Vattayappam is Kerala's own fermented Steamed Rice Cake. One of the healthiest traditional tea time snack with almost no oil. It is popular in the Christian communities of Kerala, though not much popular in North Kerala/ Malabar.
"Vatta" means "round" ......vattayappam is basically rice and coconut grinded together and fermented with yeast....it is very soft and pillowy.....a slightly sweet snack......these days, it has found its place in bakeries especially in Kochi and Kottayam...and when I got a request from an anonymous reader asking for vattayappam recipe...I thought of sharing the recipe...as it is very easy to make...and does not take much time to make. I usually make it as an after school snack as it is very healthy and filling for kids.
I do not make it very sweet.....and do not add nuts or raisins, but if you like you can add them. Its the flavor of cardamon which plays havoc to your taste buds in this super soft rice cake....so try not to omit them. Since I use instant yeast...it takes about 2 hours to ferment...so I grind it in the afternoon usually.... by the time kids come home...it will be steaming hot.
I love to revive traditional food, and always try to make my children understand the value of traditional food.....handed down to us by our ancestors.....and yes fast food is always an indulgence, but balancing them both at the dinner table is a chore in itself. But with a little planning you can include healthy food into your family menu. Working women and bachelors.....this is so easy that all you must remember is to have some soaked raw rice and then grind and let the yeast do all the work...and you just have pour into a pan and steam....a very healthy meal in it self..
So lets get traditional!!
I used fresh coconut as it is available aplenty here. Frozen ones works fine too.
You can make this unsweetened and have it with Chicken stew or Mappas. I personally do this often, when I do not have the patience to make appam. Just use only 1 tsp of sugar if you have plans to serve it with curry.
It is best to soak rice for atleast 2 hours and to use instant yeast! The heat from the mixie while grinding also aids in fermentation. I used 1/2 tsp yeast, you can reduce the yeast if you prefer but will have to wait for longer period to ferment.
If you like nuts and raisins in the sweetened version, sprinkle a few on the pan....after you have greased it...once cooked and when inverted....it will be on top.
I used my appachembu to steam...you can use pressure cooker or electric cooker.
An Upadate (Jan, 23/14) : A reader shared the picture of vattayappam which she made the very next day I posted the recipe, thanks Indusree Haridas for sending the picture through FB, she commented "Tried this recipe, and it came out well"!
Author: Nisa Homey
Serves: 2, 8 inch cakes.
Soaked Raw White Rice/ Pachari: 1 1/2 cups.
Freshly grated coconut: 1/2 - 3/4 coconut or 1 1/2 cups
Cooked Rice: A handful (heaped)
Instant Yeast: 1/2 tsp.
Salt: 1/2 tsp.
Sugar: 2-3 tbsp.
Cardamon seeds: 4 to 5
Jeera: A pinch
Water: As needed.
Oil to grease, preferably coconut oil.
Soak raw rice/pachari for about 2 hours.
That's my freshly grated coconut.
Put the rice, 1 cup coconut, cooked rice, and instant yeast into a blender / mixie.
Add the 3 tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt.
And grind it for 2 min, see the batter is thick (like that of idli batter)
Then add the 1/2 cup coconut and cardamon seeds.
And a pinch of jeera....again grind it for a minute without adding water...do not want the coconut to grind it finely either.
Pour into a steel or glass bowl...keep it untouched for 2 hours.
See how it has risen.
I used my 8 inch round cake pan, grease it with a few drops of coconut oil. At this point if you like nuts and raisins, you can sprinkle them...but I did not use it here.
Pour batter, about 3/4 full.
Place it into the hot steamer....always keep when steam starts to come and not before. Close steamer and simmer for 15 to 20 min.....
All cooked nicely, you can even insert a tooth pick...the sides do come off a bit....when they are cooked nicely.
While still warm, invert the pan....and serve.