Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Instant Bulgur Rava Idli

Bulgur Wheat is a natural whole grain food in that no chemicals or additives are used in processing the product. Many of the wheat's naturally occurring vitamins and minerals permeate the kernel during cooking thus maintaining more nutritive content than other forms of processed wheat products.

Bulgur wheat consists of wheat kernels that have been steamed, dried and crushed. It has a tender, chewy texture and comes in coarse, medium and fine grinds. It is very versatile, quite delicious and filling - all while being low in fat and packed with nutrients. Besides having a wide range of "B" vitamins, grains provide iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and zinc.It is high in fiber and carbohydrate.
It is has been shown that it reduces the risk of High Cholestrol, High Blood Pressure and Other Cardiovascular diseases. It is also good for diabetic patients. And moreover children love the taste of bulgur wheat -- it's a nutritious way to build healthy bodies!
Since bulgur is healthy and very commonly available here, I cook many dishes using it. So here I am posting a recipe of Instant Bulgur Rava Idli. Talking about Rava Idlis, it one of the favourite dishes which my whole family relishes. Two months back when my mother visited me, she said, we can make Rava Idlis from Bulgur also and made it one day. It was very easy to prepare it and very tasty.
Here is the recipe she gave me.
Instant Bulgur Rava Idli

Bulgur - 2 cups
Curry leaves finely chopped - 1 tb.sp (Optional)
Coriander leaves finely chopped - 1 tb.sp (Optional)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 t.sp
Urad dal - 1/2 t.sp
Channa dal - 1 t.sp
Cashews broken into pieces - 1 1/2 (Optional)
Oil / ghee - 5 tb.sp
Soda bicarb - 1 t.sp
Salt - 1 1/2 t.sp
Grated fresh coconut - 2 tb.sp (Optional)
Sour curd - 2 cup
Green Chillies - 10 (make a paste of it)


Choose as far as possible fine bulgur rava. But then any variety is ok, since you have to put in the mixer.

Dry roast the bulgur rava on a medium heat, till you get the aroma of the wheat. It comes slightly brownish. Let it cool. Then put it in the mixer and grind it, so that you get a texture like our semolina rava. Now you can store this as long as you want in an air-tight box.

When you want to make Rava Idlis take 2 full cups of this rava. Heat a pan with some oil. Add the seasoning i.e. mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, cashewnuts, curry leaves and fry till light brown. Remove from fire and add it to the bulgur rava.Pour remaining oil and mix lightly. Beat curds lightly, add rava mixture, salt, coriander, green chilli paste and coconut and mix gently. Keep aside for 10-15. If the batter is too dry add some more curds. DO NOT make the mixture too thin.When you put the batter in the moulds, it should hold without spreading fast. Steam in an idli cooker or a normal cooker without the whistle for about 10 minutes. Check by inserting a skewer.It should come out clean.

Serve hot with a chutney/sambhar. Select a chutney which is little spicy and not blunt. For example Tomato Chutney, Onion chutney, Garlic Chutney etc.

Normally when I cook idlis I also cook mini idlis for my children. So here is a snap of the mini bulgur rava idlis.

And this one is the Rava Idli garnished with Carrots

And this post is going to

WBB : "Grains in my breakfast" . WBB is an event started by Nandita of Saffron Trail and is now guest hosted every month with a breakfast related theme. Hosted this month by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen


To the event "JFI – Whole Grains" hosted by Suganya of Tasty Palettes . JFI - Jihva for Ingredients is an event initially started by Indira of Mahanandi .


  1. This is a very nice idea, Lakshmi.
    I make rava idlis this way and will try it with bulgur wheat now.
    Thanks for sending it in to WBB.
    Sorry I took so long to acknowledge this, but I made a mistake while typing my email id in the announcement and so never got your mail.:(

  2. Hi,
    where do u get the bulgur rava ? is this different from cracked wheat ? I read that cracked wheat is a better form of wheat than bulgur since bulgur is parboiled and kind of loses a bit of its nutrients ?

  3. Dear Deepa,
    I will try to answer ur questions 1 by 1

    1) Here in Germany, bulgur rava is available in all turkish shops as well as in some of the local supermarkets.

    2) As far as I read it is different from cracked wheat. It is like the difference between raw rice and parboiled rice.

    3) Here I are the opinions from some of the sources I read

    Bulgur is different from cracked wheat. Both are made from whole wheat, but the key attribute of traditional bulgur production is that the grain is parboiled (soaking, steaming,drying(usually by spreading in the sun) like the parboiled rice and then de-branned. On contrary to cracked wheat, which is made from crushed wheat grains which have NOT been parboiled. So why am I using Bulgur for cracked wheat in my upma recipe? Well its just a matter of choice...But may I propose to you a concept called 'phytic acid and gluten'. This is not some lecture on chemistry but a simple but important fact for us to know. All grains contain phytic acid(an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound)in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why diet high in whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss.The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in long term many other adverse effects.On the other hand refined flours and grain products are devoid of nutrition.There is a fix again! so what to do? As always look back to the old ways. Our ancestors soaked, fermented, sprouted there grains. Like in idli, the rice & dal are soaked all day and fermented overnight. For pesarattu, the mung beans are soaked over night. For haleem, the cracked wheat and dals are soaked over night. And there are many more examples to follow. Soaking, fermenting, sprouting allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increase the amounts of many vitamins, especially B vitamins.Now what is gluten? Gluten is a protein in grains, very difficult to digest. Grains fall into two general categories. Those containing gluten such as oats, rye, barley and especially wheat, should not be consumed unless they have been soaked or fermented. Buckwheat rice and millet do not contain gluten and are easily digestible.So soaking, fermenting, sprouting will help break the gluten for the grains.
    So now you see why I am preferring Bulgur for cracked wheat in my upma recipe. Bulgur is already soaked.Well you can use cracked wheat too, provided it is soaked overnight or for 7-8hrs. Now my patient readers might start fretting ;-) about the process involved in cooking. But let me assure you that all it takes is planning ahead of time. The world has become so fast paced that we eat on the go.But it is better if we slow down and ponder on whats going inside of us, because it does make a world of difference.

    From by swaroopa of


    The key attributes of traditional bulgur production are that the grain is parboiled, dried (usually by spreading in the sun), and the bran removed; significantly, it is processed from germinated grain, thus altering the glycemic index and nutritional values of simple wheat. Bulgur is often confused with cracked wheat, which is made from crushed wheat grains which have not been germinated nor parboiled. It has a light and nutty flavor.
    From Wikipedia

    4) So you see there are lot of disputes/controversies regarding this topic. But as far as I am concerned it is more on the availability and the taste. Bulgur has a good nutty flavour which the children like a lot. And for me as I have already mentioned Bulgur is very commonly available here for me. So I prefer bulgur.

    Hope I have cleared your doubts. Thank you deepa.

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