South Indian

Rava Idli Recipe | How to make Instant Rava Idli |Masterchefpriya

Instant Rava Idli Recipe

Rava idli instant (2)

Instant Rava Idli Recipe

Rava Idli Recipe | How to make Instant Rava Idli | Masterchefpriya
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 10 Idlis


Tempering Ingerdients for Rava Idli

  • 1 Cup Semolina or bombay rava or suji or chirothi rava
  • 2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin or jeera
  • ½ tablespoon chana dal or bengal gram
  • 1 tablespoon cashews chopped (optional)
  • 10 Curry leaves
  • 2 Green chilies chopped (skip for kids)
  • ¾ tsp ginger grated or paste

Other Ingredients

  • teaspoon salt - use as per taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped finely
  • ¾ cup curd or yogurt or dahi (fresh not sour)
  • ½ cup water for soaking rava
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon water for batter consistency
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (skip using eno)
  • 1 teaspoon Eno or furit salt or 1/4 tsp cooking soda (or soda-bicarbonate) (* refer notes)
  • 1 teaspoon oil for greasing idli plates
  • 4 cashewnuts or 8 splits cashews
  • 1 teaspoon carrot grated


Preparation for rava idli

  • Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a pan.
  • Fry 8 cashews untill golden and set aside for garnishing.
  • To the same pan add 1/2 teaspoon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoon broken cashews and 1/2 tablespoon chana dal
  • Fry until the dal turns golden.
  • Reduce the flame and add 10 curry leavees, 1 to 2 chopped green chilies and 3/4 teaspoon ginger.
  • Saute until it turns fragrant just for 30 seconds.
  • Then quickly add 1 cup rava.
  • Mix well to coat the semolina with ghee.
  • Roast on a low flame stirring consistently until the rava turns crunchy and slightly aromatic.
  • Do not brown the rava. Set this aside and cool completely.

Making rava idli batter

  • When the rava is cooled down completely, add salt, 2 to 3 tablespoons of coriander leaves, 3/4 cup curd and half cup water.
  • Mix well until the batter is uniform. Cover this and set aside for 30 mins.
  • After 25 mins, grease the plates and place cashew in each of molds.
  • Also, sprinkle some carrots. Set this aside.

How to make rava idli

  • Bring water to a boil in a steamer or cooker.
  • When the water is just about to come to a boil in a few minutes, Check the consistency of the batter and pour more water if needed.
  • The batter has to be thick like regular idli batter and must be smooth.
  • When you drop it with the spoon it should not be lumpy.
  • It should not be of pouring consistency either.
  • Skip this step if using eno.
  • Add 1 tsp lemon juice to the batter and give a quick stir.
  • Then sprinkle eno or soda and gently give a good mix.
  • Avoid over mixing. The batter needs to be steamed immediately otherwise the rava idli will not turn fluffy & soft.
  • Immediately transfer the batter to molds.
  • Place it in the hot steamer and steam for 10 mins on a high flame.
  • Allow the idlis to cool down for 2 mins.
  • If the rava idli is properly done, then a skewer or fork inserted into it comes out clean or with little crumbs.
  • When the rava idlis cool down for about 3 to 4 mins, demould them with a wet spoon.
  • Serve rava idli with coconut chutney or potato sagu


Notes on rava idli

  1. Curd and soda or eno are the 2 ingredients that make the rava idli fluffy and soft. Any changes in the usage of these ingredients will affect the texture of rava idli and they will turn hard & dense.
  2. Soda:  Do not try this recipe without eno or soda. You can reduce it to a pinch but it will not really yeild you good & soft rava idli. As a rule of thumb I suggest using ¼ tsp of for every cup of rava. It will not leave a soapy taste as the soda is activated with ¾ cup of curd.
  3. Curd: I use homemade curd made using full-fat milk. It must be fresh and not sour otherwise the rava idli will have the smell of curd.
  4. Water: The amount of water absorbed by rava may differ, so add accordingly.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
Keyword Idli, Instant Idli, Rava idli

South Indian Meals

Rava Idli is a popular Breakfast food that originated in the Tiffin centers of Karnataka. It is a variation of the traditional Idli recipe but made with semolina, curd, and some spices. Rava means semolina and Idli are steamed cakes. Making Rava Idli is quick and easy since it is an instant recipe that needs no grinding and fermentation.

Rava idli instant

What is Rava Idli?

Rava Idli is steamed cakes made with semolina, yogurt, spices, veggies, and leavening agent. These are eaten for breakfast with coconut chutney. and potato sagu (recipe at the end of the post).

Traditionally idlis are made with soaked ground lentils and rice. The batter is then fermented and steamed in the shape of cakes. These Rava idlis are quick to make as it bypasses the entire task of soaking, grinding and then fermenting.

The batter is made by just tempering the ingredients and then mixing them up with yogurt. The leavener in the batter reacts with yogurt or curd and cooks up to fluffy and airy steamed cakes.

The recipe shared here will give you a delicious, soft, and light Rava idlis all without the flavor of curd or soapy taste of soda in it. If you have ever wondered how the Rava idli from MTR tastes so delicious and good with a light texture then this recipe is a must-try.

In this post, I have also shared the recipe to make potato sagu that is usually served with the Rava idli in hotels.

You can find it after step-by-step photos.

Rava idli instant (2)

Preparation of Rava Idli

  1. Heat 2 tbsp ghee in Kadai. Fry 8 split cashews until golden brown. Remove them to a plate and set them aside.
  2. To the same pan, add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 tablespoon chana dal, and 1 tablespoon chopped cashews. Saute’ until dal turns golden.
  3. Lower the heat, then add 1 sprig of chopped curry leaves, 2 chopped green chilies, and 3/4 teaspoon grated ginger. Saute’ for 30 seconds until the ginger smells good.

Rava idli instant (3)

4. Immediately add 1 cup Rava/semolina and begin to mix well. On a low flame fry the Rava until crunchy and lightly aromatic. Do not brown the Rava.

5. Rava should be coated well with ghee. Cool this completely. You can also store the cooled Rava idli mix in a jar for further use.

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Preparing Rava Idli Batter

6. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves and 1/3 teaspoon salt. Then pour 3/4 cup fresh curd/yogurt. I used homemade curd. Please make sure the curd doesn’t smell or taste sour otherwise, the Rava idli will have a smell of sour curd mix well.

Rava idli instant

7. Pour half cup water and mix.

Rava idli instant (2)

8. Cover this and rest for 30 mins.

Rava idli instant

Preparing steamer and idli plates for Rava Idli

9. After 25 minutes, add a few drops of ghee or oil to each idli plate/mold. Grease the plates lightly and arrange cashew on each mold. Sprinkle some grated carrots. Keep these aside.

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10. Pour water into a cooker or steamer or pot or instant pot as you would do for regular idli.

To steam in pot or cooker or steamer: I use 2.5 cups water in my pot. After 25 to 30 mins of soaking the Rava, bring the water to a boil.

To steam in Instant pot: I pour 1.5 cups water and bring to a rolling boil on a saute mode. I also cover it with an external lid to quicken the process.

11. After 30 mins of soaking, semolina absorbs some moisture and turns almost dry. Pour 1 to 3 tablespoons of water as needed to bring the batter to a consistency. I used about 3 tablespoons but every time it varies by 1 to 2 tablespoons depending on the thickness of yogurt and the kind of Rava.

Rava Idli

12. Rava idli batter consistency should be thick and smooth as you see in the picture. When you drop the batter with the spoon it must be smooth on top and not lumpy. It should not be of pouring consistency either. It must be like idli batter. Check the video to know the right consistency.

Rava Idli (2)

Steaming Rava Idli

13. Skip this step if using eno. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the batter and give a good mix. This will not make the rava idli sour. But it used to activate the soda.

Rava Idli (3)

14. When the water in the steamer is turning hot and then add 1 teaspoon eno or 1/4 teaspoon soda-bicarbonate to the batter. Mix gently a few times to incorporate the soda into the batter.

Rava Idli (4)

15. Quickly pour this into the molds. Do not let the batter rest after mixing eno/soda. This recipe will give you 8 Rava idli.

Rava Idli (5)

16. Place the idli stand in the steamer and steam for 10 minutes on a high flame. The water must be boiling and steaming well at all times. When done a skewer inserted comes out clean or with little crumbs.

To steam in Instant pot: Once the water comes to a rolling boil, place the idli stand in the stand in the instant pot. Press cancel. Secure the lid and position the steam release handle to vent. Steam for 11 to 12 mins.

Rava Idli (6)

17. Allow to cool down for about 3 to 4 mins. With the help of a moist spoon take out the Rava idli from the mold.

Serve Rava idli with coconut chutney or potato sagu. I have shared the recipe to make potato sagu below the recipe card.

Rava idli instant (2)

Sagu for Rava Idli

Ingredients for 3 servings  

2 medium potatoes

1 medium onion sliced

2 green chilies

1 tsp besan

1/4 cup water to mix besan

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp mustard seeds

1/4 to 1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp split urad dal

1 pinch hing / asafotedia

1/8 to 1/4 tsp turmeric

1 sprig of curry leaves

1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped finely


Boil potatoes in a pressure cooker. If cooking in a pressure cooker, dice them into 1-1/2 cubes and cook then with 3/4 cup water for 1 whistle. If cooking in an instant pot, then place them in a bowl and pressure cook for 5 mins.

When the pressure releases naturally, open the lid, Potatoes must be fully cooked. Set aside.

How to make sagu for Rava idli

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard and cumin. When they splutter add hing, curry leaves, and green chilies. Add onions and fry until transparent, do not brown them.

Add turmeric and salt. Pour water just to bring it to consistency. I use the 3/4 cup of water in which I boiled the potatoes.

Bring it to boil. Meanwhile, stir in besan with 1/4 cup water. Break the lumps and make it a smooth mixture.

When the water begins to boil, pour this gently and give a stir, you can add more water as needed to cook this.

Let the mixture cook and thicken.

Meanwhile, mash the boiled potatoes keeping small chunks here and there. Add it to the sagu and mix well.

Add more water if needed, When it comes to a boil, turn it off.

The consistency should be slightly runny as it will thicken when it cools down.

Rava idli sagu is not very thick. It should also have some water in it so, it is suitable to serve with Rava idli.

Add coriander leaves and taste test it, add more salt if required.

Note: This sgau should have more flavor of aloo and less of the besan, However, if you prefer more, you can stir in more besan with some more water and pour it.

You may add 1/2 tsp grated ginger to the tempering but most times you won’t find that flavor in the hotels.

Tips to make fluffy Rava idli
  1. Roasting semolina or Rava on a low to medium flame until aromatic without changing the color is the key to preventing them from turning sticky.
  2. The right amount of curd and soda or eno is the key to making the best rava idli. The leavening agent makes them light and fluffy so do not skimp.

I have followed the same rule using 1/4 tsp soda or eno to 1 cup of flour, in this case, it is 1 cup of rava. It doesn’t leave a soapy taste as 3/4 cup of curd and 1 tsp lemon juice are used to activate the soda.

3. Do not reduce the amount of ghee or oil in the recipe as it is very important, with a reduced amount of fats, they turn out sticky.

Can I Skip roasting the Rava?

There are different kinds of Rava or semolina in the market. My mom makes it without roasting and they always turn out good. It depends on the kind of Semolina.

I use the chiroti Rava which is a finer version of the regular semolina.

So the results will depend on the kind of rava used. To be on the safer side I always roast the semolina until it turns light.


Semolina or Rava has processed food so eating in moderation is good. Since I had a lot of requests for a good Rava idli recipe, I thought of sharing this. For a healthier version use fine whole wheat Rava or red rava.

Rava idli is served with coconut chutney and potato sagu (find the recipe below). We do not prefer sagu much for this is usually served with coconut chutney and Idli sambhar. Sometimes I make rava Idli for dinner if I already have this regular sambhar made for lunch.

faq’s for rava idli recipe


why does my instant rava idli turn chewy?

always use coarse rava or bombay rava for this recipe. using fine rava or chiroti rava may end up with chewy textured idli. do not attempt with thick rava too, you may not get the desired texture of idli.


why does instant rava idli turn orange in color?

as rava idli is an instant one and does not require grounding and any fermentation process, eno is added with curd to fasten the fermentation process. if baking soda is used instead of eno to hasten the process, baking soda reacts with indian spices especially with turmeric, and produces idli which is orange in color.


how to get soft fluffy idlis?

using eno helps to get soft idli. the batter should be neither too thick nor thin but medium and smooth. adjust the batter by adding curd and water. do not make the batter too watery or runny as idlis might break. curd and eno are the key ingredients to make soft and fluffy idlis. an alternative to the curd, buttermilk can also be added. add eno to the batter just before steaming idlis and not on beforehand and mix until it turns frothy and then steam idlis. else they will not turn fluffy. steam the idlis on a medium flame to get soft idlis. do not keep the flame on high.


what if I don’t have an idli stand to steam idlis?

idli stand is not necessary to steam idlis. instead of an idli stand, you can use small steel cups or katoris, plates to steam the idlis.


what makes my rava idli turns sticky and sometimes hard?

always roast the rava in a low to medium flame until it turns aromatic, else the idli may turn sticky and hard. roast the rava in a good amount of ghee or oil. there should be enough ghee or oil to coat the rava. else they may turn sticky. using ghee gives a good flavor to the idlis. rest the rava batter for about 30 minutes as rava nicely absorbs water. the more you rest the batter, the tastier idlis are. also, steam the instant rava idli on medium flame. else idli turns hard.


what are the other variations in instant idli?

there are many variations like plain rava idli, vermicelli rava idli, vegetable rava idli, moong dal idli, bread idli, poha idli, oats idli, stuffed idli, ragi idli, and many more.


with what the rava idlis are served?

rava idli can be served as it is, as it contains spices and herbs. serving rava idlis with coconut chutney, red chutney, chutney powder, potato sagu or sambar makes it even tastier.


can we preserve the rava idli batter?

rava idli batter can be preserved for the next day when it is stored in a refrigerator. but remember to keep the batter for the next day before adding eno to it. once eno is added, it cannot be preserved. so take a proportion of rava batter in a bowl, preserve it in the refrigerator, add eno to the remaining batter, and steam idlis. the batter stays good for a day when kept in the refrigerator. as curd is added to the batter, do not preserve it for more than 2 days as they may turn sour and you might get sour idlis.


is roasting of rava necessary?

roasting of rava is necessary. else it may turn sticky. ultimately it depends on the quality of rava. some rava does not require roasting. but to be on the safer side it’s always good to roast rava on a low flame till they are aromatic.


why sometimes rava idli becomes crumbly and sometimes dry?

if you add more eno than the required amount to the rava batter and steaming it, turn the idli crumbly. if the batter is too thick and contains less water, idli turns dry. if you steam the idlis for a longer time also makes the idli get dry.


what happens if we skip eno in the rava idli?

eno is a very important ingredient to make the idlis fluffy. skipping eno makes the idlis flat. do not add too much eno as they crumble. do not rest the batter after adding eno for a longer time. steam the idlis immediately.


Take a look at our extra recipes Masala Paratha, Aloo Dum Biryani.

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