Talking about Eliappe prompted Moni Bharadwaj (who is the daughter of one of the authors of Festivals of India) to remind me of Surnoli. Surnoli is a Konkani pikelet-like dish made from fermented rice batter in a similar way to Eliappe. How wonderful to have two very similar dishes, from different parts of India.
Surnoli is a Kokani dish from Goa eaten for breakfast or as a tiffin or even for dinner. Yellow in colour, they have a puffy texture with holes due to fermentation, and are eaten with home made butter. They can be sweet (as here) or made without jaggery for a savoury pikelet. When sweet, surnoli have a porous and soft texture due to the jaggery, and they taste very good.
This dish uses poha, an Indian rolled rice. It is easily obtainable from your Indian shop. There are several different thicknesses of poha – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). There are also poha types made from red rice and brown rice. For this dish, use a white, medium or thick poha for better results.
Have a look at our Sweet Dosa recipes. All of our Breakfast dishes are here. You might also like to browse all of our Desserts. Or check out all of our Poha recipes and Dosa recipes. All of our Goan dishes are here. Or simply explore our Mid Spring recipes.
1.5 cups Rice, soaked with 0.5 tspn methi (fenugreek) seeds for 4 – 5 hours. Use idlii rice, sona masoori or other short grain rice
1/2 cup curd, yoghurt or buttermilk
1/4 cup medium thick poha – thin poha can be used, but dont wash it before grinding
0.75 cup jaggery
0.5 cup grated coconut
large pinch salt
0.5 tspn turmeric
a little water if required
A little eno (optional, an old Indian trick to overcome poor fermentation and help with the lightness)
Wash the poha and then grind it with the drained rice, curd/buttermilk or yoghurt, jaggery, coconut, salt and turmeric to make a smooth thick paste like dosa batter. Add a little water as required to grind but be careful to keep the batter thick enough.
Leave the batter to ferment overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Sometimes it takes longer to reach peak fermentation. In my kitchen in Winter and early Spring it can take some days.
If you like, stir in about 1/2 – 1 tspn eno. The addition of eno helps holes to develop as the surnoli cooks.
Heat a non stick pan and grease it with ghee. Put enough batter so that it is a pikelet size, about 10 cm across. You can put a tiny bit ghee around the surnoli and then cover it with a domed lid and cook on a low heat. You want the top to cook without flipping the surnoli over. If you don’t have a domed lid, fashion one out of a couple of layers of alfoil — it will work.
When the surnoli is cooked, serve with fresh butter, a little chutney powder, or drizzle it with honey and pomegranate seeds.
Some recipes used puff rice rather than poha.
A savoury surnoli can also be made. Leave out the jaggery and add green chilli, ginger and green peas after fermentation and just before making the surnoli. Wonderful!