Rava Idli Recipe without Baking Soda/ENO

Rava Idli Recipe without Baking Soda/Eno
Rava Idli Recipe without Baking Soda/Eno- Tricolor

Rava idli recipe without baking soda/eno

I have been wanting to try rava idli for a while now. I had seen the rava idli recipe some time back and the idlis were supposed to be instant. So I thought I’ll make rava idlis in tricolor as a Republic Day Special recipe. I started searching for the recipes, but all the instant ones had baking soda as an ingredient. Have stopped using soda while cooking at home after Meghana, who is a nutritionist and Shweta, who has done a food production and patisserie course mentioned that soda destroys the nutrients in food.

Thus began the search for a rava idli recipe without soda and I found one recipe with curd, but it didn’t mention soaking the batter overnight and I wasn’t sure about that part. I am not an expert in South Indian food but even to me it seemed like the batter wouldn’t ferment properly if not soaked for considerable amount of time. So I messaged Shweta, asking her how much curd I would need to add and for how much time I’d have to let the batter rest. And this Google maharaj or should I say maharani just messaged back the recipe dhadadhad and before I could finish reading it, messaged saying she’ll make it and send me the pics.

I want it as a Republic Day Special recipe; I need it in tricolor, I wrote. No probs, I’ll add carrots and spinach, she replied. And this awesome lady gave me the pics way ahead of time. Thank you so much Shweta for being so enthusiastic and supportive.

Shweta, with her son Shantanu
Shweta, with her son Shantanu

Shweta is an army wife, stationed in Bhuj currently. She bought her veggies from the Farmers’ Market near her place. She said you get good carrots there in this season, and that she got carrots for 12 rupees per kg and three bunches of spinach for 5 rupees. I pay Rs.10-15 here in Mumbai for one bunch of spinach, wonder how much of it actually reaches the farmer. Note to self, I need to stop procrastinating and going to the Farmers’ Market at Mahim nature park on Sundays; they sell certified organic stuff.

I am very good at procrastinating though and manage to publish only recipes for special days on time. But Shweta’s timely help saved me from having to make the idlis while adhering to any timeline. She not only made the idlis in tricolor but also tried other colors, using turmeric and beetroot purées. Thank you SO much Shweta for being good at cooking, for sharing your recipes and tips so generously, and for being so enthusiastic about sharing them with me and MumMumTime readers. You are one awesome lady.

I will let you all know how my rava idlis turn out when I make them. Meanwhile, if you’ll try this healthy rava idli recipe without baking soda/Eno, let me know how they turn out.

Rava Idli Recipe without Baking Soda/Eno
Multicolored Rava Idli Recipe without Baking Soda/Eno

Buy Stainless Steel Idli Cooker

Buy Kadhai/Pan Online

Rava Idli Recipe without Eno or Baking Soda

Rava Idli Recipe without Baking Soda/ENO

Print Recipe
Rava idlis can be a really yummy, healthy breakfast idea for kids especially if the idlis are made without using baking soda or eno.
Course Main Dish, Snacks
Servings 1 person


  • 3 cups sooji/rava semolina
  • 1 cup curd
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp poha powdered using a mixer
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 pinch hing asafoetida
  • 8-10 pcs cashew nuts optional
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • salt to taste


  • Soak rawa in curd, adding enough water so that it resembles a typical idli batter. The consistency has to be neither too thick nor too thin. A semi pouring consistency would be ideal.
  • Allow the batter to ferment for over 8 hours. (Fermentation makes the batter lighter and releases good bacteria, which is good for the human gut.)
  • After the batter is fermented, add whole wheat flour (aata) and powdered poha to the batter. Aata helps to bind the sooji and poha adds texture. In case you do not have poha, you can add powdered kurmura. A friend of mine would add saboodana powder for texture.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, hing, broken cashew nut pieces, curry leaves and let it crackle.
  • Pour the tempering/tadka over the batter. (You can even add urad dal to your tadka. In case, you or your little one is fond of raisins,you could add them too. If you dislike the idea of adding dry fruits to your idli batter, you can avoid that. You need not even add tadka to your batter. Instead add some warm oil to your batter. The oil prevents your idlis from getting sticky.)
  • You can even add boiled vegetable purée to your batter. Boiled carrot purée, palak purée, beetroot purée will make your idlis look colorful and attractive. In case, you have kids who love to eat their vegetables, you can add grated carrot, bell peppers, sweet corn, chopped palak, chopped methi, grated broccoli and just about any vegetable your child loves. (Shweta used spinach and carrot purées to get the tricolor effect.)
  • Add salt to the batter.
  • Steam the idlis.
  • After the idlis are steamed, allow them to cool a little before demoulding.
  • Serve hot along with sambhar, chutney, or any favorite dip. (Shweta served the idlis with tomato, carrot, and onion chutney.)


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Adding this note based on a reader’s feedback (see Pallavi’s comment below):

To get fluffy idlis allow the batter to rest for longer time. More than 8-10 hours will be better. In warm climates the batter ferments fast, while in cooler ones it takes time.
If you’re feeling lazy, try these out:

Aashirvaad Rava Idli Instant Mix

MTR Rava Idli Breakfast Mix

Buy Stainless Steel Idli Cooker

Buy Kadhai/Pan Online

18 thoughts on “Rava Idli Recipe without Baking Soda/ENO”

  1. Hi I would like to try these Rava Idlis out as they look really appetising. Love the colours. Want to make it for my daughters (aged 3 ) classroom meal for approx. 15 students. I would like to know how much is 1 cup in terms of grams. Coz I have different sizes of cups at home and unsure which one to use. How many idlis will I get from this batter. Please do let me know.

    I look forward to your reply soonest.

    And do keep up the good work, this website is very useful for moms like me who have kids.

    Many thanks,

    • Sharon, I passed on your query to Shweta who replied to it real fast. So here it goes:

      She said she used Indian cup which holds 200 ml, which is about 155 grams. She made around 36 idlis using 3 cups of rava. But the number of idlis you get will vary depending on mould size, weather and therefore fermentation. I am guessing you will be using smaller idli moulds for your kids’ classroom meal. So you’ll probably get twice as many if not more idlis. Hope this helps. Do click some snaps of the idlis and share with me if possible. I’ll put up on my Facebook page. :)

  2. HI, I made a test batch over the weekend. It turned out quite nice. The taste was good but the texture was a bit dense. Not porous and fluffy like rice idls. Not sure where I went wrong. Also I could go much better with the colours to get it brighter the next time. Will be trying the batch for school tonight.

    Many thanks,

  3. Hi Mukta ,
    As Sharon mentioned above, my idlis wernt fluffy like the rice ones either . I left the batter overnight ( about 8 hours). I used up just half the batter . I used up the other half of the batter the next morning after 8+24 hours) and that turned out really well. So I think the key is to let the batter ferment for longer. Hope this helps.

  4. Hi, if leaving to ferment for 24hrs. Should the batter be put in the fridge or left outside. Also ,any idea if roasting the rava first would would give the idlis a better taste & texture? Thanks n waiting for ur reply

  5. Hi, I left a comment earlier but I guess it was deleted. I wanted to know if roasting the rava first would give a better taste & texture. Also when fermenting the batter for 24hrs, should it be left outside or in the fridge. Thanks.

  6. 5 stars
    Rava idli was hmmm yummy and very easy to make .The best part of your recipe is that all ingredients are present in our household. Everyone loved it. Can you tell me how to make the idli to rise. Or they ought to be like this since no cooking soda is added


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