Mango-Coconut Sannas: The Goan Rice Cake Gets A Summery Twist
Image Credit: Ruchik Randhap

Sannas, one of Goa’s staple steamed rice cakes, is typically a dish you would see people enjoying with spicy sorpotels, xacuti and vindaloo. Traditionally made with a fermented red rice batter that is rested overnight and with a base of fresh palm toddy, sannas are fluffier and sweeter than its popular counterpart – the idli. Usually, achieving the right balance of texture and flavour can get a bit tricky with a dish this simple, as the visual cues of when the batter is ready is one that only a trained eye would be able to identify.

However, making a version that doesn’t need you be a hot mess in the kitchen and feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work that goes into making them, it is best to take a more approachable, less-intimidating way forward by using yeast; which also enables to steam the sannas almost instantaneously, as opposed to waiting overnight. The subtle sweetness of the sannas are backed by the nutty-sweetness of coconut milk, giving it a flavour that is unmatched yet perfect to use as a base for a delicious coconut sauce and fresh sliced mangoes. Inspired by the Thai dessert of mango-sticky rice, this desi version not only has a piece of our hearts but takes us back to our favourite beach destination!


Image Credits: LeelaLicious

Ingredients [For Sanna]

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon activated dry yeast
  • ¾ cup lukewarm water
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 pinch salt

Ingredients [For Serving]

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  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons raw sugar
  • 1 mango, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon desiccated coconut


  • Mix all the ingredients for the sannas in a large bowl, barring the salt, to a smooth batter. Allow it to rest in a warm place, covered with a lid, until you start to see bubbles forming at the surface and the volume doubling up.
  • This should take about 3-4 hours, after which you can season with salt. Grease your idli moulds or tiny walled saucers with a few drops of oil and pour the batter in each mould. Steam the sannas for 10-12 minutes, until they are soft, fluffy and cooked in the centre.
  • Let the sannas cool slightly while you add the coconut milk and brown sugar to a saucepan and let it come together and thicken slightly before taking it off and cooling it down.
  • To serve, plate two sannas and pour the coconut milk sauce on top. Place a few slices of fresh sliced mango on top and sprinkle lots of desiccated coconut and enjoy.