Unni Appam/Nei Appam/Sweet Appam
This Appam recipe is the Kerala style Appam, made with soaked raw Rice, Jaggery, Banana and Cardamom. It is one of the most simple recipes and is also one of the main offerings in festivals like Janmashtami, and Ganesh Chaturthi. In our house, it is also an instant snack that my mother would make in a jiffy apart from the soak time. Usually, an Appam mould/ Appa karai is required for this, but some also make it by directly pouring a ladle of batter into the oil and deep-frying. If fried without a mould the shape is flat like that of a Pancake, whereas the one made in a mould is round. It is best made with ghee, though oil too can be substituted for ghee.
Grinding the batter to the right consistency is a critical step, as too dilute a batter will affect the moulding of the appam and the batter may just scatter away in the oil. Therefore I have mentioned the right way to grind the batter in the recipe. Once the batter is ground we are just five minutes away from yummy tasting Nei Appams.
Here is the recipe of Sweet Appam/ Unni Appam for you–
Raw Rice 1 cup soaked for 1-hour minimum ( 1 cup equals 200 gm) ( refer note1)
Jaggery 1 cup powdered/shredded
Banana 1/2 to 3/4 th of 1 large
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Coconut grated or cut to small pieces 2 Tbsp
Soak the Rice for a minimum of 1 hour and up to a maximum of 1.5 hours. After soaking, drain all water and out the rice into a blender. Grind it first to a Rava/Sooji like texture without adding water, now add little water and grind to a smooth paste. Take care not to add too much water, as adding jaggery will liquify it further. So try to use only 1/4 cup water to get a smooth texture. Now add the Jaggery and grind again. Add coconut grating and blitz. Mash the bananas with your fingers and add them to the batter and bring again to a smooth batter. Transfer to a vessel and add the cardamom powder. The Appam batter is now ready.
Now put the Appam mould/Appam Chetty or Appa Karal on flame and heat it well. Spoon in the ghee into the moulds liberally. Let the ghee heat up, now spoon the batter into the moulds and fry on one side until golden brown, using a kambi/skewer or a fork, to loosen the edges of the Appam and flip it to the other side and fry until golden brown. To check for doneness, pierce the appam with the skewer/toothpick or fork in the center, if it comes out clean, remove appams from the mould. The delicious Unni appam/ Sweet Paniyarams/ Nei Appams are ready. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Soak rice for 1 hour. It can be soaked up to a maximum of 1.5 hours.
2. After an hour drain all the water and put the rice ina blender and grind it without any water at first to a Rava/Sooji like texture.
3. Now add water little by little and grind it to a smooth paste. Water should be used minimally. I used around 1/4 cup water to grind. Check cup measurement given above.
4. Now add the jaggery again and grind to a smooth paste, add the coconut gratings and blitz again.
5. Now mash 3/4 of a Banana with your fingers and add it to the paste, grind once again to a smooth batter. The consistency should be that of dosa batter. Transfer it to a vessel and add the cardamom powder. The appam batter is ready. Have added a mini video to show the consistency of the batter.
6. Put an Appam Chetty on the flame. Spoon in the ghee and heat it. Now spoon in the batter into the moulds and fry on now side until a golden brown. Using a skewer or fork loosen the edges of the appam and gently flip it to the other side and fry again to a golden colour. Repeat for all batter. The Sweet Appams are now ready.
1. Any raw rice variety can be used other than Basmathi as the Basmathi rice does not have a lot of starch content that is required for binding. The appams turn out rubbery with it.
2. While grinding if you end up with a runny batter accidentally, then add rice flour a tablespoon at a time until you achieve the right consistency.
3. If the batter splits or breaks apart in the ghee either your batter is runny or too much jaggery has been added. So modify accordingly and fry.
4. It is ideal to fry these appams in ghee/clarified butter as it tastes best. But oil also can be used.
5. Banana varieties that are sweet can be used. Avoid the slight sour ones like Poovan.
6. Always start with frying a single Appam first so that if something needs to be adjusted it can be done and then the rest can be fried.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.