Instant Vegetable Rava Idli or Steamed semolina savory cakes are a healthy, filling, and easy breakfast or a lunch box recipe that can be made in 20-30 minutes.
These idlis are made using cupboard staple ingredients. The vegetable part in this idlis can be anything. Basically whatever is available in your kitchen or the vegetable which is in season. Simply grate and add that to the batter. A delicious way to sneak in some veggies and a good way to incorporate color into your kid’s food.
Ingredients used in Instant Vegetable Rava Idli
The main ingredient in this recipe is rava, sooji, suji or semolina as you call it. Semolina is derived from wheat and is available in coarse and fine textures. For such steamed recipes, like dhokla, upma, idli, sheera or halwa the coarse variety is used. Fine variety is used for cakes and porridge. At times upma or halwa is too made of fine variety.
I like to roast the rava and semolina and store them. Roasting helps in longer shelf life and also reduces the cooking time when you are making a recipe, as you might need to pre-roast the rava. I simply roast the rava in ghee (Clarified butter) and store it in an air-tight container.
Rava and semolina when used in idli or dhokla need to be hydrated before. That is it needs to be soaked. For this Instant Vegetable rava idli, I am using homemade yogurt, yogurt whey, and some water to soak it. Homemade yogurt has the added benefit of adding its natural sour taste to the idlis. One can use shop-bought too, but it would lack the sour taste.
Vegetables to use in Instant Rava Idli
The next main ingredient is the vegetable. As said above one can use any vegetables in this Instant vegetable sooji idli. I like to use carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, bottle gourd, etc. for this Instant Rava idlis.
If you are using carrots or bottle gourd do add a bit of chopped coriander. It adds to taste and takes the idlis to the next level.
Other Ingredients used
As this is an instant batter, I am using a bit of fruit salt to help the idlis puff up. If you skip the fruit salt you might need to let the batter ferment for some time, or else the idlis might not puff up. If you are looking for idli without fruit salt or baking powder, check out this Oats and Dalia Idli (Oats and Broken Wheat Steamed Cakes) which does not use any leavening agent.
The above ingredients would make your Instant Vegetable rava idlis. If you wish to jazz it up a bit further, you can make a tempering of mustard seeds, and curry leaves and add it to the batter.
As said these Idlis are best for your morning breakfast and lunch box for you and your kids. I love to pack them for my kid’s lunch boxes and they enjoy it thoroughly. The best part I like about idlis or dhoklas is that they are steamed and needs less babysitting. Once they are in the steamer, hot and piping breakfast is ready in 10-15 minutes.
Yes, there are many versions of Idlis, and if you follow my blog. One can make idlis Instant or with fermented batter. If you are struggling with how to ferment idli dosa batter, check out my detailed post which mentions the tips and tricks to ferment the idli dosa batter in cold climate.
Idli recipes on my blog
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Instant Vegetable Rava Idli (Steamed Semolina Savory Cakes)
- Mixing Spoon
- 1 Cup Roasted Semi Coarse Semolina Rava
- 2 tbsp Curd
- Chopped Green chilly to taste
- 1 tbsp Chopped Coriander
- 1/2 Cup Grated Carrot / Zucchini Or vegetable of your choice
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp Fruit Salt Eno
- ½-1 Cup Water more or less may be required
- Oil for greasing Idli molds
- Water for steaming
- 1 tsp Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds Rai
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds Jeera
- 7-8 Curry leaves
Preparing the batter for Idlis
- Roast the Semolina in some ghee (clarified butter) or oil, if not already roasted. Let it cool.1 Cup Roasted Semi Coarse Semolina
- Once cool, in a wide bowl add the Semolina, salt, and curd.Salt to taste, 2 tbsp Curd
- Add the whey from the curd and water.½-1 Cup Water
- If whey is not available simply replace it with water. I had to add around ¾ cup of water to 1 cup of Rava. Water quantity might differ depending on the texture of rava.
- Mix everything. Do not too much water, we want a semi-thick / dropping consistency batter, not runny.
- Also when you add vegetables it will release some water.
- Let the rava/semolina soak for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime grate the vegetables.
- Grease the Idli molds and keep the water for boiling in the Idli vessel or in a wide vessel big enough for the Idli molds.
- After 10 minutes, add the vegetables.
- If using carrots or bottle gourd adds chopped coriander too.1/2 Cup Grated Carrot / Zucchini, 1 tbsp Chopped Coriander
- Add green chili if using and give a quick mix.Chopped Green chilly to taste
Tempering for the batter (Optional)
- In a small pan, add Oil.1 tsp Vegetable Oil
- once hot, add the mustard seeds.1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- Once they splutter add Cumin seeds and Curry leaves.1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds, 7-8 Curry leaves
- Add this mix to the batter.
Steaming the Idlis
- Grease the idli moldsOil for greasing Idli molds
- Start the steamer with enough water.Water for steaming
- Just before steaming, add the fruit salt and a tablespoon of water over the fruit salt.1/2 tsp Fruit Salt
- Mix everything and adjust the water consistency if required. Do not add too much water, we want a semi-thick / dropping consistency batter, not runny.
- Add the batter to the greased Idli molds and keep the Idli molds steaming for 12 minutes.
- Do not overfill the molds. Leave some space or else the top plate will touch the bottom and you might not get a uniform idli. See pic below.
- Remove after 12 minutes. Let it rest on the counter for 1 min.
- With the help of a spoon, remove the Idlis. Gently slide the spoon underneath the idli and it would come off easily.
- Serve it with chutney or tea for breakfast, or pack it in your kid’s or your office lunchboxes.
- Standard US Size cups and spoons are used. 1 cup = 237 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
- Vegans can use vegan curd
This post was first published on 5-Oct-2018. It was earlier meant for only Instant Carrot Rava Idli. Today I am updating the recipe with more veggie options. The title name and URL are changed. I am adding a few more pics and Sharing this with Foodies_RedoingOldPost.
Earlier I shared this with Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#93
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Monday 10th of October 2022
While I usually make the usual plain Rava Idli, the husband loves a LOT of veggies in his version of this Rava idli when he makes them. these look truly inviting, and esp the cute terracota serveware
Jayashree T Rao
Saturday 1st of October 2022
Love these vegetable rava idlis. The addition of zucchini is quite new to me. I usually add carrot and onions.
Wednesday 28th of September 2022
The rava idlies are not just breakfast, they tick the lunch box deal, the evening snack the instant dinner and many other boxes. I love the ease of making them.
Tuesday 27th of September 2022
Love rava idlis anytime.this is my go to recipe when I am struggling to find a filling and tasty breakfast. Haven't added zucchini so far but like yiu carrots I add normally..wil try with zucchini when I get them fresh .
Wednesday 16th of February 2022
Hi... what is the estimated calorie count for this recipe? and is it good for cholesterol patients?
Renu Agrawal Dongre
Wednesday 16th of February 2022
Sorry I do not give calorie count, but there are many available online for free to calculate. I am not a doctor or a nutritionist so I would say it is better to consult your dietitian/nutritionist or doctor if it is safe to consume for cholesterol patients.