Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sanna ( Mangalorean Steamed Rice Cakes).

Almost all Indians are familiar with Idli, but very few are familiar with sanna. So what exactly is sanna??

Sanna is a Mangalorean Catholic specialty cuisine item. It looks exactly like idlis but is much lighter and fluffier. It is even fluffier and softer than mallige idlis. It has more of a fluffy bread-like consistency( well, the ideal version). This also uses rice and urad dal in it's batter but also requires other fermentation agents like toddy or yeast. The traditional recipe calls for toddy to ferment the batter but since toddy is not available here, yeast is used as a substitute, which works pretty well. Sannas are usually served with egg/chicken/ meat curries/stews and DO NOT taste good with sambar or chutney. Well, that is my opinion. It has a slight sweet taste, due to which little kids & those who don't like spice can enjoy it as is. Sannas are also prepared by steaming the batter in an idli steamer. However, these are best steamed in idli cups ( gindal) or ramekins. The cups have to have depth to them and cannot be shallow like those found in the typical idli steamer tray.

I love sannas and was craving for them when my friend's mother was in town. My sister gave me this recipe stating it is quite fool-proof. coincidentally, I found that the recipe was from my dear blogger friend Shireen, who  blogs from Ruchik Randap. I modified the recipe for my convenience. You can find the original recipe here. The recipe itself is quite easy. The tricky part is getting the fermentation right. Do try it...

Prep time: 20 mins and  at least 3 hours soaking timeCook time: 20 minsTotal time: 4-4.5 hours

Servings: makes 12-14 idlis


Raw rice ( any white rice): 1/4 cup
Idli rice/ parboiled rice: 3/4 cup
Urad dal( split matpe bean): 2 tbsp
Dry active instant Yeast: 3/4 tsp
Sugar: 2 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Water: to soak and grind the rice & lentils


Wash and soak the rice together in water in a bowl. Use 4 times the amount of water than the rice. Soak the urad dal separately. Soak for atleast 3 hours.

Drain and grind the urad dal separately until fluffy. Take it in a bowl. Now grind the rice to a fine paste using water as needed to grind the batter. Add it to the bowl. Add the salt, sugar and instant active  yeast and mix well.

Cover and keep in a warm place for 2 hours for fermentation. Once fermented, make sure you do not stir the batter.

Fill the steamer with water as per the individual idli steamer requirement. Grease the ramekins. Add batter into the ramekin until 2/3rd full. Place the ramekins in the steamer. Steam on medium for 15-20 mins or until a toothpick when inserted comes out clean.

Place the ramekins upside down on a tray/plate/baking sheet and let it cool down completely before attempting to remove it.

Serve with a spicy curry/ stew of your choice. I have served with chicken curry, the recipe for which you can find here. You can find the recipe for the egg curry here.


I am bringing this Manglorean specialty for my friends to try, at Throwback Thursday #54,  Fiesta Friday #136 and Saucy Saturday#61! Angie's co-host this week is Judi @ CookingWithAuntJuJu

Cooking made easy:

If you don't have an idli steamer, you can use a pressure cooker/ pressure     pan, place a steamer plate at the bottom and keep the ramekins on top of the plate to steam. Make sure that the water does not rice above the steamer plate.

Tip for healthy living:

Fermented foods act as rich in probiotics. This helps maintain the flora and fauna in the gut which in turn is essential for digestive health. You can read more in the references below. 


Food for thought:

Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students. Charles Kurait

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