Mini Vitumbua – Step by Step

Servings : Makes 50

Vitumbua are a coastal east-african dish made of rice or rice flour and coconut. They are delightfully delicious! I made the miniature version using an appam pan.


  • 1 3/4 cups thick/heavy tui/coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups rice (the thick variety if possible, don't use the thin long grain if you can avoid it, we need these to be able to mash up nicely)
  • 1 cup sugar (level)
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • oil for frying


Soak the rice overnight, and then drain completely. Make sure no water remains in the rice, and you can do this by leaving it in a sieve to drain for as long as you can.

STEP 1:   Put the rice, coconut milk, yeast and cardamom powder into your blender and blend until completely smooth. This may take a while but stick to it. Keep blending for a full minute at a time, giving the blender a rest of a few seconds between pulses. Once you’re satisfied that the rice has been mashed completely and your batter is smooth, pour it out into a bowl, cover and set aside to rise for 30-60mins.

STEP 2:  This is how thick the batter will look after 30-60 mins. Add the sugar and mix it in using your hand. Make sure you mix it completely such that no sugar granules remain.

STEP 3:  Once the sugar is mixed in, the batter will become lighter and slightly more runny in consistency as shown in the pic.

STEP 4:  If you have an appam pan like the one in the pic, use it for smaller sized vitumbua. Otherwise use the smallest karai that you’ve got. Add oil into it, half a tsp. per slot if you’re using an appam, otherwise more if using a bigger pan. Heat it up on medium.

STEP 5:  Carefully, pour your batter into the pan. Do not over-fill.

STEP 6:  As the vitumbua cook, you will notice tiny bubbles forming all over the batter in the pan. This is a good sign, it means your vitumbua will have the perfect sieve-like texture. Keep the heat on low so that the vitumbua cook through without burning

STEP 7:  When you notice the vitumbua firming up and their bottoms look colored, gently turn each one over and cook the other side. You can use a skewer or flat wooden stick for this.

STEP 8:  Cook the other side to a good golden color. Remove and continue this method for the rest of your batter.

Of course if you are using a bigger pan they will be bigger, and that’s OK too!

Serve warm! 🙂


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