Sannas (Konkani: सान्नां) are spongy steamed savoury rice cakes. They are popular in Goa and Mangalore in Karnataka, India, especially among the Goans, both Hindus and Catholics, the Konkani diaspora of Karnataka and of a small community settled in Kerala, and the East Indians and the Kupari Catholic community based in and around Mumbai.
Sannas were often called Hitt or Hittli in old Konkani by Hindus, and are now commonly known as Idli. They are made on various religious occasions such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Saunsar padvo/Yugadi and Makar Sankranti, whereas Catholics prepare them during church feasts. Sometimes a sweet version is made with jaggery, known as godachi sanna (Konkani: गोडाची सान्नां, goddachim sannam). Hindus normally use urad dal, coconut water and coconut milk for fermentation. Catholic sannas consist of two types: toddy-fermented sannas and those made using the sap of the coconut palm.
Mangalorean Catholic Cuisine is incomplete without sannas. They are a much-loved bread served with pork bafat, a spicy pork dish prepared with a medley of powdered spices. Sannas are also served alongside chicken or mutton curries, or can be eaten for breakfast with coconut chutney or sambhar, or with sweet coconut milk sweetened with jaggery and flavoured with cardamom.
In modern times toddy-fermented sannas are rarely made. Instead, the batter can be leavened with yeast.
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