I had posted the recipe for Super Soft White Idlis using udad dal and parboiled rice. Then, I got this request from Rama, my cousin, for the recipe for Idli with Idli Rava (Rice Rava or Cream of Rice) as she finds it difficult to get parboiled rice in USA. So here goes!

Soft, White Idli with Idli Rava
The Perfect Soft, White Idli with Idli Rava

If you use a regular mixer-grinder, you may find it easier to make Idli with Idli Rava because the amount of grinding for rice is a tad bit less. I also prefer this method of making idli because this is how we make it in my home state Andhra Pradesh.

Before we get into the recipe, here are some tips that will help you get the perfect idli.

Tips to get the perfect Idli:

  • Soak the udad dal and rice rava separately.
  • Soak the udad dal with fenugreek seeds for at least 4 hours.
  • When you drain the water from the udad dal, save some of the water and use it for grinding the batter. This water helps improve the fermentation of the batter.
  • The rice rava can be soaked for just about 1 or 2 hours, though soaking it for longer does no harm.
  • After draining the water from the rice, I also squeeze out the extra water from it. I do this because the idli rava absorbs a lot of water, and the batter may become runny.
  • When grinding the idli rava, I use a little of the water from the soaked udad dal to adjust the consistency of the batter.
  • I grind the udad dal and the rice rava separately, and then mix the two batters. However, grinding the two together is also OK.
  • Mix the final batter with your hand; it really helps the fermentation.
  • Keep the batter as thick as possible. If the batter is runny, then fermentation will not cause the batter to rise.
  • Add the salt to the batter before fermenting and mix well. I do this because then when the batter is fermented and ready to be steamed, I do not have to mix it at all. This preserves the air in the batter and makes the idli light and fluffy.
  • Let the steam build up in the steamer before you place the idlis for steaming. This helps the idli cook faster and keeps it softer.

Something to Watch For

  • The yellowish-ness of the idli is often because of inadequate fermentation and no other reason. The batter must ferment well for the idlis to be soft and white.
  • If your batter is not thick enough, it may not rise. Do not ferment it for longer in the hope that it will rise because it won’t; it will just go sour. If you can use such batter to make dosas.
  • In cold climates, place the container with the batter in a warm oven, cooker, or microwave.
  • Do not overcook the idlis. If you steam the idlis for too long, it dries out the idlis, and makes them a bit grainy and hard.

How to Make Soft White Idlis with Idli Rava (Rice Rava)

Soaking Time: 4 hours

Fermentation Time: 8 to 10 hours

Cooking Time: 10 Minutes

Makes: ~16 Idlis

Ingredients

  1. Idli Rava – 1.5 cups
  2. Minapappu, Udad Dal or Husked, Split Black Gram – 1/2 Cup
  3. Menthulu, Methi Dana or Fenugreek Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  4. Salt to Taste

How to Make The Perfect Idli Batter with Idli Rava

  1. Soaking the Dal and Rice Rava
    1. Wash the udad dal well under running water.
    2. Soak the udad dal and fenugreek seeds in 3 cups of water for at least 4 hours. In winter, I sometimes soak the udad dal for 6 hours and in extremely cold weather, I may heat the water till it is lukewarm.
    3. Soak the idli rava in 2.5 cups of water for at least 1 hour. You do not need to soak the rice rava for very long.
  2. Making the Batter
    1. Drain the water from the soaked udad dal and save the waterUse this water when grinding the udad dal or idli rava. 
       
    2. Drain all the water from the idli rava and squeeze out excess water. Do squeeze the excess water, otherwise you may have a runny batter.

    3. First, grind the soaked udad dal and fenugreek seeds first in a mixer-grinder till it forms a thick and smooth paste. If and when required, add water drained from the soaked udad dal. Just add a little at a time and patiently grind the batter till it is smooth and thick.
    4. Transfer the batter out in a large vessel.
    5. Grind the drained and squeezed rice rava with a little of the water from the udad dal to a thick smooth paste. Once again, use just as much water as you need to make a smooth thick batter.
    6. Add the idli rava batter to the udad batter.
    7. Add salt to the batter. I add about 3/4 tsp of salt.
    8. Use your hand to thoroughly mix the two batters together.
      Idli Batter for Idli with Rava Idli
    9. Ensure that the vessel is only about 1/2 filled because the batter will rise quite a bit after fermentation.
    10. Cover the vessel and set aside in a warm place to ferment for at least 8 hours.
    11. As the batter is fermenting and after it has fermented, do not mix it. The batter will rise and be very light and aerated. You do not want to lose the air in the batter by mixing it. 
      Perfectly fermented idli batter
  3. Making Idlis in a Pressure Cooker
    1. Remove the weight from the lid of the pressure cooker.
    2. Add enough water to the pressure cooker for the steam to build.
    3. Do not place the lid on the cooker.
    4. Set the heat on high and let the water simmer.
    5. Lightly grease each slot in the idli mould.
    6. Scoop the fermented batter into each slot till it is just full. I repeat do not mix the batter. Just scoop it as is into the idli mold.

    7. Place the idli stand in the cooker.
    8. Close the lid and let it steam for 8 to 10 minutes. I turn off the flame when I am able to detect the aroma of idlis in the steam.
    9. Turn off the heat and let the idlis rest for about 10 minutes.
    10. Open the cooker and take the idli stand out.

    11. Use a small sharp knife to gently loosen the idlis from the mold and remove each idli. 
  4. Serve hot soft white idlis with Sambar, Senaga Pindi Pachadi, Coconut Chutney, Molaga Podi, or Nimmakaya Kharam.
Soft, White Idli with Rice Rava
Soft, White Idli with Rice Rava

Recipe for The Perfect Idlis with Rice Rava

The Perfect Soft White Idli with Rice Rava (Idli Rava)

In my home state Andhra Pradesh, we often make idlis with rice rava (rather than whole rice). Here is how you can make the perfect soft white idli with idli rava.
Cook Time 10 mins
Soaking and Fermenting Time 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Andhra Pradesh, Indian, Karnataka, South Indian, Tamil Nadu
Servings 16 Idlis
Ingredients
  
  • 1/2 Cup Udad Dal, Minapa Pappu (~120 gms)
  • 1.5 Cup Idli Rava, Rice Rava (~250 gms)
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds, Methi Seeds
  • Salt to Taste (~1 tsp)
Instructions
 
Soaking the Dal and Rice Rava
  • Wash the udad dal well under running water.
  • Soak the udad dal and fenugreek seeds in 3 cups of water for at least 4 hours.
  • Soak the idli rava in 2.5 cups of water for at least 1 hour.
Making the Batter
  • Drain the water from the soaked udad dal and save the water. Use this water when grinding the udad dal or idli rava.
  • Drain all the water from the soaked rava and squeeze out excess water.
  • First, grind the soaked udad dal and fenugreek seeds first in a mixer-grinder till it forms a thick and smooth batter. If needed, use the water drained from the soaked udad dal.
  • Transfer the batter out in a large vessel.
  • Grind the drained and squeezed rice rava with a little of the water from the udad dal to a thick smooth paste.
  • Add the idli rava batter to the udad batter.
  • Add salt to the batter.
  • Use your hand to thoroughly mix the two batters together.
  • Ensure that the vessel is only about 1/2 filled because the batter will rise quite a bit after fermentation.
  • Cover the vessel and set aside in a warm place to ferment for at least 8 hours.
  • As the batter is fermenting and after it has fermented, do not mix it.
Making Idlis in a Pressure Cooker
  • Remove the weight from the lid of the pressure cooker.
  • Add enough water to the pressure cooker for the steam to build.
  • Do not place the lid on the cooker.
  • Set the heat on high and let the water simmer.
  • Lightly grease each slot in the idli mould.
  • Scoop the fermented batter into each slot till it is just full. Do not mix the batter. Just scoop it as is into the idli mold.
  • Place the idli stand in the cooker.
  • Close the lid and let it steam for 8 to 10 minutes. I turn off the flame when I am able to detect the aroma of idlis in the steam.
  • Turn off the heat and let the idlis rest for about 10 minutes.
  • Open the cooker and take the idli stand out.
  • Use a small sharp knife to gently loosen the idlis from the mold and remove each idli.
  • Serve hot soft white idlis with Sambar, Senaga Pindi Pachadi, Coconut Chutney, Molaga Podi, or Nimmakaya Kharam.
Keyword Idli, Idli Batter, Idli with Idli Rava, Idli with Rice Rava, Perfect Idli, Perfect Idli Batter, Soft White Idli

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