Skip to main content

How to Make Semolina Dumplings (Rava Idli)

Rava idli (semolina dumplings).

Rava idli (semolina dumplings).

What Is Rava Idli?

Rava idli, or semolina dumplings, is one of India's most popular breakfast dishes. These idli are soft, aromatic, and easily digestible. The accompanying side dish or chutney should be spicy because rava idli itself is relatively bland.

To make rava idli, roasted semolina is mixed with thick curd to make the batter. Grated carrot is mixed with the batter to make it more healthy. Sometimes, idlis are topped with fried cashew nut pieces, chopped tomato, or other garnishes. Unlike other idlis, rava idli batter does not need fermentation. Making this dish takes about 30 minutes. Hot idlis are served with potato curry and coconut chutney.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

15 min

30 min

Serves four people


  • 2 cups medium semolina
  • 1/6 cup carrot, grated
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves, finely chopped (optional)
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon Eno fruit salt, or 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or as per taste
  • 2 teaspoons oil or ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon ghee, for greasing idli moulds
  • 2 cups thick curd or yogurt, medium sour
  • 1 tablespoon cashew nut pieces, for topping (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds


  1. Heat ghee or oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Let them crackle. Throw in curry leaves. Add semolina. Roast on low fire for 3 to 4 minutes or until you get a nice aroma. Turn off the fire. Transfer the contents to a mixing bowl. Set aside for cooling.
  2. Grease the idli moulds and keep a steamer or cooker ready.
  3. Add grated ginger, chopped coriander leaves, curd or yogurt, and salt to the roasted semolina. Mix well. Leave for 5 minutes.
  4. If the batter is too thick, add water and adjust the consistency. For rava idli, the batter should be thick like any other idli batter.
  5. Add Eno fruit salt or baking soda. Quickly give it a stir. The batter will rise in volume. Pour the batter into the greased moulds. Keep the moulds inside the steamer or cooker. Steam for 10 minutes on medium-high flame. Turn off the fire.
  6. Sprinkle some water on the steamed hot idlis. This will help moisten them.
  7. Remove them from the moulds, using a spoon, when they are warm.
  8. The rava idli is ready to serve. Serve hot idlis with potato curry and spicy coconut chutney. Enjoy!

Important Tip

After mixing in the cooking soda or Eno fruit salt, quickly steam the dumplings to get soft, fluffy idlis. Any delay may cause the idlis to become flat and hard.