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Vattayappam - Steamed rice cake

Vattayappam is Kerala's fermented rice cake. It is one of the common breakfast in Christmas day.  It was not a popular or a favorite snack for us till last year . But once we tasted this with stew, became  great fan of this dish and  making it frequently for breakfast.

Vattayappam is prepared by steaming fermented rice and coconut batter.  It is a very healthy snack and these days, it has its own place in the bakeries.

I prefer idli rice for making vattayappam, you can use any type of raw rice. As I told already that it is a fermented rice cake and for fermentation, use yeast (either instant yeast or dry yeast). I usually prefer the former one as its fermentation process is much faster and also can be used directly while grinding. Anyway, I used active dry yeast which is only available here, if you have instant yeast, use that.

Also, do not add too much water while grinding, we want thick batter just like idli batter. But my Amma prepares it with the leftover appam batter which also work to some extent, but it will not be that much spongy and soft. I always prefer to make separate batter for vattayappam.

It is a mildly sweet dish, you can increase or decrease the sugar level as per your taste buds. Hope you will enjoy…

Vattayappam recipe

Author: Anju Aneesh
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: India, South India, Kerala
Preparation time: 8 hours | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Total time: 9 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 cup raw rice, soaked in water for 2 to 3 hours
  • 3/4 cup grated coconut
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Direction of preparation of vattayappam

  1. Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water with 1/2 teaspoon yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar.  Keep on warm place to ferment.
  2. Coarsely grind 1 or 2 tablespoons of rice with 1/4 cup of water.
  3. Mix with 1 cup water and reduce it on medium flame with continuous stirring. Stop when thick. Keep aside to cool.
  4. Grind remaining rice and 2 teaspoons sugar with coconut and rice paste that we already prepared in above step with 1/2 cup of water till you get a smooth paste.
  5. Mix with fermented yeast with the batter and keep this in warm place for about 6 to 7 hours or overnight (for fermentation).
  6. Next day, add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder and 1/4 cup sugar in fermented batter. Mix well with a spoon.
  7. Pour this on a greased plate or baking tin and steam for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Once cool down, gently separate the sides with a knife before demolding it.
  9. Vattayappam is now ready, serve with Vegetable or chicken stew or any spicy gravy. 

Let us of to the step by step

  1. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of yeast in 2 or 3 tablespoons of water mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar. Never take more water as it will affect the batter consistency.
  2. Keep in warm place till it froth.
  3. Take one or two tablespoons of soaked rice in a mixer grinder.  Add 1/4 cup of water and grind coarsely. 
  4. Add 1 cup of water.
  5. Cook on medium flame with continuous stirring till it attains a thick consistency. Keep aside and wait till  cools down completely.
  6.  Take remaining rice with 3/4 cup coconut, 2 teaspoon of sugar in 1/2 cup of water.
  7. Make a smooth paste.  Never add more water, the consistency of water should be like that of idli batter consistency.
  8. Mix the fermented yeast with 1/4 cup batter and spin again.
  9. Mix well. Keep overnight or 6 to 7 hours till it rise.
  10. After fermentation time, mix 1/4 cup sugar,
    1/2 cup of cardamom powder
    and salt to the batter.
  11. Grease a pan with oil or ghee and pour batter on this. The batter should only half filled.
  12. When half done, place 5 to 6 raisins and cashews on the top. (optional) After ten minutes, check with a tooth pick. Serve with any stew or spicy gravy.

My notes on vattayappam

  1. Instead of dry yeast, we can use instant yeast also. It does the fermentation process much faster so can save time.
  2. We can use coconut water instead of normal water while grinding.
  3. The batter should not be too thin. It should have idli batter like consistency.

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