Vibibi (Rice and Coconut Pancakes)

Servings : Makes 8-10 pancakes

Vibibi are sweet, soft and delicious pancakes made from a rice and coconut batter. They are famous in the E/African communities and are especially enjoyable during Ramadhan. The Swahili word ‘vibibi’ translates to ‘little ladies’. Am not entirely sure why they are called this but I believe it could be a testament to their sweetness!


  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 1 cup heavy coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 level tbsp. plain/all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • ghee or oil for cooking the pancakes


Rinse the rice, then soak it overnight in water. Drain and give it a final rinse and put the rice on a strainer to drain away as much excess water as possible.

Put the rice in a blender jug, add the sugar and half of the heavy coconut milk. Blend until all the rice is finely ground. This may take a while, so keep blending in one minute bursts and gradually add in the rest of the heavy coconut milk, making sure to scrape the sides of the blender down to ensure everything is well mixed. Then add the light coconut milk, yeast, egg, flour and cardamom powder. Blend again until everything is properly combined.

Pour this batter into a bowl and cover. Place it in a warm place for about an hour or until the batter gets frothy and increases in volume. Give it a mix and start preparing the pancakes.

Warm a small non stick frying pan and then add a small drizzle of oil or ghee. Ladle some batter onto a pan (about one serving spoon), turn the heat down and cover the pan. When the top of the pancake begins to dry up and starts forming small holes, drizzle a small touch of oil on the pancake and then gently flip it to cook the other side. It should turn a nice golden brown colour on both sides.

Remove on to a plate, then repeat the process and keep going until all the pancakes are done.

Serve with tea for a luxurious breakfast or as a sweet starter before a meal.

Enjoy! 🙂

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