I have been wanting to try rava idli for a while now. I had seen the rava idli recipe some time back and the idlis were supposed to be instant. So I thought I’ll make rava idlis in tricolor as a Republic Day Special recipe. I started searching for the recipes, but all the instant ones had baking soda as an ingredient. I don’t use soda while cooking at home after Meghana, who is a nutritionist and Shweta, who has done a food production and patisserie course mentioned that soda destroys the nutrients in food. I tried searching for one without soda. I found one recipe with curd, but it didn’t mention soaking the batter overnight and I wasn’t sure about that part. I am not an expert in South Indian food but even to me it seemed like the batter wouldn’t ferment properly if not soaked for considerable amount of time. So I messaged Shweta, asking her how much curd I would need to add and for how much time I’d have to let the batter rest. And this Google maharaj or should I say maharani just messaged back the recipe dhadadhad and before I could finish reading it, messaged saying she’ll make it and send me the pics. I want it as a Republic Day Special recipe; I need it in tricolor, I wrote. No probs, I’ll add carrots and spinach, she replied. And this awesome lady gave me the pics way ahead of time. Thank you so much Shweta for being soooooo enthu and supportive.
Shweta is an army wife, stationed in Bhuj currently. She bought her veggies from the Farmers’ Market near her place. She said you get good carrots there in this season, and that she got carrots for 12 rupees per kg and three bunches of spinach for 5 rupees. I pay Rs.10-15 here in Mumbai for one bunch of spinach, wonder how much of it actually reaches the farmer. Note to self, I need to stop procrastinating and going to the Farmers’ Market at Mahim nature park on Sundays; they sell certified organic stuff. I am very good at procrastinating though and manage to publish only recipes for special days on time. But Shweta’s timely help saved me from having to make the idlis while adhering to any timeline. She not only made the idlis in tricolor but also tried other colors, using turmeric and beetroot purées. Thank you SO much Shweta for being good at cooking, for sharing your recipes and tips so generously, and for being so enthusiastic about sharing them with me and MumMumTime readers. You are one awesome lady.
I will let you all know how my rava idlis turn out when I make them. Meanwhile, if you’ll try this healthy rava idli recipe made without using baking soda or Eno, let me know how they turn out.
Rava idlis can be a really yummy, healthy breakfast idea for kids especially if the idlis are made without using baking soda or eno.
- 3 cups sooji/rava (semolina)
- 1 cup curd
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 4 tbsp poha (powdered using a mixer)
- 1/4th tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp oil
- Pinch of hing (asafoetida)
- 8 to 10 cashew nuts (optional)
- 2 sprigs of curry leaves
- Salt as required
- Soak rawa in curd, adding enough water so that it resembles a typical idli batter. The consistency has to be neither too thick nor too thin. A semi pouring consistency would be ideal.
- Allow the batter to ferment for over 8 hours. (Fermentation makes the batter lighter and releases good bacteria, which is good for the human gut.)
- After the batter is fermented, add whole wheat flour (aata) and powdered poha to the batter. Aata helps to bind the sooji and poha adds texture. In case you do not have poha, you can add powdered kurmura. A friend of mine would add saboodana powder for texture.
- Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, hing, broken cashew nut pieces, curry leaves and let it crackle.
- Pour the tempering/tadka over the batter. (You can even add urad dal to your tadka. In case, you or your little one is fond of raisins,you could add them too. If you dislike the idea of adding dry fruits to your idli batter, you can avoid that. You need not even add tadka to your batter. Instead add some warm oil to your batter. The oil prevents your idlis from getting sticky.)
- You can even add boiled vegetable purée to your batter. Boiled carrot purée, palak purée, beetroot purée will make your idlis look colorful and attractive. In case, you have kids who love to eat their vegetables, you can add grated carrot, bell peppers, sweet corn, chopped palak, chopped methi, grated broccoli and just about any vegetable your child loves. (Shweta used spinach and carrot purées to get the tricolor effect.)
- Add salt to the batter.
- Steam the idlis.
- After the idlis are steamed, allow them to cool a little before demoulding.
- Serve hot along with sambhar, chutney, or any favorite dip. (Shweta served the idlis with tomato, carrot, and onion chutney.)
- To get fluffy idlis allow the batter to rest for longer time. More than 8-10 hours will be better. In warm climates the batter ferments fast, while in cooler ones it takes time.