Rice Flour Pancakes

I once heard that the best way to discover a new way of making something is to have a kitchen disaster. I never fully believed this until the day i tried making vitumbua.

I got the Vitumbua recipe from Fauzia’s Kitchen Fun and I was so psyked to go try it. I followed the instructions to the letter (or so i thought) and i could not wait to eat the Vitumbuas. I should have known something was very wrong when my batter did not really rise but i ignored that sign, when i put the batter in the pan it did not rise like it should to form a mandazi like snack but it instead made a well risen pancake, and boy did they taste GREAT. I made too many any I ate some gave out some BUT after a few hours they had a funny taste i think from the yeast fermenting.

When I reread the recipe I figure out my mistake, I was using dry yeast I think instead of the instant (or something like that) and I needed to activate my yeast first by putting it in warm water and sugar which I did not so that was why my vitumbuas turned into pancakes and why the yeast tasted bitter later.

Good thing was, I now wanted to try and make pancakes using the same recipe. That idea stayed on my mind then one day as i was shopping for my Foodie Penpal I saw that they had rice flour at Nakumatt so I bought it and made this using a slightly different recipe as the original one from Fauzia used rice that you soaked and blended. The pancakes were to die for. I am sure you will love it.

Do you have any Kitchen distastes that became w discoveries for you???





Rice Flour and Coconut Pancakes (Vibibi)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12-15

Rice Flour and Coconut Pancakes (Vibibi)


  1. 1 cup rice flour (available in all leading supermarkets)
  2. 1/4 cup of sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  4. 1 teaspoon cardamon
  5. 1 cup coconut milk, plus a little extra if needed.


Mix the first four ingredients well in a mixing bowl, once well blended add in the coconut milk and whisk to your desired consistency. Not to thin as you want the pancakes to rice well.

Heat some oil in a pan, pour batter into hot pan and spread out to desired pancake size, let the pancake cook till the top starts forming bubbles. turn the pancake and cook for about a minute and remove.Serve hot.


If you do not have rice flour you can use about a cup of raw rice. Soak the rice overnightthen blend all ingredients in a blender


Rice Flour and Coconut Pancakes


Written by David Mwakodi
  • Aww just stumbled on your blog and you are making me very hungry!!!!!!!!!!!! I love rice flour pancakes in swahili they are actually called Vibibi plural and Kibibi singular the reason they did not rise is because your recipe did not contain yeast which is an important aspect of making vitumbuas. Vitumbua would refer to the round shaped ones cooked in a kitumbua pan. Great job keep the recispes coming and I will make sure to read when i have eaten this torture is too much! If you want you can get the kitumbua karai from the TZ may be available in Mombasa as well not to sure where exactly but my best bet would be to go to Indian shops in Kenya and ask then where you can get an appam pan. A tip i discovered is to add a tablespoon of unga ya ugali and an egg when making vitumbuas to the mix so that it is not mushy inside. But Vibibis are fine bila the ugali flour since they are flat.

    • Wangeci Wandere

      Hi Lydz,

      Thanx so much for telling me the name, I actually did not know that. When I was making the vitumbuas I did add yeast but I did not activate the yeast so they did not rise. I looked for the vitumbua pan in Malindi and I did not get was told I can get in Msa, I sent for it but it did not arrive on time, but Ill still buy one and hopefully post the recipe. Do you own one> if so where did you buy it? Thanx for the tip for the vitumbuas.

      • Not at the moment i am afraid but check the indian shops they will know since they have ar ecipe similar to vitumbuas that they make using the same pan can’t remember what its called. You can check amazon as well

        • Wangeci Wandere

          Ill check the indian shops, but someone told me I can get in Msa and they were to send for me I just need to follow up. Thanx tho