Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Appam and Kadala Curry-The Beauty and the Beast!

Aappam for Tamilians, appa or hopper for the Srilankans, Palappam or in short Appam is regarded as the ‘Queen of Kerala Breakfast Dishes’, a traditional fermented flat ‘Rice n Coconut bread’.

These Soft centered lacy pancakes are said to be adapted from the Jews who migrated to Kerala and thus became a popular dish among the Syrian Christians of Kerala

Times have changed and Appam has become an identity of all Keralites.

This the basic recipe for Kerala Palappam, my mom made while we holidayed last summer in Kottayam J (I’ll post the Tamil version which I make often, later)

Raw Rice/Pachari- I use Ponni Pachari- 2 cups

Cooked Rice- 1 cup

Grated Coconut-4 cups

Active dry yeast-1/2 tsp

Sugar- 3tsps or to taste

Salt-to taste

Thin coconut milk- as needed; to dilute the batter if needed just before making them.

Soak Raw rice for 4-5 hours.Drain.Grind it to a smooth batter with grated coconut and cooked rice.

Dissolve yeast in a cup coconut water or just luke warm water.Keep it aside for half an hour till frothy.Add this to the above ground batter.Add sugar and salt as well.

Let the batter ferment for 8 hours (in India)or according to the atmospheric temperature of your zone.

The batter should be of dropping consistency.If not dilute it with thin coconut milk.

Heat a non stick appam wok.Pour a ladle full of batter and quickly but gently swirl the pan around such that a thinner layer of batter covers the sides and a thicker flatter layer settles in the middle.Cover with the lid and cook in mild heat for 3 minutes until the edges are golden and lacy and the centre, soft and cooked. (Do not turn over the appam)

The edges lift while done and the middle part shouldn’t stick to your water dipped fingers if touched gently.Remove from the pan with care and transfer to a flat tray before serving.

Kadala Curry

Kadala/ Channa-(The traditional recipe calls for Black Channa)-1 ½ cups

Oil- 2 tsps

Coriander seeds- ½ cup

Grated coconut – ½ cup

Garlic- 3-4 cloves

Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp

Red chillies- 7-8 more or less, as you prefer

Curry leaves- a large healthy sprig J

Shallots- 4-5 nos

Garam Masala - 1 tsp OR whole spices like cardamom, clove and cinnamon to be used while seasoning(see down) the curry instead of mustard seeds( we generally prefer the curry seasoned with mustard seeds)

To season

Coconut Oil- a tbsp

Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp OR 1 clove+ 2 cardamom+ a 1” pc of cinnamon

Minced shallots- 2 tsp

Curry leaves- 2 sprigs

Small pieces of Coconut- Optional

Soak channa over night and pressure cook till soft with salt.Drain and reserve the water in which cooked.

In the meanwhile heat a thick bottomed kadai with 2 tsps of oil and roast coriander seeds for 5-7 mins in medium flame followed by the red chillies, garlic, coconut,turmeric powder and the curry leaves until the roasted aroma spreads around.Throw in the shallots and fry for a minute or two.Cool and grind to smooth paste adding enough water.

Pour the paste over the cooked channa in the pressure cooker, bring to a boil and simmer until raw smell of the spices disappear, adding enough salt.

Season the curry.heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves and coconut pieces. Pour this to the curry.

Serve with the Hot n Soft Appams! J

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