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Vattayappam / Steamed Rice Cake / Kerala Style

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 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 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 try not to omit them. Since I use instant takes about 2 hours to I grind it in the afternoon usually.... by the time kids come 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 will be on top.
I used my appachembu to 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.

Add water, it should be just covering the ingredients....not more...the batter should be do not add too much water.

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 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.


  1. This is not only healthy, also very delicious with coconut!

  2. Perfectly made..would love to give it a try sometime

    1. You should try it Kaveri, its so easy and healthy!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Suja.....for always stopping by to encourage me :)

  4. Yummy rice cake...very flavorful!

  5. thanks a lot for the recepie how come it rise to the top of the bowl.what you do during winter with the batter?v nice recipies nd good presentation.its me priya the anonymous one who asked 4 vattayappam recipie.

    1. Hello Priya-The anonymous who asked for the recipe....thanks for asking otherwise, I would not have posted it......during winter and monsoons...I keep it longer to ferment....though overnight will make it drip over...since I work way after midnight on most nights...sometimes I do grind and keep after midnight....and then it will be perfect in the morning.....also, I do sometimes refrigerate the batter once it has fermented.....hope this helps and thanks for stopping by with your recipe request!

  6. Ur puc speaks it all......thanq for the recipe ....we love steamed varieties. ...

  7. Thank u Nisa for posting the receipe as I was in search for a traditional vattayappam receipe & I could stop it here

  8. I was planning for a long time to prepare this recipe. Thanks nisa for the recipe.

  9. WOW! These looks delicious and what a process!

  10. presentation in karela style loving it :)

  11. Wow...yummy yummy..this is really an inspiration

  12. nice picture would try sometime

  13. I tried it ystdy. Came out really well. Could u pls post an appam recipe.

  14. Thanks for the recipe.tried it ystdy. Came out really well. Could u pls post an appam recipe.

  15. Thank you for the recipe. Going to try it soon

  16. pls clarify me the coconut ratio. i always go wrong there

  17. Looks Great!!! Very easy..must try recipe..thanks nisa for posting this :)

  18. Hi Nisa, I just wanted to know if I can use basmati rice for this recipe?


    1. Hi Lorie, vattayappam is usually made with plain white rice. I have not used basmati rice to make this so, I am not sure about that. The rice should not have any flavor....thanks for stopping by and hope this helps you :)

  19. Hello Nisa, i searched for vattayappam recipe in different blogs, but did not found a clearly presented yours...tried out the same as per recipe...came out very well...thanks for sharing the recipe... if you have the recipe of kalathappam and rava idly ...plz share....happy with your recipe...

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words; I will try to post your request. So glad you enjoyed it.

  20. how do i use normal dry yeast in this recipe instead of instant yeast ?

  21. Yummy vattayapam I decorated it with banana
    So tasty


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