Sannas, also spelt as sanna is a soft, fermented, steamed rice cake originating from Goa. It is consumed amongst all the communities in the Konkan belt including Karnataka and Maharashtra. It is also popularly called as hitti or hitt. It can be either savoury or sweet. The sweet variant is called as gudachi sanna. It is of a soft, spongy texture and is white or light brown in colour.
Types of Sannas
· Urad dal, coconut milk or coconut water is used for fermentation by the Hindus.
· Goan toddy or sap of coconut palms is also used for fermentation
Ingredients and Preparation
Rice is the main ingredient for making sannas. Grated coconut is used to make the batter as well. Traditionally, toddy is used to initiate fermentation of the batter but yeast can be used as well. Sugar, salt are also very important ingredients as sugar is very essential for initiating fermentation and salt is important for controlling fermentation.
Rice is soaked overnight and ground along with coconut. Toddy is mixed with sugar and added to the mixture of rice and coconut. A smooth batter is made and left for fermentation in a naturally warm place for about 3 – 4 hours till the batter rises and becomes fluffy. This batter is spooned in small katoris (bowls) and placed in a steamer for about 10 – 12 minutes till it becomes double in size.
· Sannas is most commonly served with sarapatel, a spiced pork curry.
· It can also be served with coconut chutney.
· It is served on religious gatherings and occasions like ganesh chaturthi and church feasts.
· It is also served on festivals like makar sakranti, gudi padva, ugadi.
· Idli made in Southern part of India is very similar to Sannas. It is a spongy, savoury rice cake.
Health and Nutrition Facts
Serving size – 2 sannas (150 g)
Calories – 350 cal, Fat – 0.5, Sodium – 350 mg, Total carbohydrates – 120 g, Protein – 7 g, Dietary fiber – 1.5 g, Sugars – 30 g
· Sannas makes a healthy snack or breakfast as it is low in calories and has nearly no fat. Fat is only used as a part of greasing.
· The calories of the dish can be further reduced by using urad dal. No sugar is needed along with toddy as fermentation is caused by the micro organisms naturally present in the dal and rice.
· Sannas is a good source of protein and its protein value is enhanced when using dal.
· Eating sannas regularly can lead to constipation as enough dietary fiber is obtained from it.
· It is good for people suffering from obesity and cardiovascular diseases. People suffering from diabetes should not consume it. They should consume the urad dal variant as it is low in sugars.
· It can be easily digested as it contains simple carbohydrates.
· Readymade sannas are available at general stores all over Mumbai.