Anyone heard of “Sanna’s”. They are soft and fluffy cotton balls and can soak up any gravy or kuzhambu. They are traditionally made with toddy or with yeast nowadays. The sannas may look like idlys but unlike idlys they are slightly sweet and are have a very different texture.
Sannas can be had in many different ways. They can be had either as a sweet dish by adding sweetened coconut milk to them or as a savoury by having it with any curry.
The sannas taste best the day they are made. So try them…
Idly rice/ boiled rice – 1 ½ cups
Raw rice ( I used sona masuri) – ½ cup
Whole urad dhal (skin removed ) – ¼ cup
Yeast – ½ tsp
Sugar – 2-3 tbsps
Warm water – 2-3 tbsps
Salt – 1 tbsp
Wash and soak the raw rice, boiled rice and urad dhal separately. They need to soak for at least 4-5 hours in separate vessels.
Drain and grind the urad dhal first to get a soft and fluffy batter. The batter would be double in volume. Remove the urad dhal batter and keep aside.
Drain the water and grind both the rice together. It is the same as grinding for the idly/dosa batter. The rice mixture should be smooth. Make sure to keep pushing the batter from the sides, to get a uniform mixture.
The batter should be like that of the idly batter but with ¼ cup water extra. i.e. it should not be very thick, but don’t add too much water as we will be adding water from the yeast solution.
Transfer the batter to a large vessel as the batter would double in volume.
Now, prepare the yeast solution by mixing the yeast with a teaspoon sugar and adding warm water to it. Allow it to stand for 5-10 minutes. The mixture will start frothing. Mix well and pour into the batter.
Mix the batter well so that the yeast mixture is well incorporated.
Add salt and remaining a sugar and mix well.
(The sanna’s are slightly sweet, but you can adjust to your liking.)
Cover the batter and keep in a warm place for it to ferment. This should take around 2-3 hours.
When the batter has doubled, do not mix the batter.
To get fluffy sannas, spoon the batter into greased moulds and place in a steamer. Take spoonful of batter from the sides and fill the moulds.
Fill the moulds to only half as they would rise.
Steam for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the lid making sure not to drop any water on the sanna’s. Remove the moulds from the steamer and place them face down (the open side down). Allow them to cool. When they are cool, remove from mould and serve.
While they are cooling the next batch of sanna’s can be placed in the steamer.
To fasten the cooling process you can place the mould in a place with water. Place them normally with the bottom down.
The batter cannot be stored as it has yeast. So make sure to grind only as much as you need. Use smaller size cups for small quantities.