Steamed Rice Cake


Makes 3 kinnathappams

Ponni Ari / Sona Masoori rice - 1/2 kg
Thick coconut milk - 3 cups
Water - 4 cups
Sugar - 1/2 kg
Salt - a pinch
Ghee - 4 tbsp
Kismis - 25 g
Cashew - 25 g (broken into pieces)
Cardomom - 10 pods


Wash and soak rice for 3 hours.
Grind the rice into very fine paste in a grinder adding the 4 cups of water slowly.*see note 1
In a dry mixer add 1 tbsp sugar with the cardomom and powder it. Remove husk.
In the same mixer add the coconut and pulse it slightly. Add slight warm water to extract coconut milk.*see note 2
In a bowl mix the rice batter with coconut milk, sugar and cardamom powder.
Strain it using a thin muslin cloth.*see notes 3 The batter will be watery.
Heat water in a steamer/ cooker/ Idly maker adding enough water to last for 30 - 40 minutes. *see note 4
Pour the batter into a round plate with sides or a cake pan. Fill only about 1 1/2 to 2 inch height.*see notes 5
Cover the plate or pan with foil. 
When the water starts to boil in the steamer carefully place the pan in it. And cover the steamer.
Steam for 30 - 40 minutes on high flame or till a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from steamer and let cool.
Invert it on to a plate and serve.   

Cooking Tips/ Notes:

It is better to grind in a grinder rather than a mixer. The batter has to be really fine.
I had to add 3 cups water to extract coconut milk. It may vary depending on the coconut used. So add 2 cups first then check the quantity and only if required add the third cup of water or as much as required.
Wet the muslin cloth slightly and then tie it tight on a steel vessel. Slightly press the center of the cloth to make a dip.Then pour the batter to strain. Stir with a spoon so that the batter passes through the cloth.The actual recipe says the batter has to be strained thrice but I did it just once. If you feel that there are particles yet to be strained then do so twice or thrice.
If you are using a cooker then place a ring at the bottom and then place the pan on top of it. Close the cooker but do not place weight on it. Let the steam pass through the nozzle. Make sure you add enough water to last for 40 minutes. Cook on medium flame.
It is better to add only 1 1/2 to 2 inch batter because if you add more it will take a long time to cook. The best option is a steel plate with sides. Fill batter an inch below the top brim so that you can easily lift it using a pakkad/ vessel lifter. 
This dessert is of medium sweetness just perfect for me but for people who like it very sweet can add more sugar.
This batter makes 3 kinnathappams. 

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