Recipe for making soft, light and porous Semiya Rava Idli. This is an instant idli which does not require fermentation. Recipe with step by step pictures for guidance.
We as a family love Idlis, as they are the ultimate comfort food. Whats better? instant idli recipes which hardly require any pre-planning making it perfect for week night dinners/breakfast. Here is the recipe to make instant Semiya Rava Idli –
First step as always is the preparation. We will roast the rava (semolina/sooji) and semiya (vermicelli) separately. Heat a skillet or pan on medium heat with 2 teaspoons of ghee. Add 1 cup of rava and roast in medium heat until it turns light brown and fragrant. Set aside. Next, in the same skillet, add 1 cup of semiya and roast in medium heat until it turns crisp and slightly brown. Add it along with the rava and set aside to cool to room temperature.
A note on rava and semiya here. Please use the normal bombay rava variety that we normally use to make upma. Very fine sooji/Chirotti rava will not work for this recipe. Also, you may chose to use pre-roasted rava/semiya that is available in the market these days. Even then, my advice would be to roast it again at least for 3-4 minutes in ghee for this recipe. Infact, I have used such double roasted rava/pre-roasted semiya only for this recipe. While the rava-semiya mixture is cooling, grate 1/2 a carrot and set aside. Roast 10-12 cashews (broken into half) in 1 teaspoon of ghee and set aside. We will use carrots and cashews to decorate the idlis. Now, we will prepare the tempering for the idlis. Heat 1 teaspoon of ghee in a pan, add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and wait for it to splutter, add 1/2 teaspoon each of chana dal and urad dal and roast until they turn golden brown. Add finely chopped green chilies and saute for a few seconds. Add this tadka/tempering to the roasted rava-semiya mixture. To the rava-semiya mixture, add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and give it a quick mix. Now, add 1 cup of whisked sour curds (make sure curd is in room temperature) and mix thoroughly. Let this Idli batter mixture rest for about 15 minutes. At the end of 15 minutes you will see that the rava/semiya have absorbed the liquids. Add 1/2 cup water/thin buttermilk to adjust the consistency to resemble idli batter. Now, just before we are ready to steam the idlis, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bi-carbonate) to the Idli batter. Give it a quick mix. The Idli batter is ready now to make Idlis. Once you add the baking soda, the idea is to make the idlis immediately. Do not store this batter for too long.
In the meanwhile, grease the idli plates with oil thoroughly. Arrange 1 or 2 cashews in the Idli plate cavity , add some grated carrots on top. Pour the batter to fill the cavities. Repeat till you fill all of the Idli plates with batter.
Arrange the Idli plate into the Idli steaming vessel (with water in the base) and steam for 13-15 minutes in low-medium heat. Check if the idlis are done by inserting a tooth pick, back of a spoon. If the toothpick comes out clean, you Idlis are ready. If not, steam for a few more minutes. Scoop out the Idlis carefully from the Idli plate and serve hot.
There is a host of Sambar-Chutney options that I have given here that you can serve as a side dish.