Friday, 15 April 2011

Vatteppam / Vattayappam - Kerala's Steamed Rice Cake For ICC

When Srivalli announced the recipe for this months Indian Cooking Challenge, I was astonished to see the lengthy procedure.It looked very strenuous and time consuming.It looked like a real challenge had come by.But when I went through it for the second time, I found it similar to Idli, the only difference being the ingredients added to it.

The chosen recipe of this month is Vatteppam / Vattayappam , which is considered to be Kerala's Queen of steamed rice cake!!I have never seen it, let alone taste it.So this was a real challenge to me.Well, Srivalli did point us to a beautiful Vatteppam from Shn's- Mishmash! blog.One glance at the click was all that I needed to run to the kitchen to soak the rice.

Even though the procedure was lengthy Shn had explained it very well.When I set out preparing the recipe, it seemed so simple!

I read from Shn's blog that it was usually served as a tea time snack with tea/ coffee and I wondered how mine would turn out.Would it be fit enough to come to the coffee table or will it land up in 'another' place?Only time could tell.

Without delay, I soaked rice as soon as the announcement was made and explained the steps to mom, who also seemed eager to see how it would turn out :)

Here is what I used for this recipe.Though idli ponni rice was used in the original recipe, I soaked the usual idli rice that I had at home.




The recipe also had active dry yeast as one of the ingredients .But all I had was this...



Yes,  Instant dry yeast.Since I had already soaked rice and was ready to start, I could search for active yeast in our neighborhood shop and to  my 'luck' they did not have the yeast I wanted.So I went ahead with dry instant yeast.

This is the first time I am using yeast and the close up looked so nice that I thought I will put it up here



As I mentioned earlier, since I have never used yeast , I was not sure how to substitute this for active yeast.A little research on the net told me that dry active yeast can be added directly to the ingredients and does not need proofing like active yeast. I was rejoiced.One step less to do ;)

So here comes the step by step procedure to make spongy Queen Cake of Kerala - Vetteppam....

But before that let me tempt you with a click.......




I used:

For the batter

Idli rice - 1 cup
Fresh grated coconut - 3/4 cup
Steamed rice -  1/4 cup
A little water to grind the ingredients

Instant dry yeast - 1/2 a teaspoon [ See note below]

To prepare Thari Kurukku / Rice porridge:


Coarsely ground rice paste - 2 tablespoons
Water - 1/2 a cup

To sweeten and flavor:


Sugar - 3/4 cup [Adjust to taste]
Cardamom pods- 2, seeds removed and crushed
Almonds flakes -1 tablespoon
Raisins - 1 tablespoon
Ghee - 2 tablespoons


1. Soak rice for 6 hours




2.Drain and grind in a mixie or grinder.Since I used only 1 cup of rice, I used the mixie.Add very little water for grinding.Grind to get a coarse batter.


Hope this click gives a clear picture of the coarse paste.This is one of the ingredients listed under the ingredients required for Thari Kurukku / Rice porridge. Keep 2 tablespoons aside.

3.Grind the remaining batter to a fine paste.

4.Add freshly grated coconut



5. Add steamed rice




6.Grind to a smooth batter and let it cool.Grinding for a long time will cause the batter to heat,so it is advisable to let it cool before proceeding.

7.Meanwhile prepare the rice porridge.Heat water in a pan



8.When it comes to a rolling boil, add the coarse rice paste that was set aside in step - 2.


9. Mix well



The rice paste will get cooked like this .Hope you can see the difference.




The rice gets cooked , porridge will thicken and turn a little glossy.Remove onto a vessel and keep aside.

10. To the batter [which I left in the mixie jar] add porridge. By the time the porridge cooled, it looked like this...



I had only 3 tablespoons of porridge.The original recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of porridge.Nevertheless, I just went ahead and added 3 tablespoons to the batter in the mixie jar



11.Add yeast  [See note below]



12.Run the mixie for a minute for the ingredients to blend well.Remove onto a large dish and allow to ferment overnight or till it doubles in volume.



After overnight fermentation , the batter looks like this



13.Add sugar,mix well and ferment for another 2 hours


After 2 hours, the batter had risen more and had a lot of small bubbles



14.Just before you are ready to steam the rice cake, heat a small pan with ghee.Put in almonds, raisins and cardamom powder.When the almonds turn brown and raisins swell, remove from heat.




15. Add half of the garnish to the batter and mix well.




17.Heat a pressure cooker with water.Keep the plate with holes that comes with the cooker.



17.Pour the batter into a greased vessel that fits into the pressure cooker.




18.Cover and steam for 5 minutes or until half done.Open the lid carefully and pour the remaining garnish over the batter.Within 5 minutes the top of the batter was almost done and the nuts and raisins just stood on top!





19.Cover and steam for another 15 minutes or till it is done.To check ,insert a knife, if it comes out clean, you can switch off the flame,else cook till its done.



[The above two pictures may look alike.When nuts were added in step 18 only the top was cooked and the knife when inserted was full of batter.]

20.Carefully remove the vessel from the cooker .When it is cool enough to handle gently lift the cake from the vessel [use a knife] and transfer to a plate and let it cool completely


Cut into slices and serve the spongy rice cake.




The cake was spongy and delicious in spite of the light 'yeasty' odor.



My notes :

  • In the procedure, we were asked to use rice that was less starchy.So if idli rice is not available, select rice accordingly.
  • While grinding rice, add as little water as possible.If the batter is watery when you grind it , the end product will not have the desired result.
  • If you use dry instant yeast reduce it to 1/4 teaspoon as against the 1/2 teaspoon mentioned in the procedure. I used 1/2 a teaspoon and the cake had a light ' yeasty' odor.
  • Add a teaspoon of sugar to the yeast before fermenting it overnight.
  • Since I used Instant dry yeast , there was no need for proofing. In case you use active fry yeast, you need to proof it.Add 2 teaspoons of sugar to warm water and add 1/2 teaspoon of active yeast.Set it in a warm place for 15- 20 minutes till it create a 'dome of foam' on top of the mixture.Depending on the temperature, it may take longer than 20 minutes to foam up.Then add this to step - 11.
  • Use a large dish to ferment the batter overnight.Take care not to let the fermented batter over flow from the vessel.
  • Adjust sugar to sweeten according to taste.Add more if you have a sweet tooth
  • Take the batter for sugar before steaming
  • The original recipe calls for cashew as a garnish .I used almond flakes.
  • While steaming take care to see that the water at the bottom of the pressure cooker does not bubble up and mix with the batter.
  • You can add the raisins and almonds to the batter and mix well before steaming it for even distribution of garnish.I mixed half to the batter and added the remaining on top of the batter after steaming it for 15 minutes.
  • Another suggestion while steaming this is to pour the batter in idli moulds / small cups instead of a large vessel.
Its a very easy yet delicious recipe though the procedure seems lengthy.I really enjoyed this 'challenging' steamed rice cake.




Since today we are posting for ICC challenge, the diabetic series will continue from tomorrow.

Check out what the Marathoners are doing in Season #4 of the blogging marathon hosted by Srivalli

Diabetes Diet/Management
: PJ[That's me]

Kid Friendly Recipes: Suma, Priya Suresh, Divya
Seven Days of Soup:Ila, Smita P
Seven Days of Indian Bread: Monika
Seven Days of Cakes:  Bhagyashri
30 Minutes Meals: Archana  
Seven days of Condiment: Kamalika, Srivalli




Bon Appetit...



17 comments:

Srivalli said...

PJ, your vattappam looks very porous!..thanks for joining..

Harini said...

Sure PJ, the process was lengthy but the result justifies the process. I felt I should have made more as we all just gulped down the slices and skipped dinner :)

Mélange said...

Your vattayappam looks perfect..Cute.

Ramya said...

Vattayappam looks very fluffy and delicious..Soo authentic:)

lata raja said...

I am so in awe with those perfect and porous wedges. The dish looks awesome!

Gayathri Kumar said...

Vattayappam has come out perfect..

Priya said...

Wow Pj, urs looks soooo fluffy,spongy and beautiful...

Pavani said...

Sooo fluffy and delicious. They look perfect.

Raji said...

PJ your vattayappam seems to be so beautiful..it is so spongy and porous too.

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

It looks so spongy dear, came out beautifully !!!

Usha said...

Your vatteppam is very porous and love the white color.. mine was more creamish...

Champa said...

I like the texture very much. It has come out flat too without falling in the center.

Suma Gandlur said...

They look perfect, Padma.

Amritha Kalyani said...

yours looks really delciious and spongy.. i felt mine too had this yeasty odor. otherwise the dish was a great recipe..

Raksha said...

Please collect some awards at my site and publish them :)

http://rakshaskitchen.blogspot.com/2011/04/awards-time-again.html

இவன்... said...

if i say in lil angel's word, "chuuper"...

Pratima Kapoor said...

Hi
I had been looking for vattayappam recipe and found one on your beautiful blog. My husband is a doctor and nurses for his nursing home had sent it for me to taste it and i fell for its taste and since had been looking for this recipe. I am going to try it out. Many thanks for it.