Srivalli chose Vattepam / Vattayappam as the Indian Cooking Challenge recipe for Mar 2011. Vattepam / Vattayappam is a delicious and traditional recipe from Kerala.
It is basically a steamed rice cake, made from raw rice flour, grated coconut, cooked rice, sweetened and garnished with nuts and raisins. It is a popular delicacy served for breakfast / tea time snack during Christmas time in Kerala. The recipe is adapted from Shn of Mishmash.Ingredients: To Grind:
Raw rice: 1 cupCoconut, freshly grated: ¾ cupCooked rice: 2 tbspWater: ½ cup water to grind and make batter
To proof yeast:
Active dry yeast: ½ tspWater: 1/3 cupSugar: 2 tsp
To make Rice Porridge / Thari Kurukku:
Coarse ground paste: 1½-2 tbspWater: 1/3-1/2 cup
To sweeten and flavor Vatteppam:
Sugar: ½ cup or more (to taste)Green Cardamom, crushed / powdered: 10-12Cashew nuts: 8-10Raisins: 8-10Ghee: 1½ tbsp
Soak raw rice for 6-8 hours, drain and grind rice in a blender, adding very little water to a coarse texture; remove 2 tbsp of the coarse mixture for making Rice Porridge / Thari Kurukku and keep aside.Add freshly grated coconut to the remaining ground rice and grind thoroughly to a fine past. Add cooked rice & little water and blend again to make a batter (Batter should be thick as idli batter).Proof yeast by dissolving yeast and sugar in luke warm water. Set aside for 15-20 minutes in a warm place till it foams.Prepare Rice porridge / Thari Kurukku by heating a pan and add the requisite coarse ground rice, kept aside earlier and water. Bring it to a boil and keep stirring in low-medium flame until it is fully cooked and reaches the consistency of porridge. Turn off the heat and keep the porridge aside, till it cools completely.Heat ghee, lightly roast cashews until golden brown and raisins till plump and keep aside.
Once the rice porridge is cooled completely, add 4 tbsp of the porridge it to the ground rice & coconut batter and blend it thoroughly. Add yeast mixture and blend once more to a smooth batter.Pour the prepared batter to a large steel / glass bowl (The bowl should be big enough to hold double the quantity of batter as during the fermentation process, the batter rises well). Let it ferment in a warm place overnight (6-8 hours). When batter is doubled and fermented, add sugar let it ferment for another 2 hours. Just before steaming Vatteppam, add powdered / crushed green cardamom to the batter. For steaming, grease a round bowl / cake tin with oil. Pour the batter and fill till half of the bowl / cake tin. Place a flat plate with holes in the pressure cooker, place the batter filled bowl and close the cooker with lid. Steam the Vatteppam without the weight/whistle for 20-30 mins in medium heat. Open the pressure cooker, after about 10 -15 mins of steaming, drop the roasted raisins and cashew nuts on the batter and close the lid once again. After 20-30 mins, check by inserting a tooth pick. If the tooth pick comes out clean or with very less crumbs, Vatteppam is done, or else steam for another 10-15 mins / till done and cooked well. Remove the pan / cake tin from the pressure cooker, allow the dish to cool completely. Run a knife by the edges of the pan to separate the steamed cake / Vatteppam/Vattayappam. Slowly lift the cake into a serving plate and service with tea / coffee.