For this month’s Indian Cooking Challenge, Valli chose a delicious rice cake dish from Kerala, Vatteppam. Recipe is courtesy from an Keralite who knows her rice cakes very well, SHN @ Kitchenmishmash. SHN’s pictures are breathtaking and when I saw her mouthwatering pictures of Vatteppam, I wanted to try and make them right away and for the first time ever, I made them almost 2 weeks before the deadline.
I halved the recipe, since I was making for just the 3 of us at home and I made them in idli stand instead of a round mold. I also used coconut milk instead of fresh grated coconut as I didn’t have any fresh coconut on hand. I really loved the sweet, spongy, yeasty treat. Thanks to Valli for choosing the dish and to SHN for providing the detailed recipe.
Here's how I made these delicious Rice cakes:
- Soak ½ cup of Raw Rice (Par boiled rice) for 6-8 hours. Then grind the drained rice with about 1-2tsp water to make a coarse paste.
- Set 2 tbsps of the coarsely ground rice to the side.
- To the remaining rice, add 1/3 cup coconut milk and grind to a fine paste.
- Next add 1tbsp cooked rice (I used cooked brown rice) and ¼ cup of water to make a batter that is as thick as idli batter.
- Cook the coarsely ground rice with 1/3 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil in a small saucepan and simmer until it gets to porridge consistency. Set aside to cool.
- In the meantime, proof ¼ tsp yeast by adding it to ¼ cup luke warm water and 1tsp sugar. Set aside in a warm place to foam up.
- Once the rice porridge is cool enough to handle, add 2tbsp of it to the blender with the rice and coconut batter and blend well until combined.
- Finally add the frothy yeast solution and blend until mixed well.
- Pour the batter in a glass/ steel container and leave in a warm place for about 8-12 hours to ferment. Choose a container that can hold about double the batter once it rises.
- After the batter has doubled and fermented, add 1/3 cup sugar, mix gently and set aside to ferment for another1½ - 2 hours.
- In the meantime, fry some cashews and raisins in ghee until golden brown and plump. Set aside.
- When ready to steam, add the fried cashews and raisins and 1tsp of ground cardamom (elaichi).
- Mix well and pour into greased idli molds. Steam in a pressure cooker for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.