Recipe for Vattayappam – a steamed rice cake recipe from Kerala – naturally vegan and gluten free
I first tasted these fluffy rice cakes when my ex-boss got them in her lunch box. She said these delicious little morsels were called Vattayappam. On prodding for the recipe, she said her mom made them with ground rice and yeast and that it is quite simple. Several google searches later, trying all possible spellings, I landed on a recipe given by a forum member of Forum Hub (this is shut down now), which was dug out from the Hindu archives. I also managed to stumble into a discussion on Vattayappam on the Another Subcontinent food forum. The things we do to find a recipe for a dish we have set our heart on…I tell you!
Kerala cuisine does have a variety of appams apart from this one, which I learnt while researching through several forums – Vattayappam was just one of them. There are also Kallapam, Palappam, Vellayappam, Frill Appam and more.
Finding the right vattayappam recipe
This Vattayappam recipe is a typical Kerala Christian recipe and it seemed pretty simple and armed with the potent yeast (yeast is to be used in absence of toddy). It took me several months to make up my mind to try this out because each recipe on the net had different ingredients (eggs, cumin, shallots, coconut milk and so on) in different quantities!
I am not quite game to using shallots in a sweetish bread and hence steered clear of any recipes including them. Since I did not recall my boss mentioning presence of eggs in the recipe, such recipes were out too. Finally the one I tried had simple ingredients which seemed right and JFI Rice was a perfect occasion to try it out.
Updated in 2018: Double Horse sells a Vattayappam premix, which is fairly simple to make.
- 1 cup rice dry
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 100 ml water
- 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast or use 2-3 tbsp toddy
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground green cardamom
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp raisins
- To prepare vattayappam, wash and soak the rice in water for 3-4 hours. Drain the soaked rice . Grind to a fine paste with grated coconut.
- Add yeast or toddy along with sugar. Keep this bowl covered and in a warm place and let it ferment for 6-8 hours. If you want to prepare vattayappam for breakfast, then you can keep this overnight.
- Once the batter has increased in volume, mix in salt, green cardamom powder and keep aside for 30 minutes.
- Grease a thali (rimmed dish) or the pressure cooker utensils and pour in the batter, under an inch thickness. Garnish with raisins if using. Steam the vattayappam for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes and cut into desired shapes.
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Those vatteyappams looks delicious. Looks similar to our plate idli!
I have a Coorgi Paputtoo Idlis like that but we don’t use yeast though and it’s savory.I see it puffs with the yeast added, great looking dish!:)
Great entry. I would really try this v soon.
Vatteyappam is the sweeter one among kallappam ( made with toddy),Palappam ( where more coconut milk is used to make the batter) then vellayappam ( rice , coconut ground and fermented with yeast) All are Appams with slight differences.
never heard of this. but c’mon, give us the toddy version, and tell us how you procured the toddy. 😀
Nice entry for the event! All steamed food are really healthy!
Thanks ladies…Bee- if I knew how to procure toddy, i wouldn’t bother to make appams with it…hic hic!! But you being the original Kerala girl, I’m surprised you haven’t done home experiments in producing it LOLLL!!! I would love to taste it when i visit Kerala, my hubby raves about the slow houseboats where he’s feasted on fried fish and toddy for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner 🙂
I have had this in India. it has a fermented smell to it right? can I use active dry yeast? thanks for the nice entry.
I have known bear-based batter and cakes. C’mon. Make India proud in the world’s stage. We know how to use them too… in cooking, I mean.
hmm…interesting, since I’m ready to try any thing sweet I think i’ll give this a try too:)-Mansi
SHarmi- this does not smell fermented as much as yeasty and bread-like…I have used active dry yeast only…sorry wrote instant instead of active, will edit right awaySuganya- you are right. I guess it was just the Hindu way of things of not using alcohol and similar stuff -in food, unless you consider bhaang. Recipes of Indian Christians like the fruit cake etc. have been quite creative in using rum and other spirits…and I hear this one is a Kerala Christian recipe too – may be that’s the connect :)Mansi – it is not overly sweet, just the mild sweetness. This one can be used as a bread to dip into spicy curries. If you’d like to make this as a dessert, you can increase the sugar content and add dried fruits /nuts to the batter before steaming.
Lovely stuff Nandita 🙂
Vattayappam is my favorite… so, you’ve never had toddy? You must come to Kerala next time I’m in India, I will take you to the most authentic toddy shops… though I hate the toddy taste, love the food over there… 🙂
nice creative entry….looks good..
That looks easy to make! Similar to ‘regular’ appam in ingredients except for the coconut.I bet it is nice with Kerala curries.
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Oh yeah! I love vattayappam too. Used to love it as an evening snack.
ayoo.. i want vattayappam now 🙁 brings back sooo many childhood memories 🙂
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Oh, that looks wonderful. And easy. And (best of all!) delicious. Thanks for posting that … I must try.Cheers!
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That’s a super entry…yum and simple..like it a lot 🙂
Some really nice, different recipes over the last few posts Nandita!I like this for JFI, it’ll be unique for sure. Tunisian Farka sounds cool too.Thanks for the nice comment at my blog lady!Kanch
hi..nice blog..these vataeyaapams look so delicious…yummm
hi Hmmmmm interesting post,btw i never heard abt this,but those vattayappams looks delicious.Thanks for sharing. keep up the work
very informative blog, love it!!especially the vattayappams remember my aunt used to make this often thanks for the recipe!!!
nice to see our appams making the rounds.I make them quite often with my own preparation of toddy.whenever I break a coconut I store the water along with some sugar in a bottle.donot forget to refridgerate it as it may go too sour if left outside.I use this later for grinding the rice .for one coconut you can add about 2 tbsps of sugar.try this and it will taste like toddy
Hi Nice recipe.. can i add more sugar?
Hey Nandita this one is a fave with elders at my home. It is a koli specialty without the leavening and made with broken rice that we call kani and jaggery. But none of my genertion like it. But it does make the past generation salivate.
I absolutely love vateyappam. I have just coaxed a mallu colleague to make this n get it for me. She will be doing so tomorrow. But thanks for the recipe, I can now make it myself.
“Kallapam, Palappam, Frill Appam, Vellayappam – if anybody would like to clarify the differences, it would be really nice”– the first three are the same. they are the same frill aappam made in an appa chatty. Kallu means toddy, since people used it instead of yeast earlier, some still do. Palappam coz coconut MILK/paal is used to make it. Vellayappam is made on a dosa tava thick like a kal dosa. and to make the batter, coconut is grated with the rice soaked instead of coconut milk for the other type. 🙂
Hi nandita….was searching for a good mattar paneer recipe and reached ur blog…I have a recipe in my draft, but im not sure if it was that recipe that i make!!!!….Im trying ur recipe today…will let u know how it went…By the way, this vatteyappam has come out in perfect texture for u!!….I just love this, my goodness and make it in bulk. You can store them in fridge then slightly steam warm or microwave them to reheat….U can see the same with another name ‘pola’ in my blog.We call this appam as pola…Normally cooked semolina is added to give more fluffy texture and i add more sugar as well. We have it with banana mashed in milk with sugar added to sweeeten. try eating this way, u shud love it:)Ur blog is awesme….