Soft idli recipe using idli rava

Soft idli recipe using idli rava
Soft idli recipe using idli rava
Soft idli recipe using idli rava ~ How to make soft idli using idli rava
              Most of the times, I grind idli dosa batter in a mixer, as I have a very big wet grinder and I make batter in small quantities and cleaning it is a real pain for me. Idly is one of the healthiest protein packed breakfasts of south India. They are easily digestible as they are prepared with a fermented batter. Fermentation enhances the nutrients are they are still preserved as idlis are steam cooked for short time.  This is what makes idli suitable to all including babies to folks on diet and even to the aged, who generally have poor digestion. I always prepare them using rava (as my mom does) and never knew that they can even be prepared with rice till I got married .  As per my mom’s recipe,  I do not use too much of rice or rava  as it is not a healthy choice and the carbs we need for our body comes even from the urad dal . So my ratio is 1:2 (dal: rice or rava). When it comes to fermenting, dal contributes more towards the fermentation rather than the rice. So using lesser rice or rava too you can make soft idlis. urad dal is high in protein and calcium and it is absorbed by the body better in the form of idli as it is made from fermented batter. Hotels use a ratio of almost 1:4 (dal : rava or rice, as rice is cheaper for them). So I suppose we must favour more dal and less rice or rava specially for home cooking, as the cost doesn’t matter for home cooked foods as long as they are healthy and nutritious.
Note: There are 2 kinds of idly rava available in the market, one is the coarse one and the other is fine one. Coarse rava yields the one like rava idly and they too come out soft if soaked well. Fine rava yields very soft idlis that are similar to the rice idly.

soft idly
soft idly

The key to making soft idlis lies mainly on 4 important factors (based on my experience), no matter whether you use a wet grinder or a mixer

Age:  Urad dal from the current years yield is best suitable to make soft idlis. But how do we identify? The current year’s yield will be white in color with no pale yellow shades on it. While the yield from the previous yrs, will be pale yellow in color or sometimes pale yellow spots on the dal. Using the new dal will surely result in good fermentation and gives you super soft idlis provided you take care of the other 3 factors. This is the main criteria for preparing soft idlys in our family and extended families, where we use the previous yr’s left over dal for make ladoo (sunnundalu) and purchase a fresh stock for making idly for the current yr. But for people like me living abroad, we have no other choice rather than to pick up the stale stock. We have to use other ingredients like fenugreek seeds or thick poha to aid the fermentation.
Salt: always use enough non iodized salt, as iodized salts do not favor the fermentation process.
Temperature: Cold climates do not favor fermentation process. So keep your batter in a warm place. If you live in cold countries or in high altitude places, use a preheated oven for fermenting the batter
Lastly consistency (water): For the batter to ferment well, the batter must be of the right consistency. If you make the batter runny, it will not rise, but the fermentation will be ok, though not perfect. The result will be wet and flat idlis. But again, if the batter does not have enough water in it (very thick batter), it will not ferment. I understand this as “the organisms need enough moisture for a healthy cultivation”. So making the consistency of the batter right is important. So it must be of a thick pouring  consistency.Now on to my recipe.
½ cup urad dal
1 cup + 1 to 2 tbsps of idli rava (1 to 2 tbsps rava will be drain off when you rinse the rava repeatedly )
Non iodized salt as needed
ice cold water as required
Optional Ingredient
2 tbsps of thick poha / avalakki / attukulu / beaten rice soaked for 2 hrs
1.   Wash dal and rava separately multiple times, soak them in lot of water for atleast 5 to 6 hrs. soak poha for about 2 hrs, if using

2.   Drain the water.  Add dal, poha and enough ice cold water to grinding jar or utensil (if using a wet grinder). Grind till smooth and frothy, occasionally scraping off the batter from the sides of the utensil. add very little water when ever needed. If you are using old dal, it doesn’t get frothy even if it is grinded smooth. transfer this to a large utensil

3.   Drain off the water thoroughly from the rava. Squeeze excess water from the rava with the help of both your palms. refer the pic. the rava must not look soggy, it must absolutely have no water in it, else the batter will become runny. (refer the pic)
4.   Now mix the rava and grinded dal batter with enough salt . Use your hand to mix as it helps to ferment faster and better. If needed can add little water, if the batter is too thick.

5.   Set this aside in a warm place or a preheated oven for at least 6 to 12 hrs depending on the weather and temperature.
6.   On a high flame, bring enough water to boil in a idli steamer or a pressure cooker, grease your idli plates. Mix the batter well, do not over do. Pour this in the molds. when the water begins to bubble and steam up, place it in the steamer. steam for exactly 10 mins on a high flame  and off the heat

7.   After 2 mins, remove the plates and set them aside for 2 to 3 mins, remove the idlis and serve.
idli using idli rava
idli using idli rava

1.   Do not use air tight jars for fermenting.
2.   Use stainless steel utensils for fermenting
3. Never let your batter warm up while grinding, as it will make the idly harder.


  1. says

    u know there was a time i never liked idlis<br />i preffered dosa to idlis<br /><br />bt at one time i fell in love with idlis and these super soft idlis mmmm yummy