August 17, 2009

Methi Rava Idly and Sambhar

Idly for breakfast makes work easier, since the breakfast for the entire family is made in a single batch. That's the only factor which pushes me to make idly for breakfast. Two years back, I first tried making rava idly with the MTR instant pack . Followed the instructions on the pack, rava idly turned out well was given a thumbs up by the family. I noted the ingredients on the packet. After 3 attempts, I got the right texture of the idly by making it from scratch. Since then, this recipe is a savior when in need of a quick fix for breakfast. I usually do the seasonings and roasting part the previous day and refrierate the mix. The next day all I have to do is mix in the wet ingredients and proceed with idly making. It saves lot of time.

Methi Rava Idly
(Yields - 16 nos )

Rava/Sooji - 2 cups
Buttermilk - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Cooking soda- 1/4 tspn
Methi leaves - handful
(Grates carrot or fresh corn etc can also be used)


Ghee/oil - 2 tblspn
Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Chana dal - 1 tblspn
Cashews - 10 nos
Green chilly - 2 nos, finely chopped
Curry leaves - few

Heat oil/ghee in a kadai. Add the seasoning ingredients. Add the methi leaves. When the leaves wilt, add the rava and roast till you can smell the aroma of roasted rava. Cool and add salt,buttermilk and water. I have used buttermilk since it is always available in my home. Beaten curd can also be used instead. The proportion of rava and liquid is 1:1. Whisk to break the lumps. Keep it aside for 10 minutes. Mix in the cooking soda and mix gently. Scoop into greased idly moulds and steam for 7-10 minutes. Serve hot with chutney or sambhar or molagapodi. Adding methi leaves did not impart any bitter taste to the idlis.


Sambhar in Palakkad Iyer lingo is not the instant, quick fix kind. To qualify for sambhar it must have coconut and fresh roasted and ground spices. Sambhar without coconut is looked down upon and is rarely made too. Things have changed now. People have go used to making with instant sambhar powders sans coconut. And coconut if used, is very moderate quanitity. I rarely make sambhar using the sambhar powder. When ever I make coconut less version (podi potta sambhar) , I prefer fresh powder. And i do have the store bought sambhar powder in stock,ironically never used for sambhar making. the veggies used in sambhar is very versatile. Drumstick/ladies finger/ pumpkin/brinjal/raddish/pearl onion are some of the common veggies used. Each veggie on its own gives a distinct flavor and a combination of veggies also works good. Sambhar is a very forgiving recipe and has scope for many variations. I usually follow the age-old method of eye ball measurement while making sambhar. I believe that gives a distinct taste each time its made. Take the following measurement as a guideline and little more or less will not alter the taste much.

Now coming to the recipe I follow,

Radish/Mullangi - 2 nos,sliced into circles
Tuvar dal - 1/2 cup
Tamarind - lemon sized
Coconut - generous 1/2 cup

To roast and grind
Oil - 1 tblspn
Coriander seeds/Malli - 2 tblspn
Red chilly - 4 nos
Chana dal/Kadala paruppu - 1 tspn
Methi seeds/Venthayam/Uluva - 1/2 tspn
Curry leaves - 5 leaves (optional)
Hing powder - few shakes

Oil - 1 tspn
mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Curry leaves for garnish
Pressure cook tuvar dal till soft and mash able. Soak tamarind in warm water for 5 minutes or so. This will help easier extraction of the juice. Keep the vegetable sliced.

Take the tamarind extract in a vessel and a cup of water, salt and turmeric. When the tamarind water starts boiling, add the veggies. Cook till it is fork tender.

In the meantime, roast the the ingredients to be roasted till the dal turns light brown. Remember to add the methi seeds during the last stages of roasting. When cool grind to a smooth paste along with coconut. Add water as required.
Mash the cooked dal and stir into the cooked veggies. Add the ground paste. Check the salt. Adjust the consistency by adding water. Bring to rolling boil stage. Do the seasoning with mustard seeds and add few curry leaves for garnish.

The plate of idly and sambhar is my contribution to EC's WYF -Breakfast event


  1. I love rava idli too. Your idli and sambar looks so good. I am sure going to try them soon. Thanks.


  2. Adding vendhya keerai is a nice idea especiallly when they are tossed in the ghee, the add flavour. And your sambhar looks delicious as well.

  3. yum, yum! Mint idlies, so healthy Jaya! And sambar, I can just drink it out of the picture. YUmmy :)

  4. Lovely looking idlies and the apple glassware looks so cute too. :)

  5. Though arachu vitta sambar is the norm for us, I somehow prefer podi potta sambar....that is what i make most of the time. It is only during special occasions or if it is ulli sambar that I use coconut.

  6. Jayashree the idlis look so soft and inviting!

  7. Jayashree the idlis look so soft and inviting!

  8. This is looking so out of world combo jayasree...

  9. Wow wat an innovative idli...lovely and healthy!

  10. Lovely...I simply love the idea of adding methi.

  11. So this is what that discussion was about. I make rava idlis but never tried methi leaves with it. Shall.

  12. Yummy.using methi is nice idea..umm platter

  13. yummy idleis and sambhar...tempting dear..

  14. Nice idea,idly looks superb, and I love mullangi sambhar,long time since I made!!

  15. Idli and sambar are among the best combinations in food..looks tempting, thanks for participating

  16. Please accept a gift from my blog dear:)

  17. your rawa idly looks very good, actually i did methi idli with idli batter with some little variations, it came out very well, will try this way next time....

  18. Adding methi leaves to idly sounds yum...nice way to indulge with greens...looks yum with that samabr.

  19. This is a really healthy dish, must try for kids.

  20. wow what a healthy idea jayasree idlis looks so soft and yum.

  21. Methi and rava idli sounds like an interesting combo..:)

  22. thats a good idea to add methi leaves to rava idli..looks yumm,,

  23. Rava idli is my all time fav...with methi leaves hmm divine!

  24. Hello J,

    Please collect hyor awards from my blogsite.
    Hope you are doing fine and you had a great vacation.

  25. Hi, Healthy dish i use this methi leaves some times in chappathi. let try this

  26. I chuckled and nodded along knowingly when you mentioned the coconut factor in sambar for Palakkad Iyers... being one myself, I've never liked what my dad dubbed "mottai sambar" (= bald sambar) :)
    Enjoyed going through your archives - you have some of my all-time favorites here!


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