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Rava Idli

Rava idli is a staple breakfast food in the south. My grandmother’s rava idlis used to melt in my mouth and the accomapnying chutney was not even needed. I rarely make these idlis in Pune — I suppose my family hasn’t yet experienced really good rava idlis so they don’t really feel like eating them.

These idlis do not have to be fermented and they are one of the easiest breakfast foods to make so I was surprised that there was an instant mix for them. MTR is a reputed brand in the market so I gave their idlis a try. The idlis were soft and tasted good.To make any packaged food last, some form of preservation is required. In this mix there are also some unwanted fats to give the end product some taste and body. 

After semolina, the next ingredient is Edible Vegetable Fat. Then comes the dal and spices. Which edible fat is unknown so it is safe to assume that the fat is most likely not the best quality — could be dalda, lard — who knows.

The good news is that overall these idlis aren’t too bad. Depending on the size, each idli will be 55-70 calories. The fat is more than desired with and 1  to 1.5 grams of fat, less than half of which is saturated fat but it is similar to the ghee content on the homemade rava idli. On some nights or mornings when cooking is not feasible this is an option. Curds are used in the making of the recipes which makes it healthier as well.

For those who want to see how easy the homemade version is try this recipe(yes, it’s my grandmother’s recipe).

Rava Idli

Yield: 25 – 30


  1. 2 cups rava — heated slightly on a tava with a pinch of soda, 1 cup dahi, 1 1/4 cup water, 1/2 carrot grated, 2 green chilies, 1 tbsp coriander, 1 pinch grated ginger, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp sugar

  2. For tadka: 1 tsp ghee, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 string curry leaves


  1. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Give a tadka and mix again.

  2. Keep for 20 minutes before steaming.

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