Rava Idli Waffles


Rava idli waffles(semolina waffles) are a fun spin on a South Indian savory steamed idli cake. It has a lovely, delicate texture and is seasoned with whole spices, ginger, chili, and cilantro. It’s an amazing savory breakfast served with chutney, Indian pickles, or sambar(split pea stew)

plates of rava idli waffles and pancakes next to a bowl of chutney
Table of Contents

Rava idli is a steamed idli cake made with semolina. You just mix the batter, steam it after 10-15 minutes, and serve it with other Indian dishes.  I used a similar batter and made it into waffles or pancakes.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s so flexible! You can swap spices in and out to change out the flavor and you can add veggies of your choice, too. You can use the batter to make pancakes too. You can see them served with the kerala white bean stew here

Enjoy these savory, Indian waffles with your favorite chutney and some Indian pickles or sambar. It is delicious with coconut chutney, tomato chutney, or mint chutney!

close-up of rava idli waffles on the plate

Why You’ll Love Rava Idli Waffles

  • savory rava idli in vegan waffle or pancake form
  • versatile recipe – add whatever veggies you want!
  • naturally soy-free
  • make-ahead friendly. You can make the batter up to two weeks or more in advance!

More Vegan South Indian recipes

Recipe Card

close-up of rava idli waffles on the plate

Print Recipe

Rava Idli Waffles (Indian Savory Semolina waffles)

Rava idli waffles(semolina waffles) are a fun spin on a South Indian savory steamed idli cake. It has a lovely, delicate texture and is seasoned with whole spices, ginger, chili, and cilantro. It’s an amazing savory breakfast served with chutney, Indian pickles, or sambar(split pea stew)

Prep Time15 minutes

Cook Time50 minutes

Total Time1 hour 5 minutes

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: South Indian

Keyword: rava idli pancakes, rava idli waffles

Servings: 4

Calories: 125kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6-8 curry leaves , fresh or frozen or dried
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1/2 green chili, such as serrano or Indian chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cashews
  • 3/4 cup (125.25 g) coarse semolina or rava
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut

Rest of the Dry Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) carrots and peas
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon sambar powder or garam masala or another spice blend of choice
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, optional

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (118.29 ml) non-dairy yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 – 1 cup (118.29 ml) water

Instructions

  • Roast the semolina: Heat a medium to large-size skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and mix well. Cook until they change color significantly.

  • Add in the ginger, curry leaves, green chili, cashews, semolina, and shredded coconut and mix well. Continue to roast for 4-6 minutes or until the semolina starts to look very fluffy and has changed color just a little bit. Switch off the heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl. (You can refrigerate this mixture for up to 2 weeks and use it later. Or freeze the mixture for months)

  • Make the batter: Add the rest of the dry ingredients: baking soda, baking powder, salt, cilantro, veggies, almond flour, and onions, and mix well. You can also add other veggies, like chopped bell peppers, grated cauliflower, or other quick-cooking vegetables.

  • Add in the wet ingredients: the yogurt, lime juice, and 1/2 cup of water, and mix well. Depending on your semolina, you will need 1/4 cup or more water to make a stiff batter. Add just a few tablespoons and let it sit for 5 minutes for the semolina to absorb some of the liquid and then add 1-2 tablespoons of water at a time until you get a batter. Add more water if needed right before making the pancakes or waffles.

  • To make waffles: Preheat your waffle iron and brush or drizzle some oil on both plates then spoon some of the mixture into the waffle iron, close the lid, and cook. These waffles are going to take much longer to cook than what your waffle maker will indicate. Cook them until they are nicely golden otherwise, they will stick badly to the waffle iron and break apart.

  • To make pancakes: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and drizzle some oil. Once the skillet is hot, add the batter and form your pancakes. If the batter is too thick you can add another tablespoon or so of water and mix in. Let the pancakes get golden and the edges are almost cooked. When the middle is about to set flip them and continue to cook them on the other side. Make smaller size pancakes because these will be delicate. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

  • Serve with Indian pickles or sambar. It is delicious with coconut chutney, tomato chutney, or mint chutney!

Notes

To make it gluten-free you can use rice rava (cream of rice) but the taste does vary and the amount of water you will need will vary as well.
Soy-free, choose a soy-free non-dairy yogurt.
You can change up the flavors. If you don’t have curry leaves or mustard seeds. You can use only cumin seeds and add some garam masala. You can change the veggies as well.
Semolina makes them quite delicate, so to make them more sturdy you can add 2-3 tablespoons of regular all-purpose flour.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Rava Idli Waffles (Indian Savory Semolina waffles)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 125
Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*

Fat 9g14%

Saturated Fat 2g13%

Sodium 393mg17%

Potassium 153mg4%

Carbohydrates 9g3%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 3g3%

Protein 4g8%

Vitamin A 904IU18%

Vitamin C 37mg45%

Calcium 84mg8%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

semolina flour, veggies, and seasonings in bowls on the kitchen counter

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • oil – To toast the spices, roast the semolina, and grease the waffle iron or pan.
  • whole spices – mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves add the first layer of flavor to the batter. If you don’t have curry leaves or mustard seeds, you can use only cumin seeds and add some garam masala. 
  • fresh seasonings – Ginger and green chili bring flavor and a little bit of heat to these savory waffles.
  • cashews – Add a lovely texture and crunch!
  • coarse semolina or rava – This is the base for your waffles or pancakes. If you want, you can add two to three tablespoons of all-purpose flour to make the waffles a little sturdier. You can use rice rava in place of semolina, for a gluten-free version.
  • shredded coconut – Adds a nice flavor.
  • baking soda, baking powder, and salt – To condition the dough.
  • veggies – I’m using peas, carrots, and onion. Feel free to add more veggies, if you like!
  • almond flour – For texture.
  • dried spices – I’m using sambar powder, but you can also use garam masala or other Indian spice blends of choice.
  • wet ingredients – Non-dairy yogurt, lime juice, and water add moisture and tang to the batter.

Tips

  • This is a great make-ahead recipe! You can roast the semolina and make the first part of the dry ingredient mix up to two weeks or more ahead.
  • Don’t listen to your waffle maker! These take longer to cook than it thinks. Your rava idli waffles are ready when they are nice and golden. If you open the waffle iron too early, they will fall apart.

How to Make Rava Idli Waffles

Roast the semolina. Heat a medium to large-size skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and mix well. Cook until they change color significantly. 

adding whole spices to the hot pan
whole spices in the pan, after toasting

Add in the ginger, curry leaves, green chili, cashews, semolina, and shredded coconut and mix well.

adding curry leaves to the pan of whole spices
adding ginger and chili to the pan
ginger, chili, and whole spices, after cooking
adding semolina to the pan of spices

Continue to roast for four to six minutes or until the semolina starts to look very fluffy and has changed color just a little bit. Switch off the heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl.

toasted semolina and spices in a mixing bowl

You can refrigerate this mixture for up to two weeks and use it later. To refrigerate it longer (up to three weeks), cook the ginger, green chili, and curry leaves before adding the rest of the ingredients so that they are toasted really well and there’s no moisture left. Or freeze for months

Add the rest of the dry ingredients: baking soda, baking powder, salt, cilantro, veggies, almond flour, and onions, and mix well. You can also add other veggies, like chopped bell peppers, grated cauliflower, or other quick-cooking vegetables.

adding veggies to the semolina mixture in the bowl

Add in the wet ingredients: the yogurt, lime juice, and 1/2 cup of water, and mix well. Depending on your semolina, you will need 1/4 cup or more water to make a stiff batter. Add just a few tablespoons and let it sit for five to 10 minutes for the semolina to absorb some of the liquid and then add one to two tablespoons of water at a time until you get a batter. Add the water right before making the pancakes or waffles.

semolina mixture, after mixing together with the spices and veggies

To make waffles: Preheat your waffle iron and brush or drizzle some oil on both plates then spoon some of the mixture into the waffle iron, close the lid, and cook. These waffles are going to take much longer to cook than what your waffle maker will indicate. Cook them until they are nicely golden otherwise, they will stick badly to the waffle iron and break apart.

rava idli waffle in the waffle maker, before cooking
rava idli waffle in the waffle maker, after cooking

To make pancakes: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and drizzle some oil. Once the skillet is hot, add the batter and form your pancakes. If the batter is too thick you can add another tablespoon or so of water and mix in. Let the pancakes get golden and the edges are almost cooked. When the middle is about to set flip them and continue to cook them on the other side. Make smaller size pancakes because these will be delicate. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

rava idli pancake in the pan, before cooking
rava idli pancakes in the pan, after cooking

Serve with coconut chutney, tomato chutney, mint cilantro chutney, and some Indian pickles, or serve it with sambar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these gluten-free?

To make it gluten-free you can use rice rava (rice cereal) but the taste does vary and the amount of water you will need will vary as well.

Are these soy-free?

Rava idli waffles are naturally soy-free, as long as you choose a soy-free non-dairy yogurt.

Can I make these waffles without nuts?

For nut-free, omit the cashews and almond flour and use Nutfree non dairy yogurt



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