by Shumaila

Ok…I just can’t get enough of microwave cooking. It’s probably how Archimedes felt in his bath tub when he discovered that the water displaced is equal to the weight of the object immersed. Well, ok, that’s an exaggeration but its quite close to how I feel. I mean things are so much more easy now, with lesser clean up and so so so so quick!!! Today’s lunch was a snap to make thanks to the book. It also gave me ample time to make samosas and rolled fruit cookies for our coffee group Christmas party tomorrow!

Today’s task for the microwave was Rava idli. The origins of Rava Idli date back to World War II, when rice which is the staple item used in making idlis (a South Indian savory cake made of fermented rice and washed black lentils) was in short supply, so a popular restaurant chain MTR experimented in making idli using semolina and created Rava Idli (Rava in Kannada, the native language of Karnataka, stands for semolina). Serve it with coconut chutney, a bit of ghee and sambhar, and you have a scrumptious meal!

It would pay to get these microwavable idli containers. Best when you have unexpected guests and you need to cook up something quickly.

I increased the recipe 1.5 times and as such I was left with some mixture which I poured into the idli frying pan that my mom sent. Isn’t it cute? I just love it. And its great for making a quick snack of cocktail idlis!

I made plain idlis but you can add cashews, carrots, tomatoes, curry leaves, peanuts and the likes if you want.


makes 8-10 idlis

adapted from Nita Mehta’s Microwave cooking


1 cups suji/ semolina flour

1 cup Curd

1 1/2 tbsp oil,

1/2 cup water, aprroximately

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt


  1. In a dish put 1 1/2 tbsp oil. Microwave for 1 minute.
  2. Add the semolina. Mix well. Microwave uncovered for 2 minutes.
  3. Add salt. Mix well. Allow to cool.
  4. Add curd and water. Mix well till smooth
  5. Add baking soda. Mix very well till smooth. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
  6. Grease 6 small glass bowls or plastic idli boxes.
  7. Pour 3-4 tbsp mixture into each bowl. (I could only pour about 2 tbsp mixture in the holders that I had)
  8. Arrange the bowls in a ring in the microwave and microwave uncovered for 3 1/2 minutes. Do not microwave more even if they appear wet.
  9. Let them stand for 5 minutes. They will turn dry. Serve hot with sambhar and chutney.