and then add the suji or rava.
  3. Keep roasting the suji on medium heat for about 5 to 8 minutes, till it is light brown; keep stirring and do not burn the suji.
  4. Keep aside to cool and then mix in the soda and salt to taste. (At this stage, you may choose to store the dry mix in an airtight container to make fresh idlis whenever you want to savor quick and instant rava idlis).
  5. Lightly oil the idli trays and prepare idli steamer or any large pressure cooker which fits the idli stand by adding water and bringing it to boil.
  6. Meanwhile, mix in the yogurt into the cooled and roasted suji and add enough water to make a slightly thick batter of pouring consistency. Do not make the batter too thick or the idli will be hard.
  7. Keep aside for a few minutes.
  8. If you are steaming the idli in batches, add yogurt only to the batch you are going to steam and then add the rest to the next batch before steaming.
  9. Spoon the batter into the idli stand and steam these in the idli cooker or pressure cooker (without weight) for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  10. Take it out of the steamer and let cool in idli stand for a few minutes.
  11. Remove the idlis from the stand on to serving plates and serve hot with coconut chutney, spicy onion chutney, or peanut chutney.
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This mix (without the yogurt) can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container and whenever you need fresh rava idlis, just mix in the yogurt and water and make hot fresh rava idlis to serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

For added nutrition you can add vegetables like grated carrot, peas etc, into the batter.

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