For making idli
1. In a mixing bowl add 1 cup rava / sooji, salt to taste and 1 cup curd. mix well and rest it for minimum 30 minutes.
2. For tempering, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. add 1 tsp mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. then add 1 tsp urad dal / black gram skinned, 1-2 chopped green chillies, 2 tbsp broken cashew nuts, 1 tbsp curry leaves and sauté for a minute.
3. Add the tempering in the batter. beat and mix well. adjust the batter consistency by adding water as required.
4. Add 1 tsp baking soda to the batter just before steaming to get soft idlis.
5. Grease the idli mold with oil, and pour the idli batter up to 3/4th of the mold.
6. Steam the idlis for 7-8 minutes. to ensure the idlis are cooked completely, prick a toothpick and if it comes clean its done or else you need to steam further.
7. Allow to cool down the idlis, demold them and keep aside for further use.
For making podi masala
8. Set a pan on medium heat and dry roast 15-20 dry red chillies for 3-4 minutes. remove it from the heat and transfer it to a mixing bowl
9. In the same pan, dry roast 1/2 cup white sesame seeds and dry roast them for 3-4 minutes. remove it from heat and transfer it to the same mixing bowl.
10. In the same pan, add 1 tsp oil, 1/4 cup chana dal / bengal gram and 1/4 cup urad dal / black gram skinned. roast them for 4-5 minutes. remove it from pan and transfer this too in the same mixing bowl.
11. In the same pan, add 1 tsp oil, 1 tbsp mustard seeds, 8-9 curry leaves and sauté for 1-2 minutes. add 1 tsp hing / asafoetida and sauté for few minutes more. transfer this too in the same mixing bowl.
12. Cool them down, add salt to taste and mix well. transfer everything in a grinding jar and grind well to form a fine powder.
13. Your podi masala is ready, store it in an airtight container and refrigerate it. use accordingly.
For making masala rava idli
14. Set a pan on medium heat, add 2 tbsp butter and 2 medium chopped onions. cook until they turn translucent.
15. Add 1-2 chopped green chillies, 1 tbsp garlic paste and cook further for 1-2 minutes.
16. Add 2 medium chopped tomatoes, salt to taste and cook until tomatoes are mushy.
17. Add 2 tbsp freshly prepared podi masala, 100 ml water, 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
18. Add the steamed idlis to the pan and coat it well with masala on both the sides. cook it for 1-2 minutes more and remove it from the flame.
19. Your masala rava idli is ready to be served. serve this spicy masala coated idli hot with coconut chutney and some chopped onions on side.