Idlis with wheat rava (Ganva rave idli)

As I have mentioned earlier, rice is an important and main item in our food. So during the fasting days, we eat rice only once a day and avoid it for all other meals. At my home, we do fasting every panchami(fifth day of fortnight in Hindu calender). During these days, satvik food -pure vegetarian food without onion and garlic, is prepared. We eat rice with lunch but for dinner, we either eat fruits or make something with wheat. Even for breakfast, rice is not used. So I make these idlis on such fasting days.

We have noticed that these are more softer and easier to ferment compared to the normal idlis with rice. So these days, I make these idlis very often. They have slightly different taste and healthier because of the wheat sooji ganva ravo (Konkani – n is pronounced with nose as in Genhu in Hindi).

1 and 1/4 cup wheat sooji/rava (the one used for upma)
1 cup urad dal

Rava is either steamed or roasted before adding it to the batter.
Roast rava till a nice aroma comes out of it. OR Take the rava in a clean towel and tie a knot around it. Keep this in a cooker and steam (without whistle) for about 10mins.
Cool the rava to room temperature.
Soak urad dal in water for about 4hrs. Grind it to a very smooth batter. (There will be some air bubbles on top when it is finely ground. Also when you touch the batter, it feels very smooth). Add salt and mix again.
Now add the rava and mix with a spoon. Keep aside overnight for fermentation.
Next morning, make idlis.

Serves : 3-4

PS: During summer, I add the rava to the urad dal batter about 30mins before steaming the idlis (only urad batter is fermented overnight) as the wheat rava makes the batter sour if over fermented.

28 thoughts on “Idlis with wheat rava (Ganva rave idli)”

  1. Dear varada aunty, Thanks a lot for posting this recipe. I used to make rava idlies with the instant mixes which have a lot of soda bi carb. pl tell me if we can garnish them as it used to be in hotels. Also pl tell me if i can do the same with broken wheat rawa which is rich in fibre

    Shilpa: Rava idli recipe is totally different Nirupama. Check out this.

  2. Varadpachi, i love these rulava idlis more than the regular onces, because of the softness. I liked your idea of tying the rava in a clean towel, tying a knot around it and steaming in a cooker for 10 min.

  3. I find making this idli is easier than making the ones with rice..Even we make this idli on upvaaas days. I used to always add rava the next day. Thanks fr the tip.. I will add it the previous day for soft idli’s. Thanks mayi

  4. rava means medium upma (bombay) rava or the bansi rava..i knew only rava idli with curds but not this fermented one….sounds interesting. will try….Happy sankranti to all of you.

    Shilpa: As mentioned in the recipe, it is the upma rava.

  5. Dear varada Aunty,
    as i did this idli several times, but never roasted or stemed Ganva rava. I roasted or stemed the BOMBAY RAVA. I never knew that this can b done also.

    thanku very much

  6. Namaskar Varda Mayee,

    Thanks for the recipe. I have tries this idli for about 3 to 4 times on my mom’s instruction. She adds finely chopped chillies and ginger to the batter.
    though i follow the exact instruction , dont know why the idlis come out “ghati”. While, the one my amma makes comes out soft. Can you tell me what must be the reason.

    Shilpa: Seema, we don’t know what recipe you are following, please follow this recipe and let us know how it turned out.

  7. Mayi,
    thanks for posting this so more people can try the idli. My mother and MIL make only this version now and have quit using rice rave totally. Wheat is healthier and this idly is great alternative for diabetics also. And newbies don’t even know that this is a different idly recipe, they come out fluffier and as white as rice versions!
    As for the person above who asked about the ginger-chillies version, we used to add those to idly made with only yellow mung dal + urad . This is a yellowish, spongy idly that is savory, almost spicy.

  8. hi… great idea …. idli with wheat….
    shilpa, do u know how to make Khubani ka halwa or known as khubani ka meetha main ingredient is dried apricot… if u know please post the recipe….

  9. Hey Shilpa,
    My mom makes these a lot these days..:) She uses wheat fada ( cracked wheat in the smallest size) instead of upma rava. With that the glycemic index goes way down and fiber increases too as the wheat fada has husk in it and grainier. Only -ve tho is idlis will be little brown :)..will catch up with u sometime later….:)

  10. I just cooked these for breakfast today and they turned out soft & fluffy, the only difference is I let the batter ferment for 48 hrs as the temps have nose dived in this part of US. These idlis will make a regular appearance at our table. Thanks once again Aunty for the recipe.

  11. Any idea on how to make dudde sannana aka sweet pumpkin idli. I know it is made with rice rava. But may be can be made with wheat rava. My mil used to add cashews, jaggery even dried grapes to this.

  12. Dear Shilpa, First time to u blog..and tis really gr8 and i love it..:). I was following ur recipe for the idlis – im always trying to get soft idlis..and not with much success..however i felt u ahve explained it clear and well and then reading ur recipe..i know u explained it all v well..
    i mistook one thing..i fermented the urad dal alone as per ur instruction thinking that i ahve to add the idli rava the next day night! and now i ahve well fermented urad dal thats one day old and want to know if i can add the idli rava/ flour now and make idlis.. OR is it okay to add the idli rava and ferment the whole batter one more night.. PLS PLS let me know ASAP..appreciate ur advice.

    Shilpa: For wheat rava idli, you can add rava 10mins before making the idlis. So it need not be soaked overnight.

  13. Hello Aunty,
    I happened to hear from one of my friends that Idli made this way (tying it in a towel and steaming the rava before adding to batter) makes the idly soft. Could you please post detailed message as to how to do this ?.
    I tried steaming the rava before adding to urad dal batter, but, the rava turned into hard lumps during the steaming process.
    This is the way I steamed the rava.
    (1) I rinsed and cleaned the rava once.
    (2) I then tied it in a clean cloth and placed it on a strainer (with lot of holes) on the brim of a vessel which had boiling water below.
    (3) I kept it this way, since I had a lot of quantity of rava, and have only a small cooker at home.
    (4) I let it steam for 10 minutes like this, however, when I removed the rava, it had turned lumpy.
    Can you please tell me what wrong did i do ?. Could you also provide some pictures on how exactly we need to steam the rava.

    1. I will take some pictures when I make this next. Rava does get a bit lumpy while steaming. So you have to break it down well with fingers before adding to the batter. You can also try roasting it rava instead of steaming it.

  14. A mangalorean friend suggested these to b steamed in small glasses lined with jackfruit leaves, it tasted delicious

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