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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Ragi - Rave Idli / Finger Millet - Semolina Idli / Ragi - Rava Idli

Rave idli aka semolina idli was created by MTR during second world war when rice was in short supply. This idli was a variation to the standard idli recipe which of course needed rice. Semolina idlis are a quick version idlis which need no grinding or fermenting and a popular one at restaurants and homes across the south Indian state of Karnataka. 

A few years ago, MTR came up with a spin off of this version called ragi - rava idli / semolina and finger millet idlis. The addition of finger millet flour to semolina idlis obviously make it healthier and guilt-free. This is my attempt to recreate that version at home. I have used semolina and finger millet flour in equal proportions here though semolina quantity can be increased if one is skeptical about finger millet. We are used to finger millet and so we found the idlis delicious. 

These idlis are not gluten-free or vegan as most of the idli recipes I posted in the series so far. They are intsant version idlis and need no grinding or fermenting. However both semolina and finger millet flour are soaked in yogurt for at least 30 minutes. Grated carrot, peas, or coconut can be added to make them more nutritious and tasty. Or one can even stick to the basic version. I found that these idlis need to be steamed longer compared to the standard version. These idlis make a healthy breakfast / brunch item and is diabetic friendly. It makes a wholesome dish when served with side dishes like vegetable saagu, sambhar or chutney.

Ingredients: (Yield - 18 idli)
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. cashews
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. skinned black gram / urad dal
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 cup semolina / rava 
1 cup finger millet flour / ragi flour
Salt to taste 
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup grated carrot
2 tbsp. minced cilantro
3/4 cup water + extra only if needed 
1/4 tsp. Eno's fruit salt
* Heat oil in a pan and toast cashews until golden brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon and keep them aside. To the same pan, add mustard, and black gram. Sauté until the black gram turns golden brown and add curry leaves. Toast for few seconds and add semolina. On medium flame, toast semolina until it starts to change color slightly and start to smell the aroma of it. Turn off the stove and let the mixture cool down. This step can be done in advance and the toasted semolina can be stored in a container.
2. Add finger millet flour / ragi flour and salt to the semolina bowl.
3. Add salt, yogurt, carrot and cilantro to the semolina - flour mixture and mix well. Add water as needed to prepare a thick, pourable consistency batter. Cover and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes.
4. Check the consistency of the batter after the resting period. Add extra water only if the mixture appears dry. 
* Heat about 2 cups of water in a idli cooker base or a idli cooker or a steamer on medium heat. 
5. Add 1/4 tsp. of Eno's fruit salt to the batter and sprinkle a tsp. of water over it. (or add a pinch of baking soda instead of fruit salt.) Gently stir the batter with a ladle until the mixture turns frothy.
6. Grease the idli moulds with ghee / oil. Place a toasted cashew at the center of each mould. (Or cashews can be added directly to the batter.) Fill the moulds with batter.
* Place the idli stand in the prepared cooker / steamer and close the lid. Don't use the valve for the lid if using a pressure cooker.
7. Steam the idlis on low heat setting until done. (The idlis should not stick when touched with moist fingers. It takes longer to steam these idlis compared to the standard rice - urad dal version.) Check the water level in the steamer base and add extra if needed.
* Wait for about 10 minutes and then remove the idlis by running a spoon around the edges.
* Drizzle melted ghee over the idlis and serve them with a chutney and /or sambhar. Mine were served with roasted gram chutney and sambhar.
* Refrigerate any left over idlis and use in a day or two. Or they can be cooled down immediately after preparation and frozen to use later. Just nuke them in a microwave, covered and enjoy hot, piping idlis when needed. 
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.


Srivalli said...

Excellent Idlis Suma, I love this version and appreciate how quickly we can make this...

Radha said...

Excellent idlies! I make without rava but would love the texture of rava in this idli. This is a great recipe.

Harini R said...

That is a very delightful version of ragi rava idli. Loving the idli series.