Srivalli chose Vattepam / Vattayappam as the Indian Cooking Challenge recipe for Mar 2011. Vattepam / Vattayappam is a delicious and traditional recipe from Kerala.
It is basically a steamed rice cake, made from raw rice flour, grated coconut, cooked rice, sweetened and garnished with nuts and raisins. It is a popular delicacy served for breakfast / tea time snack during Christmas time in Kerala. The recipe is adapted from Shn of Mishmash.
Ingredients: To Grind:
- Raw rice: 1 cup
- Coconut, freshly grated: ¾ cup
- Cooked rice: 2 tbsp
- Water: ½ cup water to grind and make batter
To proof yeast:
- Active dry yeast: ½ tsp
- Water: 1/3 cup
- Sugar: 2 tsp
To make Rice Porridge / Thari Kurukku:
- Coarse ground paste: 1½-2 tbsp
- Water: 1/3-1/2 cup
To sweeten and flavor Vatteppam:
- Sugar: ½ cup or more (to taste)
- Green Cardamom, crushed / powdered: 10-12
- Cashew nuts: 8-10
- Raisins: 8-10
- Ghee: 1½ tbsp
- Soak raw rice for 6-8 hours, drain and grind rice in a blender, adding very little water to a coarse texture; remove 2 tbsp of the coarse mixture for making Rice Porridge / Thari Kurukku and keep aside.
- Add freshly grated coconut to the remaining ground rice and grind thoroughly to a fine past. Add cooked rice & little water and blend again to make a batter (Batter should be thick as idli batter).
- Proof yeast by dissolving yeast and sugar in luke warm water. Set aside for 15-20 minutes in a warm place till it foams.
- Prepare Rice porridge / Thari Kurukku by heating a pan and add the requisite coarse ground rice, kept aside earlier and water. Bring it to a boil and keep stirring in low-medium flame until it is fully cooked and reaches the consistency of porridge. Turn off the heat and keep the porridge aside, till it cools completely.
- Heat ghee, lightly roast cashews until golden brown and raisins till plump and keep aside.
Once the rice porridge is cooled completely, add 4 tbsp of the porridge it to the ground rice & coconut batter and blend it thoroughly. Add yeast mixture and blend once more to a smooth batter.
- Pour the prepared batter to a large steel / glass bowl (The bowl should be big enough to hold double the quantity of batter as during the fermentation process, the batter rises well). Let it ferment in a warm place overnight (6-8 hours). When batter is doubled and fermented, add sugar let it ferment for another 2 hours.
- Just before steaming Vatteppam, add powdered / crushed green cardamom to the batter. For steaming, grease a round bowl / cake tin with oil. Pour the batter and fill till half of the bowl / cake tin. Place a flat plate with holes in the pressure cooker, place the batter filled bowl and close the cooker with lid. Steam the Vatteppam without the weight/whistle for 20-30 mins in medium heat. Open the pressure cooker, after about 10 -15 mins of steaming, drop the roasted raisins and cashew nuts on the batter and close the lid once again.
- After 20-30 mins, check by inserting a tooth pick. If the tooth pick comes out clean or with very less crumbs, Vatteppam is done, or else steam for another 10-15 mins / till done and cooked well.
- Remove the pan / cake tin from the pressure cooker, allow the dish to cool completely.
- Run a knife by the edges of the pan to separate the steamed cake / Vatteppam/Vattayappam. Slowly lift the cake into a serving plate and service with tea / coffee.