Sunday, July 5, 2015

Vattayappam / Steamed Rice Cake

This is such a perfect palaharam for tea time. I love it but Jacob doesn't. So, this was made rarely at home. Now that my lil one likes it, I make it quite often. My mom-in-law makes awesome vattayappam that you just can't stop gobbling down. The last time I was home, I got to learn some tricks to make soft and spongy vattayappam from her.

On Maundy Thursday, we make Indriappam, Vattayappam and hot cross buns. I love all three. But among them, its only the Vattayappam that is made anytime of the year and not restricted to making it just on the Maundy Thursday. So its absolutely okay to fall in love with it, because you could make it anytime you crave for it rather than keep calming down your craving for that day of the year.

Vattayappam and Pazham (Banana) combo goes so well. So if you have not tried it yet, it may be something that you may wanna try when you make it. Here is the recipe to Vattayappam, the way we make it.

  1. 1 cup of raw rice/ white rice / Pachari
  2. 1 hand full of cooked rice
  3. 3/4 cups of grated coconut
  4. A big pinch of jeera/cumin seeds
  5. Water (enough to grind the raw rice into a batter)
  6. 1 tsp of active dry yeast
  7. 1/4 cup of warm water
  8. 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp of sugar 
  9. A pinch of salt
  10. 4-5 cardamom seeds crushed
  11. 2 tbsp of ghee/ clarified butter
  12. 2 tsp of raisins

  • Soak the raw rice in water overnight. 
  • In a bowl, mix the yeast, luke warm water and 1 tbsp of sugar. Keep it aside for the yeast to rise. 
  • Wash the raw rice. Grind the rice, cumin, coconut and cooked rice using enough water to form a batter. To it add the sugar, the risen yeast and salt and mix it well. Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding water to attain a runny consistency. It shouldn't be too watery but just that when you dip your hand in the batter and raise it the batter should flow down easily.
  • Leave it to ferment/rise in a warm place for 4-5 hours. The time taken for the batter to rise would depend upon the temperature of the place you live in. 
  • Meanwhile, fry the raisins in ghee and keep it aside.
  • Once the batter is risen, add the crushed cardamom and mix it well. Leave it aside for another half and hour or so for it to rise again. 
  • Grease a pan with ghee and pour in the fermented batter to it, without mixing it. 
  • Steam cook it for about 10 minutes. Open the lid of the steamer and spread the ghee roasted dry fruits on top of it. Close the steamer and let it cook for another 10 minutes or untill done ( a toothpick or a knife inserted should come out clean).

  1. There are multiple ways of making Vattayappam. My mom-in-law sometimes makes it by adding Thari kurukku, a kind of porridge that she makes and adds to the batter. I haven't learnt that method yet. But if I do, I would definitely update it here. 
  2. Add sugar according to your taste. I love it to be sweet. But adjust it as you and your loved ones would like it to be.
  3. To attain a soft vattayappam, you should never mix the batter after it has risen(after the addition of cardamom). The air bubbles would break if you do so. Keeping the air bubbles while it steams helps in making a spongy vattayappam.
  4. Adding the dry fruits in the middle of the cooking helps them to stay on top of the batter and not sink down to the bottom.
  5. I sometimes convert the Appam batter into vattayappam, if I happen to have leftover batter. Just add additional coconut and cardamom to the Appam recipe to make this vattayappam.
  6. These are a great snack for picnics too. For individual servings, you could steam them in the idli maker to serve it with ease at the picnics.

Recipe courtesy : My mom


  1. Umma would always make this with left over appam batter, and she would add jaggery instead of sugar... like you said, a lovely snack for tea time! Looks really spongy...

    1. Adding jaggery sounds a healthier option... I shall try it next time I make it :)

  2. I too go for leftover appam batter. The sweeter the better for me. I too recently learnt that mixing the batter too much is a bad idea. Ur kido likes it thats nice. Here we 3 like it so I make it often but ghee frying doesnot happen I just drop the raisins into the batter half way through.

    1. Oh ya I agree...the sweeter the better :).. If I am in a hurry, then I just drop the raisins without frying else I do...I just prefer to bite into the ghee fried raisins :)

  3. A yummy snack and feeling nostalgic dear....... my mom often makes it but I never tried my hands on..... anyways u r tempting me to make it.... :)

    1. Remya u must try it... it's easy ...and if u make Appam then may be grind a a little extra batter to make these vattayappams out of it

  4. Super tempting one dear..feel like having right now,adipoli click..I too make the same way or just make by adding coconut milk instead of grated coconut to rice flour and make too,a quick version :)

  5. Though I have tasted it, never tried to make at home.. Looks very delicious and nice clicks..

  6. Vattayappam is one of my favorite breakfast/evening snack. And I have passed the traits to my kids too :) I make it some what similar. Sometimes I try the kurukku method too. I also add milk too, which helps to keep the Vattayappam soft for longer time..

    1. Addition of milk sounds new to me..Thanks for sharing the tip...I shall try it the next time I make it

  7. looks delicious and a wonderful tea time snack...

  8. Hi Palaharam,

    Is this your mother in law's recipe? Your rice cake looks so soft and fluffy.


    1. No Zoe, the method used here is adapted from mom's recipe but the tips to make it soft has been taken from my mom-in-law :)

  9. delicious vattayappam... I made it last christmas... You are tempting to try it again :)

  10. I got the platter from kerala this time...For sure will try your recipe and back link. :)

  11. Hi
    Don't you know the reason why the top of the vattayappam cracks?

    1. I have observed that if the batter is thick then it tends to crack on top when steamed. If you keep the batter loose then it won't break open on top

  12. Hi, Will the above measurements make 2 plates of vattayappam? So If I need to make 10 plates , will it be fine to take 5 cups of raw rice +5 handful of cooked rice+ 4 cups of coconut+ 2.5 cups of sugar + 5 tsp of yeast? Kindly advise

    1. The above measurements would yield one plate (about 9 inch size) of vattayappam. So you could multiple the other ingredients accordingly as to how many vattayappam's you would want to make. Hope I answered your question :) .


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