539. Vitumbua (coconut rice pancake balls)
From the East Coast of Africa
Vitumbua (singular kitumbua) pronounced as vee toom booa are the local answer to pancakes/ doughnuts in East Africa especially in Tanzania and the coastal part of Kenya.Instead of being deep fried, they are made in a special vitumbua griddle/pan. Its similar to the aebleskiver pan or appe pan or paniyaram pan. Vitumbua is a common Tanzanian street food and found during Ramadhan in Mombasa. Its usually served with hot tea as breakfast. Beneath the crust the interior is light and fluffy, melt in the mouth texture. Most of the East African Coast cuisine has been influenced by Indian, Yemeni and Omani culture so perhaps vitumbua too may have been brought here by one of the settlers. The Bread Bakers theme for February is Griddle Breads hosted by Ansh of Spiceroots. Thank you Ansh for such a wonderful theme. As soon as I read griddle bread, I knew I had to post the recipe of Vitumbua and share a bit of the East African cuisine with the fellow bakers. I love to turn the humble breakfast pancake balls into a dessert. Served with melted chocolate, drizzled with honey/maple syrup or a fruity syrup, its simply delicious. I love the fact that it requires very little oil to prepare these soft pancake balls.
VITUMBUA (COCONUT RICE PANCAKE BALLS)
Makes about 18
For Vitumbua :
1 cup rice
½ tsp instant dry active yeast
½ cup coconut milk
3 tbsp grated coconut
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp melted butter
2-3 tsp oil
For Chocolate sauce:
50 g chocolate
1-2 tbsp coconut milk
For the orange syrup :
½ cup sugar
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
Preparation of Vitumbua :
- Soak rice in warm water overnight.
- Next day, drain out the water.
- Add rice, warm coconut milk and coconut into a blender jug.
- Process the rice to a smooth consistency. Pour the batter into a bowl.
- Add yeast, sugar, salt,butter and cardamom powder to the batter and mix well.
- Cover the bowl with a cling film and set it in a warm place for the batter to ferment.
- This will take about 1-1½ hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
- The batter is ready to use when it nearly doubled in size and bubbles on top appear.
- Heat the pan (appe, paniyaram, vitumbua or aebleskiver pan) over low heat.
- Pour a drop of oil in each of the cavities.
- Fill the cavity with the batter, three quarter full.
- Cover the pan with a lid.
- Let the vitumbua cook till it turns light golden in colour.
- Flip it over carefully using a teaspoon or a prawn fork(my ideal tool).
- Let the other side cook till its golden in colour.
- Vitumbua are ready. You will not be able to resist trying out the hot pancake balls.
- Serve vitumbua as it is with hot tea, or with honey, maple syrup. You can dust the vitumbua with icing sugar or serve it with chocolate sauce and orange syrup.
- Melt chocolate in the microwave oven or over hot water (bain marie).
- Add coconut milk and mix well.
- Set it aside till required.
- Heat orange juice and sugar in a pan over low heat till the sugar melts and the syrup becomes slightly thick.
- Take it off the heat and add the orange zest. Mix well. Let the syrup cool.
- Prepare a fruit syrup of your choice but orange and chocolate is a heavenly combination.
- Make sure the batter is smooth. If it feels grainy, the vitumbua will not be soft.
- Use frozen grated coconut if you don’t get fresh one.
- Its important to cook the vitumbua or low heat because you don’t want the inside to remain raw.
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