Vatteppam – Vattayappa (steamed rice cakes) for the Indian Cooking Challenge – Gâteau de riz du Kerala

(en français, plus bas)

One of the reason I enjoy cooking so much, is that it has no limit when it comes to creativity and innovation and there is always something new to learn: techniques, ingredients, flavours, etc. I often try to go out of my comfort zone and discover new culinary horizons and participating to blog cooking challenges is a great way to do so.

I had long heard about the Indian Cooking Challenge, but was feeling a bit shy to join the group until this month… Even if I have learnt basic things and techniques about Indian cuisine with my family-in-law,  Mr Artichoke himself (who was a great cook before we got married…) or by trying recipes from books and blogs, there is so much diversity and so many regional food in Indian cuisine, that I was not sure to be able to complete the challenges… I am happy to say that my first ICC went well!

This month, the Indian Cooking Challenge ,  took  us to the beautiful Indian state of Kerala:  Srivalli selected vattayappam (also known as vatteppam) a steamed rice cakes, which is an authentic dessert from Kerala. The recipe was chosen from Shn’s blog:  Mishmash.

These little cakes turn out fluffy and very pleasantly “coconutty”, they make a very nice snack. I steamed most of them in tin moulds and in silicons moulds. Both cooked well.

Ingredients for about 10-12 individual small cakes (idli/muffin size)

recipe adapted from Shn (here)

for the rice batter:

1 cup raw Idli rice, soaked overnight or at least for 8 hours (I used sushi rice, as it is the same kind of short grain, low starch rice, see info here)
¾ cup dried coconut flakes, soaked in 3 tbsp hot water (recipe called for fresh grated coconut)
2 tbsp cooked rice
½ cup water or enough to grind the above ingredients to make a batter ( consistency of batter should be thick )

1 pinch active dry yeast
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp water
1/2tsp sugar

Rice porridge (Thari Kurukku):

2 tbsp the rice above, ground
about  ½ cup water

½ cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp cashew nuts (original recipe: 1/2 tbsp)
1/4 cup raisins (original recipe: 1/2 tbsp)
1 tbsp ghee

Coconut flakes for serving


Soak the rice overnight, so that it become really soft to be ground. As I do not live in a warm country, I soaked it about 12 hours. If you live in a warm country, you’ll need less soaking time.
Grind it in a blender with a little bit of water. You might add a little more water during the blending, so that it blends into a thick paste.
Take out 2 tablespoons of the mixture and keep aside, it will be used later to prepare the rice porridge.
Add the coconut and the two tablespoons of cooked rice. Blend until smooth.

In a bowl, combine one pinch of yeast with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and lukewarm water. Leave for about 15 min.

Prepare the rice porridge:  mix the two tablespoons of ground rice and about 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. When it boils, reduce the heat to low and keep on stirring until the porridge becomes thick. Keep aside to cool down.

Add 4 tablespoons of the cold porridge to the ground rice/coconut batter and blend once more.  Add the yeast mixture, and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and mix well.

Keeping in mind that the batter will double during fermentation, pour it into a big glass container, cover with a clean cloth and leave it to ferment for about 6 hours or overnight.

After that time, gently stir in the sugar into the batter. Cover and keep aside for 2 hours.

In the meantime, heat a pan and dry roast the cashew nuts. Keep aside. Heat the ghee in a pan and add the raisins, stir well and fry for 1-2 minutes. Mix with the cashew and keep aside.

After the 2 hours, stir the raisins, cashew and cardamom powder into the batter.

Heat water in a steamer.

Grease your moulds lightly with some oil and pour the batter or into idli moulds, filling them only up to 3/4.
Steam for 20-25 minutes. I wrap the lid in a clean kitchen towel before covering the steamer, by doing so, you will prevent water drop falling onto your cakes.

Take out from the moulds, let them cool down and sprinkle with dessicated coconut flakes before serving. The vattayappam can be cut into wedges before serving.

Vattayappam, Gâteau de riz du Kerala

Cela faisait longtemps que j’avais entendu parler du Indian Cooking Challenge, mais je n’osais pas trop rejoindre ce groupe … car même si j’ai appris pas mal de choses et techniques de base en cuisine indienne avec ma belle-famille, M. Artichoke lui-même (qui était un bon cuisinier avant que nous soyons mariés …) ou en essayant les recettes des livres et des blogs, il y a une telle diversité et variations culinaires selon les différentes régionaux dans la cuisine indienne, que je n’étais pas sûre d’être capable de réussir les challenges proposés.

Le challenge de ce mois-ci nous emmène dans le bel état indien du Kerala: Srivalli a choisi que nous préparions des vattayappam (également connu sous le nom de vatteppam) un gâteau de riz cuit à la vapeur, qui est un dessert authentique du Kerala. La recette a été choisi sur le blog  Mishmash.

Ingrédients pour environ 10-12 petits gâteaux individuels (de la taille d’un muffin ou d’un idli )

pour la pâte de riz:

1 verre de riz cru pour idli, trempé la veille ou au moins pendant 8 heures (j’ai utilisé du riz à sushi, car c’est le même genre de grain de riz,  court et faible en amidon )
¾ verre de noix de coco en poudre, trempée dans 3 c. à soupe d’eau chaude
2 c. à soupe de riz cuit
environ ½ verre d’eau

1 pincée de levure  de boulanger sèche
1 / 2 c. à café de poudre à lever
3 c. à café d’eau
1/2 c. à café de sucre

porridge de riz (Thari Kurukku):

2 c. à soupe de pâte de riz moulu (voir ci-dessus)
environ ½ verre d’eau

½ verre de sucre
1/2 c.à café de cardamomme en poudre
2 c. à soupe de noix de cajou (recette originale: 1 / 2 c. à soupe)
1 / 4 tasse de raisins secs (recette originale: 1 / 2 c. à soupe)
1 c. à soupe de ghee

un peu de noix de coco en poudre pour le décorer


Faire tremper le riz pendant une nuit, jusqu’à ce qu’il soit bien mou. Comme je n’habite pas dans un pays chaud, je l’ai laissé tremper environ 12 heures. Si vous vivez dans un pays chaud, vous aurez besoin de moins temps de trempage.
Broyer le riz dans un mixer avec un peu d’eau. Vous pouvez ajouter un peu d’eau pendant au cours de l’opération, afin que cela se transforme en  une pâte épaisse.
Mettre de côté 2 cuillères à soupe du mélange, on les  utilisera plus tard pour préparer le porridge de riz.
Ajouter la noix de coco et les deux cuillères à soupe de riz cuit. Mixer jusqu’à consistance onctueuse.

Dans un bol, mélanger une pincée de levure avec 1 / 2 cuillère à café de sucre et l’eau tiède. Laisser reposer pendant environ 15 min.

Préparer le porridge de riz: mélanger les deux cuillères à soupe de riz moulu et environ 1 / 2 verre d’eau. Porter à ébullition, en remuant continuellement. Quand ça bout, baisser à feu doux et continuer à remuer jusqu’à ce que le porridge épaississe. Laisser  refroidir.

Ajouter 4 cuillerées à soupe de porridge froid à la pâte de riz/noix de coco et mélanger à nouveau. Ajouter le mélange de levure et 1 / 2 c. à café de poudre à lever et bien mélanger.

En gardant à l’esprit que la pâte va doubler pendant la fermentation, la verser dans un grand récipient en verre, couvrir avec un linge propre et laisser fermenter pendant environ 6 heures ou toute la nuit.

Après ce temps, incorporer délicatement le sucre dans la pâte. Couvrir et garder de côté pendant 2 heures.

Pendant ce temps, chauffer une poêle et faire rôtir à sec les noix de cajou. Mettre de côté. Faire chauffer le ghee dans une casserole et ajouter les raisins secs, bien mélanger et faire revenir pendant 1-2 minutes. Mélanger avec la noix de cajou.

Après les 2 heures, ajouter les raisins secs, noix de cajou  et cardamome en poudre dans la pâte.

Chauffer l’eau dans un cuit-vapeur.

Graisser légèrement vos moules avec de l’huile et verser la pâte dans des moules, en ne les remplissant que jusqu’aux  3 / 4.
Cuire à la vapeur pendant 20-25 minutes. J’enveloppe le couvercle dans un torchon propre avant de recouvrir le cuit-vapeur, de cette manière, vous empêcherez que des gouttes d’eau ne tombent sur les gâteaux.

Démouler et laisser refroidir. Saupoudrer de noix de coco en poudre avant de servir. Les vattayappam peuvent être coupés en quartiers avant de servir.

Healing Foods: Artichoke and banana flowers Round-Up & giveaway winners

Artichokes and banana flowers? I know that one of the two might still have a mysterious aura for some of you, but after seeing the 17 recipes for this month’s Healing Food series, I am sure that you won’t resist the temptation of discovering them…

You might however wonder what the connection between artichokes and banana flowers is.

The explanation is simple: initially I had chosen artichokes as theme for this month’s Healing Foods, but shortly after the announcement, I was informed that artichokes can’t be found in India…  So, I first came with cardoon, which is from the same species than artichokes, but it turned out that it was not available in India either… Mocha or banana flowers then came to my mind. Not only do they look and taste a bit similar but they required quite some time to trim and prepare, exactly like fresh artichokes…

I am very impressed by the quality and originality of  recipes sent by 11 talented ladies for this event and I would like to thank all of them for their creativity! You are awesome, ladies – vous êtes géniales, Mesdames! Merci beaucoup!

A big thank you to  Siri to have given me the opportunity to host this event during the month of March and to Pritya books who is generously giving away these two great books:

Cooking At Home With Pedatha: Awarded Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World 2006, this book documents the culinary legacy of an illustrious Indian grandmother for posterity.


Sukham Ayu: Winner of Best Health & Nutrition Book in the World 2009 – Second Place, this beautiful book has been researched at KARE, an idyllic Ayurvedic research & rejeuvenation establishment near Pune.

There are still many artichoke recipes that I want to share with you but I ran short of time during March, so I could only post two recipes and repost 2 old ones. My future personal challenge will be to come up with a recipe for actually sweet artichokes… so stay tuned!

Before discovering who are the lucky winners of the books, let’s discover the round-up for the month of March:

The recipes are shown in the order I received them click on the pic or hyperlink to go to the recipe:

Johanna from “Green Gourmet Giraffe”  prepared artichoke muffins that she took  for a picnic at the zoo:

The preparation of  these Banana flowers chops brought back lovely childhood memories to Sukanya from “Saffron streaks” ,:

Janet from “The Taste Space” has been experimenting with variations of her recipes. I really enjoyed reading the creative process behind these beautiful Artichoke and Spinach Rice Paper Rolls with Lemon Rosemary Baked Tofu

Priya from “Priya’s easy and tasty recipes” – first experimented with artichoke calzone :


… and she liked this veggie so much, that she got inspired for two more recipes:

a very innovative artichoke and curry leaves chutney and…

and an equally innovative artichoke, potato and mushroom curry:

Nivedita from “Panfusine – Iyer’n Chef” was happily singing ABBA’s songs  and nearly choked of delight when she first tasted her artichoke masala vadai,

Did you know that artichoke existed in the Greek Mythology? Discover what happened to the beautiful Cynara  and enjoy these  delicious artichoke lasagna sent by  Ivy from “Kopiaste … to Greek Hospitality”  :

What about an Indo-Iranian fusion dish?

Malli from “Malli’s Mint and Mimosa” loves Iranian chelow kebabs and got inspired to prepare a vegetarian version using banana blossoms : check out her Iranian black bean Kebab with mocha :

Simona from  “Briciole”  is fan of  Italian artichokes, she prepared a hummus with artichoke, check her post to see  how many strands has the beautiful home-made challah bread she served with it…

Don’t be scared of fresh baby artichokes! Amy from “Savory moments” was nicely surprised on how easy it is to clean and trim them and she prepared these  delicious lemon and thyme braised baby artichokes:

Are you tempted to cook banana flowers but you are no sure on what is the edible part and how to extract it? Fear no more, Vijitha from “A Foodie in her cooking hat” has not only sent us this Banana Flower stir fry, she is also providing a thorough explanation on how to prepare the flowers.

Nawel from “Jeux d’épices et Saveurs” is proud to share the recipe of  “Artichoke, fava beans and dry tomatoes stir fry” , which will be featured next month in a French magazine. As her recipe was in French, the translation has been provided below the picture :

Ingredients for  4 servings
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
280 g peeled frozen fava beans
4-5 frozen artichoke hearts
130 g chickpeas
5 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp strong or mild paprika
½ bunch chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 ½  tbsp olive oil
100 ml water
Salt and pepper
Cut artichoke hearts into quarters. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes in three.
Peel the shallot and chop it finely. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them.
Heat the olive oil in a pan, on low heat and add the shallot.
Fry for 1 minute. Add the artichokes, beans, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper.
Stir and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the cold water, stir and add the spices.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 more minutes.

And finally, voilà your Sweet Artichoke’s artichoke recipes….

An artichoke and chickpeas curry, that can be eaten cold as salad, which is really great when you have left overs… (here)

… a rather unusual way of eating artichokes, as filling for these savoury hazelnut sandwich cookies (here)

and,  from Sweet Artichoke’s archives:

I had celebrated my 100th post with an artichoke tapenade, which was also my first posted recipe with artichokes!

I did not come back from our trip to Roma with designer shoes or clothes, but with fresh Roman artichokes, bought at one of the local market… delicious in these pasta ai carciofi (here)

By now, I do hope that you are feeling hungry…. and tempted by these goodies….

It is my pleasure to announce the lucky winners of the two books:

*drums rolling….*

I first prepared an alphabetical list of all participants:

Then I went on

which drew number 11 and number 8.

Congratulations to Vijitha and Priya!

Please send me your contact details at:

A nice way of using radish greens… Une jolie façon d’utiliser des fanes de radis

(en français, plus bas)

The arrival of spring is a very exciting part of the year, nature slowly wakes up from winter , the market stalls start to be filled with so many lovely fruits and veggies and  it means I can start gardening on my balcony…

Gardening is probably my favorite activity after cooking. One of my great grandfathers had a farm in the French countryside and I always like to imagine that I have inherited this liking from him…

My first exciting experience with gardening goes back to when I was 6 or 7, when I had planted radishes in a pot on the balcony. I remember exactly the happiness when I pulled out the first (very small radish) from the soil, it felt like magic to have contributed to grow that tiny little radish… and this feeling of wonder whenever a little seed becomes into a growing plant  is a miracle that has never ceased to amaze me !

This happy memory brings me to a very simple and easy way to use radishes greens that are too often ending up in the compost or garbage bin!

Radish greens spread

Ingredients for a small bowl:

The presentation of the radish and the recipe are inspired by Elle à Table (here and here)

1 bunch of radishes, with the greens

4 tablespoons of spread cheese (Philadelphia) you can also use butter

a pinch of cayenne pepper

a pinch of salt

freshly ground pepper for seasoning

Optional, for serving: 3 slices of toasted rye bread or pumpernickel bread


Wash the radishes and their greens without cutting them.

Cut out the radish roots.

Trim the radish stems, leaving a few small leaves on each radish. Keep them in a bowl of cold water.

Bring a pot of water to the boil.

Blanch the remaining greens for 1 minute. Immediately drain them. Let them cool down.

Blend together with the cream cheese, the cayenne pepper, a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Toast the bread and once cooled, crumble it into a bowl.

Drain the radishes  and dip them into the bread crumbs, which will be the soil from which the radishes are coming out 😉

Serve with crackers or toasted wholemeal bread.

I am sending this recipe to Cinzia of Cindystar who is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging no. 276 for this week.


This month, I am hosting A veggie/fruit a month : Radish …  Don’t forget to send me your radish/black radish/daikon recipes until 31 March! (click here)


Une jolie façon d’utiliser des fanes de radis…

L’arrivée du printemps est une moment de l’année que j’apprécie particulièrement, la nature se réveille lentement de l’hiver, les étals du marché commencent à se remplir de beaux fruits et légumes et cela signifie que je peux commencer à jardiner sur mon balcon …

Le jardinage est probablement mon activité préférée après la cuisine. Un de mes arrière grands-pères avaient une ferme dans la campagne française et j’aime l’idée que j’ai hérité de cette deuxième passion de lui …  Ma première expérience avec le jardinage remonte à quand j’avais 6 ou 7 ans. J’avais alors planté des radis dans un pot sur le balcon. Je me souviens exactement du sentiment de joie qui m’avait envahi au moment où j’ai récolté mon premier radis (même s’il était vraiment très petit) c’était comme de la magie… et ce sentiment d’émerveillement  dure toujours: chaque fois qu’une petite graine devient une plante en croissance, je suis toujours fascinée par ce miracle…

Cet agréable souvenir  m’amène à la recette de ce billet : une tartinade très simple et facile à préparer, permettant d’utiliser les fanes de radis qui sont trop souvent jetées avec le compost ou les ordures!

Tartinade de fanes de radis

Ingrédients pour un petit bol:
La présentation des radis et la recette sont inspirées par Elle à Table (ici et ici)
1 botte de radis, avec ses  fanes
4 cuillères à soupe de fromage à tartiner (Philadelphia ou Saint Moret), vous pouvez aussi utiliser du beurre
une pincée de piment de cayenne
une pincée de sel
du poivre fraîchement moulu
En option, pour servir: 3 tranches de pain de seigle grillé ou du pain style « pumpernickel »


Laver les radis avec leurs fanes, sans les détacher.
Préparer les radis.
Couper les racines au bout des radis et de l’autre côté, couper les fanes, en laissant quelques petites feuilles sur chaque radis. Mettez-les dans un bol d’eau froide.
Porter une casserole d’eau à ébullition.
Blanchir les fanes pendant 1 minute. Immédiatement les égoutter. Laissez-les refroidir.
Mélanger le tout avec le fromage à tartiner, le piment de Cayenne, une pincée de sel et le poivre.
Faire griller le pain et une fois refroidi, l’émietter dans un bol.
Egouttez les radis et les plonger dans le bol de pain émietté, qui représentera le sol d’où  sortent les radis.
Servir avec des crackers ou du pain grillé complet.


Pour imprimer la recette en pdf, cliquez sur le lien ci-dessous: