Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Around the World with Pancakes: Kenyan Vibibi | Coconut Rice Pancakes

We're trying out pancakes from around the world, looking beyond fluffy pancakes and beyond breakfast food

This past weekend we made Kenyan Vibibi -coconut and rice pancakes - and the girls devoured them. 

These pancakes are known as kibibi for one, and vibibi for many. They're commonly eaten as breakfast or snacks by the Swahili along the Kenyan coast. These aren't made from rice flour, but from ground rice and coconut milk which gives them a distinct flavor and texture. The batter is easy to prepare - everything is thrown in the blender - which works great with kids. There's a lot of waiting time however, the rice needs to soak overnight, and the batter needs to rest for 1 1/2 hours. I had forgotten about the batter needing to rest, and took advantage of how exhausted the girls were after the weekend, reading in bed until mid morning thinking we could whip up the pancakes - in the end, we enjoyed them for lunch :)

Kenyan Vibibi

Recipe adapted from Stella's Meza
Makes 8-10 pancakes

  • 1 cup white basmati rice (cover in water, let soak overnight, then drain completely)
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk*
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp rapid rise yeast (make sure it's rapid rise)
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
  • oil to cook the pancakes - I used coconut oil, but vegetable oil works too
*When I opened the can of milk, the top half was solidified at the top, with liquid at the bottom. I microwaved it all, whisked it together, then measured out 1 cup. 

1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Let the batter sit in a warm area for 1 1/2 hours - the batter should be thicker, bubbly and have risen a bit. We put our batter in the oven with the "proofing" setting. 

On the left is the batter straight out of the blender,  and on the right is the batter after resting in a warm spot for 1.5 hours
2. Heat a bit of oil on a pan heated to medium high. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan - once the pancake is covered in holes, cook for an extra minute. Flip and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. (You might need to slide your spatula under and around the edge of the entire pancake to be able to flip it properly)

Kind of looks like a sea sponge, doesn't it?
3. Serve with a sprinkling of coconut and a bit of sugar. Enjoy!

Find more multicultural recipes with Around the World in 12 Dishes, a group of bloggers that explore a set of countries, one per month, through food and activities. 
You can find their roundup of Kenyan dishes and activities here. 

Find more pancake recipes on our page:


  1. Oh, they look delicious...and my gluten and casein free kids can eat them, too. Thank you for posting.

    1. I was honestly surprised at how much of a hit they were :) The recipe does call for one tbsp of flour, but I've read that can be replaced with cornstarch.

  2. I just LOVE your pancake posts. One day I am going to have a huge pancake party and serve lots of different ones which will all come from your blog!!

    1. Yum! A pancake party! Now that's an interesting idea for a buffet!

  3. Pancakes are my all time favorite. I savour these on weekends. Thanks to this wonderful post

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you get a chance to check out the rest of our pancakes over the year :)


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