Rava Idli or Sooji Idli

Rava Idli or Sooji Idli or Semolina Idli is a popular South Indian breakfast dish made with rava or sooji or semolina and curds, spiced with green chillies and ginger and tempered with dals and cashews.

Rava Idli

Rava Idlis are one of the easiest idlis to whip when you are craving for Idlis and there is no regular idli batter left. There is no soaking or grinding or fermenting involved. It can be prepared in less than 30 mins and serve it with your favorite chutney or Idli podi or Sambar, you can have a sumptuous breakfast.

The main ingredient to get the soft and spongy Rava Idli is the usage of baking soda or fruit salt. I have tried using both as per availability and every time the end result is soft, spongy and melt in the mouth idlis. These Rava Idlis also stay soft for a longer time without drying and hence a good lunch box recipe.

Rava Idli


Rava or Sooji or Semolina – 1 cup or 200 gms
Curd – 1 cup
Water – ¾ to 1 cup
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch or two (optional)
Ginger – 1” piece
Green chilli – 2
Curry leaves few
Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp finely chopped
Salt to taste
To temper
Ghee – 2 tsps
Mustard seeds – ¾ tsp
Hing or asafoetida – ¼ tsp or a big pinch
Jeera or cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – ¾ tsp
Chana dal – ¾ tsp
Cashew – 8 whole


Prep time – 10 mins
Cook time – 15 mins
Total time – 25 mins
Makes 12 idlis

  1. Chop the green chillies, ginger, coriander and curry leaves finely. Break the cashews roughly. Set everything aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds to it and let it splutter. Reduce flame to low and add hing, urad dal, chana dal and broken cashews. Saute for 30 secs.
  3. As the dal and cashews start changing color, add the chopped green chillies and ginger followed by rava or sooji.
  4. Fry the rava well for 3-4 mins. Take care while frying, rava should not burn or change color. Add the turmeric powder, coriander and curry leaves at this stage, toss well and switch off the flame.
  5. Transfer the contents to a bowl and let it cool.
  6. While the rava mixture is cooling, heat Idli pot with sufficient water in it. Also, grease the idli moulds with oil and keep them ready.
  7. Once rava mixture is cool, add lemon juice, baking soda, salt to taste, and curd and mix well. Bubbles will form and the mixture will slightly rise. Now add water little by little and mix well to get a consistency like that of idli batter (neither too thick nor too thin).
  8. Immediately pour the batter into greased moulds and steam for 6-8 mins on medium flame. To check the doneness, insert a toothpick or spoon or knife, same should come out clean.
  9. Switch off the flame, wait for 2 mins and gently scoop out the idlis.

Garnish with fried cashews (optional) or serve these soft and spongy rava idlis hot with your favorite chutney or sambar or idli podi.

Rava Idli


  1. My one cup measures 200 gms. I used the same cup for measuring rava and curds.
  2. Instead of chopping green chilli and ginger, you can add a paste of the same. Adjust the spice level as per your taste preference. My mom makes Rava Idli by reducing green chillies and adding pepper corns instead which gives a nice taste and crunch. Add whole or coarsely crushed pepper corns.
  3. I add a pinch of turmeric for a light yellow hue. You can skip the same.
  4. You can also use Eno fruit salt instead of baking soda. If using fruit salt, use around 1 tsp.
  5. You can add finely grated carrot, cabbage or even peas to the batter. If adding same, add them after the tempering, sauté and then add the rava or sooji.
  6. You can also add grated coconut to the batter.
  7. You can fry halved cashews and place them in the idli moulds and then pour the batter over it and steam the idlis.
  8. Add water only little at a time, mix and then add more as needed. Water measure may vary depending on the type of rava used, hence adjust the water quantity to get desired consistency.