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Mjx

Idli Rava: Beyond the Idli

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Over the weekend, I picked up a bag of idli rava (rice semolina). I had no specific plans for it, but I do love my starch, and wheat and potatoes are problems for me, so I enthusiastically seize any fresh iteration of rice. Even if I have no idea of what to do with it.

I doubt I'll be making idli, since I haven't seen anything that looks like it will work as an idli pan, let alone the real thing (the wells in an æbleskiver pan seem too small and deep), but I'd love to find other things to do with this stuff. I could experiment, but I'm using someone else's kitchen, which restricts my more flamboyant efforts just a bit.

I took a peek online, and there seem to be a quite a few of confident-sounding recipes, but honestly, I'd much rather hear about what you've tried, and how it worked out.

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Hi Mjx, there are many things you can make from idli rava. Actually I have never bought the stuff, preferring to grind it at home in the mixie if I should need it. And for idli, I prefer the traditional way from whole rice soaked overnight and wet ground - I feel it has a different texture. Also, if you do decide to make idli please know that it is steamed and your æbleskiver pan will not be helpful. However, with that pan you can make these and they are awesome so you should look in to that :)

One simple thing you can try is arisi upma. This is upma made from rice rava rather than the normal semolina. The version of this I usually make is from raw rice and also some toor dal which you grind into rawa yourself, but I see no reason you could not just make the ordinary upma and proceed as normal. I would suggest you google upma and you will find lots of recipes.

From arisi upma you can also make upma kozhukattai. The upma is prepared up to the point that the rawa mixture is partially cooked and sort of in a solid mass. Then you form balls or slightly cylindrical shapes and steam. Pidi kozhukattai is a very similar dish. Another similar dish is undi.

Then there's mor kali, which is kind of like a moister upma made with buttermilk (the Indian kind made when cream is churned into butter - you can sub diluted yoghurt). This is really good.

Another thing you could try is rice rawa pongal. Pongal is a dish of rice and dal with lots of ghee, it is very tasty. A variation of this is rawa pongal which is made from semolina instead of rice and is also good. So you could take it full circle and make rawa pongal, but with rice rawa instead of the normal kind!

Also I know some people make dosa from idli rawa. Personally, I have not and feel unsure if the texture would be quite right and would prefer to start off with the whole rice. But still, enough people do it successfully that I guess it works ok.

Of course, all this relies on you being ok with South Indian recipes! As for other cuisines, I am sure there are many uses that people will come up with for you. Out of curiousity, how coarse is your rawa?


Edited by Jenni (log)

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Mjx, besides what Jenni says above, I use idli rava to crumb fish when I fry it. The rava gives a nice crusty coating. In fact, you could use it for any coating - I'm thinking of croquettes, cutlets, etc

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@Jenni: Brilliant, I had a hunch you'd have great suggestions! The Kuzhi paniyaram are something I definitely want to try. I'm hoping the æbleskiver pan is not currently being used to start seedlings, or something.

I'm going to take a picture of the rava, and post it. It looks about the coarseness of semi-refined sugar, coarser than plain sugar, but not so coarse as turbinado.

@bague25: Thanks! I'm thinking of using it on the chops I have marinating for dinner tonight; I have high hopes.

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Here is an image of the rava:

Idli Rava 2012-04-13 at 15.51.39.png

I left it in the bag, since the size of the price label (these seem pretty universal in size) is likely to give a better idea of the size of the grains than if it was in a bowl or in my hand.

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It looks a bit coarser than how I usually do mine but I have seen this coarseness before. All the above recipes would work fine. I feel uncertain how well it would work for dosa and idli in terms of getting an end result that would be to my taste, but that is purely because I have never made idli and dosa from rava - only from whole rice.

Anyway, inspired by this thread I made mor kali today for the first time in ages. I took 1 cup rice (I used sona masoori), washed it, dried it off and ground it in my mixie to a rawa consistency that was finer than in your picture but not like flour. Then I mixed it with buttermilk and salt to taste. I admit to buying buttermilk because I did not have enough cream collected yet to churn butter today. I don't know if you can buy buttermilk where you are. If not, then dilute yoghurt with water. I bought a 500ml pack of buttermilk and then I also added a little homemade yoghurt mixed with water as it didn't quite seem enough. Then I heated sesame oil (the non toasted kind - available in South Asian stores)in a pan. To this I added a teaspoon each of channa and urad dal. After a few moments when they started to colour I added 1 tsp black mustard seeds, 2 torn up curd chillies (green chillies that are soaked in salted yoghurt for several days and then sun dried - they are amazing) and some hing. When the seeds popped I added a few curry leaves, followed by 5 minced green chillies and about 1 tsp minced ginger. I do not always add the latter two and I think that there use is perhaps not completely traditional. I just like the taste :) After a few moments of stirring I added the rawa-buttermilk mixture. I stirred constantly as it came to a simmer, then let it cook, stirring often until it thickened considerably into a mass and was cooked. You can tell because it sort of changes colour and looks...er...cooked! Then I threw in some chopped fresh coriander because I like that, but again I'm not sure it's totally traditionally. You can either spread it in a tray, cool it and cut into squares or spoon it out straight away and eat it hot/warm as you would upma. I love it with lime or mango pickle.

I really like this dish as it is very low effort and has a tangy taste and comforting texture. However, I don't make it that often as, especially the way I like to eat it just with pickle on the side, it is kind of a less nutritious brekkie/snack than other items I usually make as it has no veg in it at all. Still, really tasty!

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Anyway, inspired by this thread I made mor kali today for the first time in ages. . . .

I really like this dish as it is very low effort and has a tangy taste and comforting texture. However, I don't make it that often as, especially the way I like to eat it just with pickle on the side, it is kind of a less nutritious brekkie/snack than other items I usually make as it has no veg in it at all. Still, really tasty!

Is the consistency at all like that of polenta?

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Oops, sorry, the thread fell off the recent threads pages!

The polenta I have eaten was either solid enough to cut and fry or soft and moist. I would say that the soft and moist kind of polenta I have eaten is looser than mor kali. It may help you to see some pics here. See, it's kind of moist but dense.

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