Monday, May 16, 2011

Appam / Palappam (Rice flour pancake)..!

 

 

 

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It is not one of those pretty sunny days in Seattle and an imminent rain cloud is hovering up there ,all dark and whimpering..I have not gained back my lost mojo for blogging,but well,lemme give it a whirl..:)..What do you like to do on a day like this?Grab a tall hot mug of your favorite coffee with a floating halo of the exuberant steam and a warm throw to snuggle on the couch watching the silvery strings,may be with soft music or gazals in the background ..or munching on some hot crispy vada’s(fritters)  with sips of cardamom flavored strong tea..or pull on a coat and take a stroll through those drenched pavements embracing the chill and smell of wet earth..I love all of them ,but for sure some sort of food will be an unavoidable part of my rainy day regime..Especially breakfasts on such days has got to be the pucca traditional hometown specialty for both of us..spicy kadala curry with piping hot Puttu ,or ghee laden crispy hot dosa’s with chutney and Sambar and such ,all with a cuppa Bru coffee .Appam and Mutta (egg) Roast is also one among the lot and one of Malayali’s favorite food.You can easily grab a plate of this in any nook and corner of Kerala,starting from small street side shops to huge star rated restaurants.

 

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For people who are not familiar with it,Appam is a wonderful breakfast item in Kerala.Its a pretty pristine white one which can fall into pancake genre,with a soft mound in the middle(owing to the shape of appam pan which looks similar to a small wok,but with round bottom) and crispy lacey edges.Its made with rice flour and coconut milk and such good stuff and is mildly sweet and yeasty in taste..goes best with Egg and non-veg dishes and even veg stews.

I have had several failed attempts in making a perfect appam..I tried several types of flours including those so-called appa podi’s which claims no additional stuffs to be mixed with,many complex recipes involving multiple steps etc and still sucked at it and flipped out the hard cakey flat appams..Using a electric coil stove for the round-bottomed Appachatti (Appam pan) added to the failure reason..Finally I tried this easiest recipe of Amma ,which I thought would never work here and voila..!I am not exaggerating when I say these appams are soft as a flower petal and pillowy like a plush dream..and it doesn't involve any complex procedures of making the ‘kurkku’ base or anything.Just mix everything and set to rise and use  a good non-stick appachatti..Thats it..!!

 

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Ingredients

3 cups Plain Rice flour

1 Cup thick coconut milk(I used canned coconut milk) or 1-1.5 C fresh grated coconut

1/2 C cooked rice

1 tsp Fleichmann’s quick rise fast active yeast (This one is really kick ass and makes the whole rising super quick..If you are using regular yeast it may take more time to rise)

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

A pinch of baking soda

Water as needed

 

Method

Take everything except baking soda,together in a large mixie bowl and blitz till smooth.Add water as needed to make a  batter of medium thick consistency.

In cold countries ,keep the batter in a large bowl(enough volume to hold double the amount of batter) and keep on top rack of oven with lights on.

Keep an eye on batter after 2 hours.My batter usually spills out exactly after 3 hours..:D Again,it depends on the yeast you use.

After the batter has doubled and risen so beautifully with that bubbly spongy top and yeasty smell,give it a stir and you can right away make appams or ,close and keep it inside fridge for later use.It stays good in fridge upto 4 days.IMG_1732

 

 

 

To Prepare:

Just before you prepare ,add the baking soda and give a stir.Baking soda makes the appam all the more soft and amazing.

Heat your appachatti ,till very hot ..Pour a ladle full of batter to the center of the appachatti.Quickly take the pan with the 2 handles on side and rotate it to spread the batter to the sides.Put it back on heat and close it with the lid.After a minute (depending on the heat) open the lid and you can see the appam set with a spongy middle and crispy edges with holes all over.Take it out carefully with a wooden spatula,no need to flip.Give it a minute for the hot batter to set before digging in.

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As I have the electric coil here ,its difficult for the heat to evenly distribute to all sides of the round-bottomed pan and hence those dreamy crispy edges that amma whips up in her kitchen back home is still unachievable for me.But I come close to it..:)

Do try this and let me know..Here is some egg roast or Green Peas stew for you to pair it up with..!

xo

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Kirti Pai said...

Thank you Varsha Vipin for posting this! I loved not just the way you explained the recipe but how you enjoyed the day and came about it. Beautiful! I too have to deal with the darned electric stove in Melbourne and very much miss the sweet centers and crispy edges of Appams. But still at it! Thanks, again! Cheers!

 
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