Rava Idli / Sooji Idli / Steamed Semolina Cakes

Is planning everyday Breakfast a daunting task to you? Making a variety of dishes to feed and please your family becoming a challenge? Are you looking for recipes that require less prep work and can be made quickly, no fuss and yet make the entire family happy? Well, the recipe that I share with you today will tick all these boxes, I promise! Read ahead..

The recipe in discussion today, Rava Idli or Sooji Idli is an instant breakfast recipe, requires no grinding, no fermentation unlike the regular idlis, quick to prep, plan and cook, great for kids tiffin box, light lunch at work, after school snacks for kids too.

Rava Idli, Easy Breakfast Recipe

Every generation loves idlis. Being South Indians, we have grown up eating idlis atleast for 4 out of 7 days in a week. In fact, I have an amazing fool proof recipe of IDLI on my blog that have been tried by many with amazing results every single time. Do check it out.

Traditional Idlis require some prep work like soaking, grinding, fermenting etc. Let’s face it, on certain days, we are totally unprepared, dealing with packed schedules etc which gives us very little time to do a lot of work and wish that we still end up feeding the family with healthy steamed snacks. The Rava Idli just does that – Simple and less time consuming with the exact same results of a soft spongy idli.

Rava Idli Sooji Idli, no fermentation idli recipe, instant idli recipe, how to make sooji idli

How to Make Instant Rava Idli / Sooji Idli

  • Fine Roasted Semolina (Chirote Rava) – I prefer using this variety (pic below) than the coarse semolina as it soaks up the liquid well and gives fluffy idlis.
  • Curd – Good quality, thick curd. It doesn’t need to be sour.
  • Fruit salt – Since we are doing an instant idli that is not fermented, we need the fruit salt to puff them up. Use a tiny quantity as shown in the picture. If you don’t have fruit salt, opt for baking soda (same quantity).
Chirote Rava or Fine Semolina
Chirote Rava or Fine Sooji / Semolina

If you are looking for serving suggestions or accompaniments to the Rava Idli or Sooji Idlis, do try the famous South Indian Molagapodi or Gunpowder, as it is famously known. I have two varieties of Gunpowder on the blog (1) The regular variety (2) Healthier version. Pick and choose any. Both are my favourites. Smear your idlis with gunpowder and gingelly oil for best results.

soft idli recipe, instant rava idli recipe, semolina idli recipe

For Chutneys, I can suggest you a spicy Inji Chutney that is Ginger Chutney which is spicy, tangy and would be perfect with Idlis.

Instant Rava Idli Recipe, easy recipe

Let us now look at the easy recipe of making the delicious Instant Rava Idli at home (step by step pics).

Recipe of Rava Idli / Sooji Idli / Steamed Semolina Cakes

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook time 15 to 20 minutes

Serves 3

1 cup is 200 ml measurement

Yields 12 idlis

Ingredients for the Idli Batter

  • 1.5 cups Chirote Rava or Fine Rava / Semolina
  • 1 cup thick curd
  • 1/4 cup water + Few tblsps as required to adjust consistency
  • Few drops of oil to grease the idli plates
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for tempering

  • 1 tblsp chana dal or split Bengal Gram dal
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds or Rai
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera or Cumin seeds
  • 2 tsps of oil
  • A good pinch of asafoetida or hing
  • 1/4 tsp of Turmeric Powder or haldi
  • Few curry leaves


(1) In a bowl, add the chirote rava or fine semolina along with curd and salt to taste.

How to Make Rava Idli at home

(2) Mix this well and add 1/4 cup of water to this mixture (to adjust consistency) and prepare for tempering.

How to Make Rava Idli at home

(3) Heat a small pan, add oil followed by chana dal, mustard seeds, jeera and curry leaves.

(4) Add hing and turmeric powder.

(5) Pour the tempering mixture into the batter (ingredients under tempering), mix well and allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes on the kitchen counter.

How to Make Rava Idli at home
How to Make Rava Idli at home

(6) After about 20 minutes, prepare the idli steamer, grease the idli plates with some oil.

How to Make Rava Idli at home

(7) Now check the mixture and if it is too thick add few tblsps of water to achieve idli batter consistency. Check for seasoning, add if required.

How to Make Rava Idli at home

(8) Add the fruit salt to the batter, give it a gentle mix and pour a ladle of the batter into the idli plates / moulds.

How to Make Rava Idli at home
How to Make Rava Idli at home

(9) Steam the idlis for atleast 20 minutes.

(10) Serve the idlis (after they cool a bit) with chutney or Molagapodi, or any accompaniment of your choice.

How to Make Rava Idli at home

Recipe Notes

  • I have used Rava or Semolina that has been roasted for 5 to 7 mins and then stored in refrigerator. Since Rava develops worms very quickly I always roast and refrigerate it.
  • If you want to add vegetables to the batter, please steam them and add. Vegetables like grated carrot can be sauteed with the tempering to reduce rawness.
  • Add the fruit salt, only before transferring the batter to the idli plates.

If you try this at home, please give me a shout out / Tag Me on any of my social media handles.

Vidya Narayan

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