Instant Semolina Idly Mix

Fermented rice cake called Idly is a popular breakfast food in Southern India.
Traditional Rice and Lentil Idly require soaking, wet grinding and fermentation. Even though Ready-made  fermented Rice Idly batter is available in some cities, storing them is quite difficult.
This Instant Semolina Idly mix is convenient  to make Semolina Idly during traveling or for dorm cooking. They are time savers. When you need Idly just for a single person then this mix is a blessing. All you have to do is mix this with yoghurt, transfer them into cup cake (muffin) tins and steam them in rice cooker. You can eat this out of the same bowl in which it was steamed. Add grated carrot or frozen spinach or steamed mix veggies to increase its nutritive value.
Interestingly my computer recognises the word Idly but not Idli.

Yield per 100 ml Instant Idly mix =  4 Idly =1 serving

Semolina idly with chutney powder

Ingredients  required for  Instant semolina idly mix-

400ml semolina (medium variety also called Upma Rava)
2 tbsp ghee or oil or 1tbsp of both
1 tsp salt (if you add more, idly will become salty)
1tsp baking soda or 2 tsp Eno fruit salt

For Spiced Rava idly  mix

If you want Masala Idly add the following tempering to the ghee or oil. You can omit any thing if it is unavailable.

½ tsp mustard
1 tsp chick pea split (chana dal) (optional, I don't use it)
1 tsp black gram split (urad dal)
2 tsp green chillies pieces ( semi dry in microwave)
2 tbsp coriander (cilantro) leaves (optional)
10 curry leaves (wash, pat dry and chop finely)
2 tsp cashew pieces
¼ tsp asafoetida (optional)
¼ tsp ginger pd (optional)

Plain Rava idly mix-

Heat oil or ghee in a pan.
Add the and roast over a low heat for 3-5 minutes till you get a nice aroma. Give it a stir from time to time to avoid the semolina (rava) from browning.
Cool completely. Mix in salt and soda (fruit salt) and store this in an airtight container.

Masala (Spiced ) idly mix-

If you are adding coriander (cilantro) to the mix, remove the tough stems, wash, pat dry with a towel and semi-dry them in microwave for 60-80 secs).

Heat oil or ghee in the pan. When you add ghee + oil it will foam as you see in this picture.

Put in mustard and when it starts to jump around add chana dal and fry till slightly golden next add in black gram dal. I did not add chana dal (split chick pea).

When this dal becomes golden add semi-dried green chillies, chopped curry leaves and cashew pieces. Roast till cashew pieces turn golden (less than a minute).

Add semolina and semi-dried coriander leaves. Roast this for 3-5 mins over low heat. The coriander leaves should be crisp by now.

Remove from heat and add salt, ginger pd and asafoetida. Mix well.
Leave it in the pan till it is completely cool. Add baking soda (crumble it with finger if any lumps are present) or fruit salt and mix thoroughly for even mixing.

Instant mix without coriander leaves

Store this in an air tight container for 15 days (with cilantro) or for a month (without cilantro). You can store this in refrigerator for few more months.

  • To increase its shelf life store this in small batches ( ½ or 1 cup each) in plastic bags because constant opening of the container might make the baking soda inert.
  • You can add soda at the time of making Idly. For every cup of instant mix add ½ tsp soda or 1 tsp fruit salt and stir well to blend it evenly.
  • I know some of you may think of semi-drying grated carrot and adding it into this mix. YES, you can do it but you will have to refrigerate the instant mix.
  • You can completely dry the coriander leaves in the microwave if you are staying in a humid region.
 I have posted 2 recipes using this Instant Semolina Mix

1. Semolina Idly(savory cakes)  in microwave/rice-cooker/steamer
New! Click here to print the Instant Semolina Idly recipe label and stick this on your INSTANT IDLI MIX JAR.


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  1. Thanks for this post Rekha! REally helpful and just what I was looking for. Will try this soon and let you know of the result :) Thanks!

  2. Nandita when you wanted this recipe, I searched the web and found there were already lot of recipes for this Rava Idly Mix but most of them did not have a long shelf life.Hence decided to post it.I am glad you made me post this :)
    Thank you.


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