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Appam/Unniappam

Sweet paniyaram aka Neyyappam, a common prasadam in Kerala temples. A variation, mashed banana  is added to the batter and this appam is called a Unni appam, our favorite. I use a well ripened banana which gives more flavor.

The batter made of mixing rice flour, wheat flour, jaggery, banana and etc are poured into a vessel called Appakarai   which has clarified butter heated. The appams take the shape of small cups, and fried until deep brown.

This sweet is must on Gokulashtami (the birthday of Lord Krishna) and karthigai deepam.

Things you will need are:

2/3 cup of Wheat flour

1/3 cup of Rice flour

1/2 cup Jaggery (sweetness depends on quality of Jaggery, add more if appam is not sweet enough)

Water

1 Banana

1/4 tsp Cardamom powder

A pinch of Salt

1/4 cup of Coconut (grated) Optional

1/8 tsp of Baking soda

I generally do not like to complicate the measurements part of the recipe. All i remember for this recipe is more wheat flour will make the appams soft and more rice flour will make them crisp.

Sweetness of Jaggery differs from place to place. The ones got in India are really sweet but in US, they are not that sweet.

Following are the steps to make perfect appams:

1. Grate Jaggery and pour hot water to on it for it to dissolve quickly.

2. In a medium bowl, Mash the banana and add both the flours. With the moisture from the banana, using your hands, mix the flours well.

3. Pour the jaggery dissolved water to the mixture. Add more water to bring it to dosa batter consistency. If the batter becomes too thin, add more rice flour. Make sure there is no lumps of flour.

4. Add cardamom powder, salt, baking soda and coconut and Mix well.

5. On Medium high heat, add oil in every cup of the appakarai. Once oil is hot enough, pour the batter (till 3/4) in each cups and let them cook.

6. Using a skewer, turn it around when it has a shade of deep brown/maroon and the center starts to solidify.

7. Once turned, add 1/4 tsp of ghee on every appam. I prefer this way than actually frying them thing with ghee/clarified butter.

8. As the other too gets a bit of color, take them out.

Serve hot.

The appakarai is available in all Indian Stores as well in walmart and target but are known as puff pancakes pans. Pls leave your comments below if you would like to know anything more.

Happy cooking

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