If you are familiar with Indian cuisine at all, you’d know the name of Rava Idli. A staple in many households in Southern India, these steamed cakes made with semolina are a quick and healthy way to satiate your appetite. As with any other recipe, the Idlis have also evolved over time, and they take on a more fancy look that’s as appealing to the eye, as it is to your palate. If you haven’t tried it before, I urge you to visit an Indian grocery store and get a packet of Gits Instant Rava Idli. It is a god-send indeed, especially for busy Moms who want to get something healthy packed for the daily lunches. I wanted to make it healthier than it already is, so I decided to throw in a bunch of veggies that add more nutrition and flavor, and to make it even more irresistible, we pair it with a beautiful green Coconut-Cilantro Chutney. These Rava Idlis are very quick and easy to make, even if you make them from scratch, and can be enjoyed as snack, or as a filling meal, if you like.
Vegetable Rava Idly & Cilantro Coconut Chutney
Makes about 12 medium-sized idlis
2 cups Rava
1 and1/2 cups sour curd
2 tbsp Oil
2 tsp Ghee
1/2 tsp Baking soda
salt – to taste
Finely Chopped Veggies
2 Green chillies
fried cashew nuts
1 firm tomato, with inner juice & pulp removed
some fresh green Coriander
1 teaspoon each of urad dal, channa dal, and mustard seeds
5-6 curry leaves
Coconut Cilantro Chutney
1 cup grated coconut
1/4 cups yogurt
5 pieces whole cashew nuts
1/4 cup cilantro
water – add according to consistency desired
1 tbsp each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds,urad dal (soaked in water for 15 minutes)
2 dry red dry chilies
1/4 tbsp hing (asafoetida)
2 small green chilies
4 fresh curry leaves
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Making the Rava Idlis
Dry roast the rava for a little over a minute in a kadai, stirring continuously.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds first, and then add the raw dals. When the dals turn golden brown in color, add finely chopped chillies, coriander and curry leaves. Next add the chopped vegetables and cook on a medium fire for 2 minutes. Add the rava mix well and turn off the gas.
Add ghee, baking soda, salt and curd to the rava mixture and mix well. Add 2-3 tablespoons water to the batter. Pour the batter in greased idly trays and steam in a pressure cooker for 6 minutes (without weight) or use an Idly Cooker.
Check the Idlis after about 5-7 minutes by pricking a toothpick in the center. If they look cooked, and the stick comes out clean, you can let the idlis cool down a little, then slice them out using a small spatula or spoon.
Making the Coconut Cilantro Chutney
Lightly grind all ingredients listed under the coconut chutney base in a blender.
Heat oil in a small wok. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds & red dry chilies; when the seeds start spluttering, add the pre-soaked soaked urad dal (without water), hing and the curry leaves.
now carefully add the fried spice tempering (Tadka) on top of blended coconut chutney base. Let it sit for few minutes and then mix it all well together.
Serve the Vegetable Rava Idlis with a side of Cilantro-Coconut Chutney.
This is a nice and nutritious meal for your kids, as well as your whole family. It is also an ideal picnic food, as it carries well on the road and will stay fresh for quite some time. Idlis are also a great way to sneak in some unfavored veggies into your kids meal. Try adding finely chopped broccoli, spinach or methi leaves, even shredded carrots to the recipe for a healthier kid-friendly version.