A cup of hot chai, a slice of sweet vattayappm and front view to the setting sun across the paddy fields – priceless..!!
Trips to India are always, essentially filled with loaded plates and overflowing cups and bowls. We eat and eat and eat. And then we take a break and eat some more. I some times feel that the norm of three square meals a day do not apply to us ” back home on vacation ” sons and daughters – because for some reason I have been unable to fathom, we are always ” so thin and not eating anything”..!! If you know what I mean. And in the end we have six square meals a day, unable to zip up pants, and suitcases of instant foods to take back..
In Kerala it is quite normal that tea is accompanied with a “kadi (bite)”. In most houses even the early morning tea is accompanied with a biscuit or two. Vattayappam is basically a rice and coconut mixture that is steamed and sliced into wedges and served for tea. It is quite wholesome and can easily fill your stomach and is best when washed down with that cup of tea. In my house, these sweet vattayappams are also served with sweet bananas and the combo is just great..!!
In kerala, back home we use fresh pannakallu / coconut toddy to prepare this snack. This is used instead of yeast and sugar. It lends an almost unique and mouthwatering taste to the vattayappam.
- Raw rice (pachari / idli rice) – 1 cup
- Cooked Rice – 1/2 cup
- Sugar – 3 Tbsp
- Yeast – 1/2 tsp
- Warm water – 1/4 cup
- Fresh Grated coconut – 3/4 cup
- Cashews and raisins to garnish
- Soak the rice in water for about 6 to 8 hours. After this time, drain the rice and discard the water
- Proof your yeast now. In a small cup, take the warm water and add the sugar and the yeast to it. Keep it in a warm place undisturbed for about 15 minutes. during this time, the yeast will bubble up and froth over.
- In your grinder, grind the cooked rice and the drained rice and grind to a coarse paste.
- At this stage add the grated coconut and grind well to a thick fine batter.
- The batter will be slightly hot now. Wait till it cools slightly and the yeast mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Pour this mixture into a large bowl and keep aside to ferment for 4 to 6 hours. A large bowl is necessary because, the batter will ferment and rise and flow over the edges if the bowl is small.
- Fry the cashew or raisins in a little ghee and keep aside.
- When the batter is well fermented, check the sweetness. Add more if needed.
- Take water in the pressure cooker or idli pathram and keep it to boil.
- Grease a 6 inch pan with some oil. Pour in the batter till it reaches the half way mark.
- Arrange the cashew or raisins on top and let it steam cook for about 30 – 45 minutes in medium heat. Cooking time varies depending on the stove, utensil and consistency of the batter.
- When the vattayappam is cooked, remove from steam and let cool for 15 minutes. The vattayappam is done when it is comes away from the plate as a disc, is not very crumbly and does not break.
- Run a knife through the edge to loosen the vattayappam and turn it onto a plate right side up.
- Cool, slice serve.
- My mom in law says that it tastes even better the next day – and it does..!!