Malabar Mini Vella Pola

Malabar Mini Vella pola

I am finally posting this here, it is the 26th of Ramadan. Vella pola is a dish that immediately brings in childhood memories of Ramadan. Vella pola is an epitome of Malabar food especially during Ramadan. 

This brings in a lot of comfort and warmth when you have it, feels like your ancestors are sitting and smiling at you and giving you a hug while you relish them. These are super soft and spongy fermented rice cakes or buns. Traditionally this requires 2-3 days of preparation of the dish in which the batter is poured to ferment. It is a long process. So I always stopped myself from trying to make these. 

My grandmother and great grandmothers used to prepare the vessel to help the fermentation process by soaking Pappadam (Pappad) in coconut water for 2-3 days (not exactly able to recall the process) . This is the traditional method and if at all someone I know who makes really tasty traditional food is my mom's uncle's wife. I just love her food that whenever I visit my native she always prepares these traditional dishes for me and either brings them home or sends them over. I can't stress enough, the amount of love she puts in her food. I know you might now think is love even an ingredient. My answer - yes! You NEED to put in a lot of love when you prepare something for someone and it surely shows when you taste it. When I have any doubts regarding traditional food, she is my go-to person. The last time I went to visit her she gave me these fluffy polas that I couldn't get enough of! I had to ask her the recipe and as my memory is always super weak I asked her daughter, Rishooty, my mom's cousin, to send me the recipe through Whatsapp. After hearing the process I have been ever so lazy to make these. Of course we have no patience like the women of the previous generations have had πŸ™ˆπŸ˜…

Recently my mom told me to try it with yeast and voila I couldn't believe it, it was exactly the same but so effortless. I couldn't believe the results. It was the same or even better 😍

The person who came up with this idea is a genius! Now we all can make this at home.. Alhamdulilah. This for suhoor is so soothing. I love to have it for suhoor. Vella pola are normally prepared and steamed in steel plates or any mould that you have. My mom made these in Idli moulds a few days back and everyone wanted to know the recipe, and it looked super cute. I love anything in small portion sizes, unlike the normal Vella polas are cut into squares or triangle.

These vella polas are poured with cardamom flavored coconut milk, small kerala bananas and sugar. Smash the whole thing with your hands and have it with your hands. Specifically, no spoonπŸ™ˆ I can't tell you how divine it is, until you try it! 😍

My miss fussy eater also loved it, she kept asking for more! Vella pola is like a malabar essential for Ramadan so let's not waste any time and make this right away!


  • 1 glass Pachari/ white rice
  • 1/2 glass boiled rice 
  • 1 glass water
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 Pappadam (Pappad) /2 tsp Uzhun  (soaked along with rice) 
  • Salt

For the banana curry

  • 2 small bananas, chopped
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed coconut milk
  • 5 - 6 tbsp sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder


  1. Wash and soak rice for at least 5 hours or overnight. 
  2. Grind the soaked rice, boiled rice, pappadam/Uzhunn, yeast, and sugar and add water. 

  3. Transfer to a large bowl (the batter will rise), cover the batter with a lid and allow to ferment for at least 3-4 hours.
  4. Add salt before steaming. 
  5. Apply oil in Idli moulds or any steel plate, pour the batter to the moulds and steam.
  6. In Idli moulds you need no more than 12- 15 minutes.
  7. Allow to rest and cool for 5 minutes and combine the ingredients of the banana curry.
  8. Pour over the Vella pola, smash and have them with your hands. It's amazingly soft. πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

  • Notes : If you do not have white rice (Pachari) you may use Jeerakashala rice instead. 
  • I made 12 small polas with this measurement. 
  • If you do not have pappadam (pappad) you may use Urad dal ( I believe this is because pappad is made from Urad dal and this acts as a substitute for Pappadam) 

Do try this recipe and don't forget to share your experience/feedback with me here in the comments or feel free to send me a mail. Also, do tag me at #taystedit if you try out my recipes on Facebook, Instagram etc so that I can see when you make it. ♡♡♡

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