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 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
1.5 cups Rice, soaked with 1 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 poha
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!