Mangalorean Sannas.
Just saying those two words together makes my mouth water.
Popular along the Konkan coast of South India, Sannas also go by the name Goan sannas or Goan steamed rice cake, if you want to get really fancy about.

Sannas or steamed Rice Cakes

 Compared to idlis, sannas are more fluffier and porous, thus absorbing gravies and curries better. They are usually served alongside popular Goan or Mangalorean pork and chicken dishes, the common associates being:
  • Pork vindaloo
  • Pork sorpotel
  • Pork baffat 
  • Traditional South Indian style chicken curry.
It can also be had as a breakfast option along with your sweet coconut milk, coconut chutneys and sambhars.

Sannas with South Indian Style Chicken Curry
 Trust me. Sannas and chicken curry makes for a very yummy combination.

Personally, I have always pictured them as 'well nourished idlis', though to be honest, I find their taste better than the more popular idlis.
That might be because the original recipe uses toddy (palm alcohol) as a fermenting agent but don't worry, we can make it absolutely delicious without toddy too.  

Points to Note Before you Start:
Your preparation for sannas begins a good while ahead so you may want to start tonight if you want to get your ingredients ready for the next day.
But it is worth it. The batter can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours and even prepared sannas can be kept in the fridge as they get back their unique softness with just half a minute inside the microwave.


  • Ponni rice / Idli rice       -    2 cups
  • Urad daal / Black gram  -   1 tbsp
  • Yeast                                -   1/4 tsp
  • Sugar                               -   2 tbsp
  • Lukewarm water             -   1/4 cup
  • Salt                                  -   1-2 teaspoon or as per taste


  • Soak rice and urad daal separately for 6 hours. 
  • Grind to fine paste .
  • Dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water for 10 minutes.
  • Mix this to the ground batter; the batter should be thick ideally. 
  • Add the required salt and mix well. 
  • Keep for fermentation for 5 hours.
  • Now pour this in greased katoris or idli moulds. Pour only up to 3/4th of the mould.
  • Steam for 15 minutes and remove from the mould.
Your sannas are ready to serve.
Recipe - Sannas ( Goan or Mangalorean Steamed Rice Cakes )
Sannas with South Indian style chicken curry

Expect to see the odd food recipe like this at Godyears too - all prepared by my mother - from recipes she has collected as far back as the 1980's - with some unique to Kerala cuisine and some variations of international dishes. 

For the list of all the recipes so far (including seafood, egg dishes, sweets, twists on traditional dishes et al), click here:
For more food posts,  you can just check out the Category on Godyears labeled "Foodgasm" here.


Tina Basu said…
sounds interesting. this is a kind of idli right? that with chicken is a good combination!
Alana said…
I wanted to pin this to a board on Pinterest I'm starting for Indian recipes - alas, I tried several ways and Pinterest didn't cooperate. I wanted to show this to my husband, the family cook. Now that stores are starting to stock more Indian ingredients where I live in New York State, I "think" I can get that kind of rice.
mmmm You have made me crave south indian for brekkie today morning with this post. I can just visualise the fluffiness from the pics. Never tasted them in my life; will keep a look out for them
tulika singh said…
I've never sampled this but it sounds delicious. It looks soft and fluffy and totally good enough to eat right away.
Yes, the closest would be an idli... but it goes great with many combinations :)
Sorry to hear that. Pinterest is working for me. Just tried it. But yes, you will be able to make it quite easily if you find these ingredients and that should be a lot easier these days.
Do try them out... you will get hooked and keep making them :)
Oh yes. It usually gets devoured instantly in my experience and people keep asking for more :)
Shalini said…
Oh, I can see myself gorging on this soft ones with chicken korma! Yum!! :)
P.S: Your blog looks wow!
Reema D'souza said…
How I miss eating sannas! There are times I've had them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! And my favourite combo would Sorpotel with Sannas!
Thanks so much. Especially for the blog compliment. Spent the whole weekend working on an entirely different look.
Used to have them a lot when I was in mangalore... Been awhile. Made it at home this week.
This is a must on all festive occasions (or when there are guests) in my husband's place. Yummy they are! The combination I love is with mutton curry. The way my mother-in-law cooked it had an out of the world taste :)
By the way, the blog looks awesome. (Y)
True.. a good mutton curry (most mildly spicy meat dishes) would go perfect with this.
Thanj you so much... am definitely looking for more compliments for its look :) Worked an entire weekend on this, changing and personalizing everything I could
Zophia said…
It looks like idly to me... a variation of it... its nice to know guys too getting interested in cooking because it is a cool thing right?... nicely written cooking instructions...
While I dont qualify to be a masterchef, I do enjoy cooking. And thanks :)
Anonymous said…
I had these at my teachers house decades ago and I would love to mk them myself. Can u pls guide me when can I use toddy in the recipe