Instant Rava Idli

I had an INDULGENT weekend. I-N-D-U-L-G-E-N-T!!!

I'm spelling out stuff, so I guess you get the picture.

Spicy Biryani lunch, Cheesy Pasta for dinner, Deep fried Bread Rolls for snacks and a heavenly TRIPLE Chocolate Milkshake, I’ve had it all. And I cooked none of it. Nada. 
I’m sure it will take me a month to work it off. Sigh!!

How to make MTR style instant rava idli at

All those guilty pleasures made me want to eat a healthier breakfast this Monday morning. I’d never been a Rava Idli fan, regular Idli, give it to me anyday and I’ll eat it. But I wondered why would one eat that hard lump of rava (semolina) for any meal? This was until I made my own.

Eye opener – Rava Idli does not have to be a hard lump. It can be soft like the regular rice Idlis. It can actually be delicious.

All credit goes to Gee, my sis. Someday she got the MTR instant rava idli packet and made it and repeatedly kept telling me how good they had become. MTR is a legendary restaurant in Bangalore that actually invented the Rava Idli when there was food shortage during a war. A place you should visit for some rich South Indian food.

The restaurant rocks, but I won’t accept defeat from a packet. Na-ah.

How to make MTR style instant rava idli at

So I made just to show her that she can make equally good Rava Idlis with just the ingredients she has at home. I had no plans of liking them at all. It was just a competition with the packet, that’s IT. (I'm competitive that way). At least that’s what I thought, until I ate them. I mean if I make them, I have to taste it, right? And what a pleasant surprise it was. Soft smooth Rava Idli. And so easy to make as well. No overnight soaking, no overnight fermenting. Just mix and steam.

I'm always on a lookout for breakfast recipes. And they obviously have to be HEALTHY and EASY to make. These Rava Idlis satisfy all my criteria. So they have been back on the menu time and again since that day. 

How to make MTR style instant rava idli at

Some additional steps that you may have to do if making your own healthy Rava Idlis, and it is totally worth it:

  • Toast the Rava / Semolina - You can either toast it when you decide to make the Rava Idlis or you can toast the rava whenever you have time and store it. Toasting helps increase the shelf life of rava. You can then use it instantly while making Upma too.
  • Grate a carrot, Chop a chilli - Yup, you will need to grate a carrot and chop some chilli and coriander. 
  • Tempering - Heat a little oil, throw in some lentils (dals), mustard seeds, curry leaves and chilli. This is seriously a 10 seconds job.
  • Mix once - Mix tempering with the rava.
The rest is exactly like the packet. Mix in the ingredients. Allow it to rest for some time. Then steam them as usual. Ta-da - Instant soft smooth Rava Idli.

Instant Rava Idli

How to make MTR style instant rava idli at www.oneteaspoonoflife.comPopular South Indian instant steamed breakfast cakes made from semolina or rava and yogurt.

Recipe Type:  Breakfast
Cuisine:            South Indian
Prep Time:     30 minutes
Cook time:     30 minutes
Yield:                8 Idlis


1.25 cups Semolina or Upma Rava
1 cup Yogurt (Curd)
1 small Carrot
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
2-3 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Chana Dal
8-10 Curry leaves
1 Tbsp chopped Coriander leaves
1 chopped Green Chilli
1/2 cup Water
Salt to taste 
Oil to grease


Toast the rava in a kadhai on low flame for 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Remove it into a large bowl once done.
Heat oil in the kadhai and add mustard seeds to it.
Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the urad dal and the chana dal.
Once the dals brown slightly, add the curry leaves and chilli. Pour this tempering to the toasted rava.
Mix well and allow to cool.
Once the rava has cooled, add grated carrot, yogurt, chopped coriander, baking soda and salt and mix well.
Add water by the spoonful. The consistency of the batter should be similar to the regular idli batter.
Leave aside for 10-15 minutes.
In the meanwhile, prepare the idli steamer. The water in the steamer should be boiling when we put in the idli, else the idli will become hard.
Now grease the idli mould, and pour in the batter.
Steam for 10-15 minutes.
Serve hot with chutney or sagu.

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