Rava Idli Recipe ~ savory semolina cake

Rava Idli, savory semolina cakes

These tricolor-ed idlis represent the Indian National Flag that has the colors saffron (kesari), white and green on it (with a blue ‘charkha’ or spinning wheel in the center)

This Indian Independence Day, I am presenting a very easy-to-cook, healthy and nutritious Indian favorite ~ Idli, made with ‘rava’ or ‘suji’ or semolina. The orange and green color is all natural and made with grated carrots and fresh coriander paste.

I think I am growing really fond of cooking South Indian food at home. Recently I had posted a Sambar recipe, another South Indian favorite. So this year for Independence Day I decided to recreate this easy but colorfully interesting idli that I had first eaten in Kolkata at my sister-in-law’s house. Bor-di, as I lovingly call her, has stayed in different parts of India, outside Bengal. She is quite adept at making south Indian, north indian and of course, Bengali food and does it with ease. AB and I had eaten these idlis at her place with assorted condiments for breakfast. I was pleasantly surprised to see homemade fresh colorful idlis at a bengali home. I was so intrigued by it, that she gifted me with a similar 4-tier idli pan. And after making rava idlis many a times here in the US, I wanted this Indian national flag colored variation of the recipe for this special day.

Being  a student of History, if I start on Indian freedom struggle and Independence day, 15th August 1947, this post probably would never end. So, to put it in a nutshell (and you have no idea how hard this is for me!) India (a British colony for almost 200 years) got independence from the British Raj in the year 1947. The tricolor-ed Indian flag was hoisted at midnight with celebration all around and the song ‘Vande Mataram’ in the air. The mood was of pride and joy along with a sense of belief, hope and aspirations for the newly independent nation.

And here, at An Artsy Appetite, I share this joy with cooking and food. That, too, in the colors of the Indian National Flag.

Ingredients you will need:

1 ½ cups of rava, suji or semolina
1 cup plain yogurt
¾ cup (approx) water
2 tbsp oil (vegetable, canola)
1 tsp Eno fruit salt or baking soda with a dash of lime
some oil/ghee/clarified butter, for greasing the idli pan
¼ cup carrot, grated
¼ cup fresh coriander/cilantro paste
few coriander leaves (optional)
Salt, according to taste

Method for cooking:

1) In a bowl, mix the yogurt with water to make it slightly liquidy. Add the suji to this, oil and salt. Mix well and keep this for 15 mins.

2) Divide this idli mixture in three equal parts in separate bowls. Add the grated carrots to one and the fresh coriander paste to the other. Mix ingredients in each bowl very well. So now you have 3 bowls of orange, white and green idli batter.

3) In a pressure cooker, heat a little water (about 1 inch, insert finger and check) but don’t boil. Now, add ½ tsp of Eno to each batter bowl. With a teaspoon, put batter into greased idli pan. (I used a 4-tier idli pan, 3 in each tier)

4) Now, put the idli pan inside the pressure cooker, cover it without the pressure lid, to let the steam out. Steam it for 5-7 minutes, depending on your batter consistency.

5) Open the lid and let idlis stand outside for 5 minutes or so. Insert toothpick and check to see if it is cooked. Once ready, serve it with your favorite chutney/condiment or sambar. (See sambar recipe here.)  

Note: The carrot idli batter and coriander idli batter will become vibrant once the idli is steamed. It might not be so colorful when it’s in batter form.

This time we (actually AB) made a coconut-peanut chutney which was delicious with the rava idlis. Recipe of the chutney coming soon! 🙂

Rava Idli, savory semolina cakes

The grated carrots and coriander paste give it the perfect color, that turns vibrant on steaming

Rava Idli, savory semolina cakes recipe

Coconut-peanut chutney goes very well with Rava Idlis and is easy to make too. You could eat them with any condiment of your choice

Rava Idli, savory semolina cakes recipe

Easy, healthy and a vegetarian recipe that children will love too!

Happy Indian Independence Day! Have a colorful and healthy one.


12 thoughts on “Rava Idli Recipe ~ savory semolina cake

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