Friday, March 16, 2012

Rave idli or is it Rava idly - definitely not the MTR mix

Don't get me wrong, I love MTR brand, it has been my go to amma for many masala powders when I don't have the energy/time to make it at home. I trust them to be a close replacement for my masalas and hope they will continue to hold up the standards of their products always. However, my patronizing does not extend to their line of ready to eat mixes, I find no cost or time saving in bringing home the vada mix, rava idli mix or the rava dose mix etc. The other reason is that we are hearty eaters at home and I am not used to heating up one cup servings of dishes :-). I can list a whole bunch of advantages to making these at home - you know exactly what goes into the final product, flexibility to vary ingredients to please your near & dear ones to name some..
I am sure you will all agree that it is not cost effective (come on, MTR is a for profit company, they are not running charity) but do you believe you won't need much time to prepare delicious, melt in the mouth rave idlis, all it takes is a little bit of planning and working together in the kitchen. The key ingredient required is good sour curds(yogurt) without which you will probably not get good idlis even if you used the branded mix.

Long back, when I was just out of college and my parents took on the task of finding me my BH, I had gone to meet a prospective groom. Nammamma made rave idlis for brunch  that day as we were leaving before lunch, for some reason the rave idlis all turned out placid and had a yellow tinge making nammamma tearful. Though she didn't say anything at that time as we hurried out to meet the guy, she blurted out after a week 'I knew this wouldn't work out when the rave idlis didn't come out good', I gaped at her for a minute before I made sense of what she was saying and then laughed out aloud :-).
She took the badly turned rave idlis as a sign for the following event but the reason the idlis turned out pathetic that day was because she was out of the fluffing agent (cooking soda) and didn't have sour curds for the recipe, also turns out she mixed everything with a turmeric coated hand which explains the color of the idlis. No harm done, I found BH soon after that which turned out fabulously though there were no rave idlis involved in making it happen :-)).

Before you start on the rave idlis, make sure you have a day or two old curds (preferably home made) and cooking soda on hand. 
What do you need to make Rave idli? 
Makes about 15-18 rave idlis
2 cups upma rava/uppittu rave
1 cup sour yogurt - whisked smooth
2 carrots - peeled & grated
handful of cilantro - chopped fine
1 Tblsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 Tblsp grated coconut - fresh or frozen (optional)
1 Tsp cooking soda
Seasoning:
1 Tblsp chana dal/kadle bele
1 Tblsp (6-8) cashew nuts
1 Tsp black pepper corns
1 Tsp ghee/clarified butter
How do you make rave idli?
  • Dry roast the upma rave on medium heat until it is slightly pinkish and gives a toasty smell,  Let it cool.
  • Heat the ghee on medium, add chana dal, pepper corns and cashew nuts and roast them until the nuts and dal turn light brown.
  • Add grated carrot, prepared seasoning, salt and cooking soda to the roasted rave. 
  • Add coconut if using, mix everything together. 
  • Put drops of oil into your idli plates and prepare them.
  • Mix yogurt little by little and bring it to the regular idli dough consistency, scoop it into the idli plates. If your idli stand cannot hold all the idlis in one go, you do not want to mix yogurt at once because combination of yogurt and cooking soda works together the longer you leave them outside and renders the idlis limp. 
  • Steam the idlis (no weight or whistle) for 20 minutes, for perfectly done idlis, a toothpick inserted should come clean.  
  • Let the idlis stand for 5 minutes off heat before removing them from the idli plate. 
  • Classic Karnataka resturant menu is rave idli with potato sagu and chutney, I made peanut chutney with it.
  • Serve delicious home made idlis with your choice of side dish.
Variations: 
  • Sometimes I skip grated carrot but increase the chopped cilantro to get a different fresh flavor. 
Tips: 
  • Roasted rave can be stored for a long time and comes in handy for quick uppittu, rave idli etc. I usually roast the rave when I bring it from the store. Roasting also extends the shelf life of rave.
  • If you are roasting rave on the stove, you will feel the difference as it gets done. In the beginning as you stir it, it feels very heavy on the spoon however roasted rave becomes very light when you mix it.
  • Alternatively, you can spread rave in a microwave safe plate and MW it for 2+1+1 minute, taking it out to give it a stir. This timing works for my MW power setting and 2 cups of rave. Use your judgment in your kitchen.
  • If your yogurt is very thick, add about 1/2 - 3/4 cup water while whisking it smooth. When you mix in the yogurt, the resulting consistency should be that of the regular idlis.

3 comments:

NamsVeni Pothas said...

tasty rave idli and chutney i tasted first time when my DIL prepared them after my son's marriage.very nice and healtheir than upma. because they are steam prepared.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe! Check out this blog/writeup about MTR:

http://veggieplatter.blogspot.com/2011/12/rava-idli-semolina-idli.html

Shanthi said...

Perfect and looks too good :)