Rava Idli (Steamed semolina cakes)


Winter has taken toll all over US. Cold winter nights call for sizzling hot food. I love South Indian food. I got lucky. During engineering days, I relished (or I must say hogged) South Indian treats from my good friend’s lunch box. Miss the good old days. Today I bring to you very common South Indian tiffin recipe – rava idli. These are steamed cakes made from coarse semolina and vegetables. I can pop 5 of these in a blink of an eye :). Try this recipe in your kitchen and enjoy this comfort food.


1 cup – coarse semolina

1/2 cup – yogurt

1 cup mixed vegetables finely chopped (I used: french beans, colored peppers, small sweet green peas, corn pearls and onions)

1/4 cup roughly grated carrot

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

3-4 green chilies finely chopped

salt to taste

2 tbsp roughly chopped cashews

1 tbsp raisins

water (as needed)

For making the tempering:

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp asafoetida

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

3-4 curry leaves


  1. In  a mixing bowl add all the ingredients mentioned above, except water and the tempering. Mix well.
  2. For preparing the tempering: Heat some oil. Once hot, add asafoetida, mustard and cumin seeds. Once the seeds start to crackle add the curry leaves and turmeric powder. Switch off the heat.
  3. Pour this tempering over the mixture prepared in step 1 and mix well.
  4. Now add water little bit at a time. The consistency of the mixture should not be of pouring consistency. The batter should be such that you can easily move your spoon through it.
  5. Meanwhile, steam the steaming pot with some water.
  6. Grease the idli stencil with some oil. Pour 1 tbsp of batter in each slot. Place these on the stand. Place the loaded stand in the steamer. You need to steam the idlis, for about 10 – 15 min. A trick to check whether the idlis are done is by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean then they are ready.


  • Enjoy with coconut chutney or sambhar
  • They taste good on their own too 🙂

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