Rawa idli is a variation of the popular South Indian breakfast item, idli, made with rawa (semolina) or sooji. Wikipedia has some amazing story about Rawa Idli. It says that it is a speciality of the state of Karnataka in India and the popular restaurant chain, Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR) of Bangalore claims to have invented it. According to Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, during World War II, when rice which is the staple item used in idli was in short supply, they experimented in making idli using semolina and created Rawa Idli. Another interesting fact is that Rawe-Idli translates to semolina-idli in the native Kannada language. It is usually found in restaurants that serve the Udupi cuisine. Rawe idli is served hot and is to be eaten along with Saagu and Coconut Chutney. A dash of Ghee poured on the top of Rawa Idli adds to the overall taste.
Rawa Idli is one of the simplest Idli recipe that does not require labor in grinding and hours of soaking and fermentation. Infact this Idli recipe can be made with scratch. Yes, just a few ingredients that are easily available in your kitchen pantry can make these soft and pillowy Rawa Idli in just 15 mins. Healthy and diabetic friendly, you can also variate the recipe by adding grated carrots, beetroot etc to make it even more filling. Easily digestive, Rawa Idli makes an amazing lunch box option as well. Serve it with Green Chili and Coconut Chutney and serve hot.
1 cup Semolina/ Rawa/ Sooji roasted
1/2 cup Thick Curd
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
2 tbsp Bengal Gram/ Chana Dal
2 Dry Red Chilies, broken
1/2 tsp Asafoetida / Hing
2 sprig Curry Leaves
1/2 inch Ginger, grated
1 tbsp Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Ghee
1/2 tsp Sugar optional
Salt to taste
Collect all the ingredients on the kitchen counter before you start making the Idlis. Heat a non stick pan and dry roast the semolina/rawa until golden. Collect in a bowl and keep aside to cool. In the same pan, heat 1 tsp Oil and add mustard seeds, broken red chilies, asafoetida and curry leaves and wait till they splutter/crackle. Now add Bengal Gram/Chana Dal and roast till golden. Collect and keep aside. Whisk 1/2 cup thick curd and add in roasted semolina with the tempering. Combine to make a thick batter. Set aside for 30 mins so that the semolina soaks and softens. Now baking soda, grated ginger, fine chopped coriander, sugar (optional), salt to taste. Add little water and combine to make a flowing batter. I also added Ghee to get rustic flavor and aroma. Take a Idli maker stand and grease the sections with oil. Pour in the batter onto each section and steam the Idlis in a steamer for 12-15 mins. Turn off the gas and let the Idli rest for 5 mins before you take them off from the stand. Now carefully take out the Idlis by running a knife on sides. Plate the hot and fluffy Rawa Idlis in a plate and serve hot with green chili & coconut chutney.
How to make Green Chili & Coconut Chutney : Add 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut, 1 tsp cumin, 2 green chilies and some water in a blender and grind to make a chutney. Season with salt as needed. You can also add tempering by heating 1 tsp oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, broken red chili. Wait till they crackle and pour it all over the chutney.