Sanna- Steamed Rice Cake

June 6, 2018mayurisjikoni
Blog post



I’ve actually got a lot on my plate at the moment where blogging is concerned as I’m constantly busy with some group or the other. Initially I was two minded about joining this group simply because I thought I may not be able to cope. However, the main reason I joined is that I have bookmarked so many recipes from fellow bloggers that I rarely get the opportunity to go back to them and actually make it. However, this group gives me that opportunity.

This is my first entry for the group and I was paired with Sasmita who blogs at First Timer Cook. Her blog is full of recipes both Indian and International Vegetarian Dishes. I love her photos and how she sometimes uses unique ingredients. One of the recipes I had   bookmarked from her blog was Sanna.

Last year at my daughter’s best friends wedding reception I got the opportunity to taste sanna. I had heard about this rice coconut steamed Goan/Mangalorean Catholic speciality. At the reception, when I took 2 I thought they were idlis. However on tasting it, it was different. I asked the waiter who was serving the food what it was and he replied ‘madam its sanna, and its our speciality’. I enjoyed sanna with some coconut stew.

When I browsed the internet for sanna recipes most had toddy as the ingredient and I thought ‘where am I going to get that from’, and left it at that. Sasmita blogs sanna for another group challenge and I immediately bookmarked the recipe. What I also liked that instead of making them in an idli mold she used the silicon cake cups.

So here’s the recipe for the delicious sanna which even my hubby loved so much. I served it with some benasthali, a Goan veg curry. Sanna is also enjoyed as a breakfast dish with some sugar/jaggery and milk or with sambhar and chutney. Sweet sannas are made by adding jaggery to the batter before steaming it.

Sasmita thank you so much for sharing such an easy and delicious sanna recipe.

sanna 2

sanna 1

sanna 4

sanna 3


Makes about 20 if you use silicon molds 12-14 if you use small steel bowls

Recipe Source: First Timer Cook

2 cups rice

½ cup fresh grated coconut

2 tsp instant active dry yeast

2-3 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

¾ cup water

  1. Soak the rice overnight in some water.
  2. Next day drain out the water and wash the rice.
  3. Put it in the blender with the grated coconut and water.
  4. Blend till you get a fine smooth thick batter.
  5. Remove the batter from the blender into a big bowl.
  6. Add sugar, salt and instant yeast. Mix well.
  7. Cover the bowl with a lid or cling film and set it aside for the batter to ferment.
  8. This will take about 2-3 hours. The batter should be really frothy and double in size.
  9. Don’t mix it too much.
  10. Prepare the steamer. I used a big pan and filled it with water about 3″ deep.
  11. I placed a steaming plate in it.
  12. Place the molds in the plate.
  13. Add about 2 tablespoonful of the batter or fill it ¾ full.
  14. Cover the pan with a lid and steam the sanna for 10-15 minutes.
  15. Remove the sauna from the mold and keep it a bowl covered with a tea towel.
  16. Repeat steps 12-15 with the remaining batter. Remember to add water in the pan if it nearly gets over.
  17. Serve sanna with some curry of your choice.


  • The batter should be like the idli dosa batter consistency.
  • You can make them in an idli steamer, use small steel or aluminum bowls or ramekins.
  • Add more water when grinding if required.
  • I steamed the leftover sanna again for 5 minutes and we enjoyed it with some chutney.
  • If you use normal active dry yeast then you will need to ferment it before adding to the batter. Add the yeast to little warm water with 1 tsp sugar. Cover and let it sit for 10-15 minutes till it becomes frothy. Add this to the batter and mix well.

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A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below
  • send a picture to my email
  • tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962

You may want to check out other steamed snacks:

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cabbage spinach muthia

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  • Ajay Patel

    June 7, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    These were really delicious with the coconut curry you made.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 7, 2018 at 9:58 pm

      Awwww…thank you 🙂

  • Shobha Keshwani

    June 8, 2018 at 3:34 am

    These look just like idlis .. amazing to see similarities in various cuisines.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 8, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Thanks Shobha and that’s so true.

  • Mina Joshi

    June 8, 2018 at 10:22 am

    I like the sound of sanna. Rice and coconut is a nice combination and if served if some sort of a sambar would be great!! Lately, I too have started using the silicon moulds as they are a lot easier for demoulding. LOve the new look of your blog.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 8, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Mina thank you so much. The sanna came off so easily from the silicon molds and didn’t even need to grease them. The few I made in the steel bowl, very a little difficult to remove. Had to wait till they cooled down completely.

  • Renu

    June 8, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Looks so delicious and pillowy soft…. perfect texture…love the moulds

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 8, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      Thank you so much Renu.

  • Sandhya Hariharan

    June 8, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    The Steamed Cakes look so similar to idly but loved how different they are. Made with coconut!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 8, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      Thank you Sandhya and you’re welcome.

  • Pavani

    June 8, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    Wow, sanna look so much like idli – soft, fluffy and absolutely delicious. I’ve heard about these but never tried them myself. You are tempting me to give these a try some time soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 8, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      Thanks Pavani. Give them a try.. your family and you will like it.

  • poonampagar

    June 9, 2018 at 4:58 am

    The steamed cakes look so fluffy and soft di ! Perfect to go with some spiced curry or dip

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 9, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      Thank you Poonam.

  • Priya Suresh

    June 9, 2018 at 10:31 am

    These steamed cakes are in my to do list since a while, now you are tempting me to make some soon Mayuri. You nailed them prefectly. They looks damn soft and fabulous.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 9, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Thank you so much Priya.

  • Batter Up With Sujata

    June 9, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Sanna looks so cute and delicious. Loved it’s super soft texture. Awesome share. Something like idli but grated coconut definitely made it more yummy 😋

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 9, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      Thanks Sujata..they do taste different from idlis.

  • Freda @ Aromatic essence

    June 11, 2018 at 5:37 am

    Your sannas look so cute in that muffin liners. They look perfect! Sannas are my favorite, been binging on it since childhood, especially the ones stuffed with coconut and jaggery, they are simply divine 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 11, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks Freda, will have to try the stuffed version.

  • Uma Srinivas

    June 11, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Almost similar to idli and pundi ( south Karnataka breakfast) But you gave a nice shape, this will be attractions to kids as well as adults. I would love to eat with chutney and sambar:)

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 11, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks Uma, still have to try making pundi.

  • Priya Satheesh

    June 11, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Perfectly done.. Should try this sometime.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 11, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      Thanks Priya.

  • jayashreetrao

    June 11, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Sanna cake looks so soft and delicious. Good to know this, should give a try sometime.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 11, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      Thanks Jayashree.

  • Meghna Chatterjee

    June 11, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    They look so tempting and cute. Will love to try them soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 11, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks Meghna.

  • theyellowdaal

    June 11, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Certainly looks like idli but the recipe seems either ways. You have done full justice to her recipe. And the goal stew is what I am after. Can you share your recipe?!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 11, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks Avin, the recipe will be up on the blog soon.

  • code2cook

    June 12, 2018 at 8:01 am

    sama rice cake looks so beautiful in shape and texture. Looks kind of idli. Very good share for fasting time.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 15, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      I think you misread the ingredients. Its got rice which cannot be used for fasting.

  • Sasmita Sahoo Samanta

    June 12, 2018 at 10:06 am

    , idli in this totally diff taste and texture are one of my fav these days, lovely preparation di !!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 15, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      Thank you Sasmita.

  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    June 12, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Such super soft sannas, yummm. It is so wonderful to do these kind of recipies

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 15, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks Seema.

  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    June 12, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Palak added to any recipe is so much nutritious… i am sure your recipe is a superhit.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 15, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks Seema.

  • Aruna

    June 19, 2018 at 10:41 am

    I have had Sanna many times but have not tried it yet. Your perfect looking Sanna with Sasmita’s recipe are now giving me cooking goals.

    My motivation in joining the group was also partly getting started on the to-do list which was growing longer by the minute.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 19, 2018 at 11:32 pm

      Thanks Aruna, do try them as they are easy to make and I loved her idea of making them in the silicon mold as they came off so easily.

  • Paarul

    June 19, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    They look damn soft. Marked this recipe to try as breakfast option.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 19, 2018 at 10:23 pm

      Thank you so much Parul. Do let me know when you try the recipe out.

  • Jagruti

    June 22, 2018 at 12:27 am

    I’ve never tasted Sanna cake, sounds interesting. Recipe seems so easy and hassle free.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 23, 2018 at 6:14 am

      Thanks Jagruti. If you make idli at home then this is as easy.

  • Jolly

    June 27, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    The name of the dish sounds interesting and yummy. It looks similar to idly but loved this different version that made with coconut!! Beautiful share.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 27, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      Thank you so much Jolly.

  • Vidya Narayan

    July 10, 2018 at 4:02 am

    I have no idea why my earlier long comment didnt get through here. sigh! I absolutely loved the recipe and the cute looking sannas. I agree, this theme in particular, brings out the best in us as we keep bookmarking so many recipes that get side tracked due to our busy schedule or blog content. Now, every month, we can focus on something we have been wanting to try since long. The idlis look really soft and would go with an authentic goan curry or simply a coconut chutney for breakfast. We both pickled Goan Cuisine for this challenge, by the way! Haha.. Cheers!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 10, 2018 at 5:54 am

      Thanks Vidya.. yes we picked Goan cuisine. I’d wanted to make sanna ever since I tasted them in Bangalore.

      1. Vidya Narayan

        July 10, 2018 at 6:24 am

        My pleasure and me having majority Goan friends, have been eating this since my school / college days.

  • Amrita

    July 10, 2018 at 6:29 am

    The sanna has come out really very well!Looks pristine white as Jasmine and lovely and fragrant!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 11, 2018 at 6:13 am

      Thanks Amrita, fragrant they were because of the coconut.

  • themadscientistskitchen

    July 10, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Mayuri you picked such a quintessential Goan dish! Now even the Goans dont add toddy and use yeast! I love the shape you have made them in and its absolutely perfect. One more reminder that I have not as yet made sannas. 😀

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 11, 2018 at 6:08 am

      Thank you so much Archana.

  • Jyoti Babel

    July 13, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    You have nailed them perfectly. lovely share

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 25, 2018 at 4:06 am

      Thanks Jyoti.

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