Friday, October 24, 2008

I Swear I Make Better Appams

and I shoot better pictures too.

Appams for dinner with Tomato bhaaji and Coconut Chutney and the invisible Olan

I am supposed to be celebrating Kerala here on my blogs but am so sorry have been knee deep in work so could not post much. I have decided to make up over the long weekend.

Appams to me bring back memories of looking out of our bedroom window in Fort, Mumbai. It opened out to the back sides of other buildings but luckily for us we were saved from getting free shows of bedroom scenes in other people's homes because there was this building which was pulled down by the demolition authority right till the ground floor. The top served like a terrace kitchen for the Keralite eatery it housed. Every morn this burly filthy Malbari would hook up his lungi and sit in front of atleast 10 coal fired sigrees with the most ugly looking appa chattis (woks). He would grease the appa chattis with an onion dipped in oil. Pour a cup of batter into it and swirl the chatti over his head or almost! Put it back on the fire and cover to cook. Serially he would complete this task. Then he would go back to the first one and start removing the cooked appams into a gindi/metal tub. Another guy would pick those appams ready for serving and run down to the eatery to put it on some homesick Keralite's plate. They would enjoy it with may be Kadala curry or Fish curry or Mutton curry oblivious of who made them and where!

I must admit I enjoyed the scenes and the whiffs of fermented batter cooking in the appa chattis but never dared to explore to the back lane to taste it. It was at my school friend Clotilda's ( she was a Mangalorean though) that I tasted Appams for the first time I guess with jaggery sweetened coconut milk.

I know my appams too well. They should be really lacy on the sides and a soft spongy lump in the center. As my eldest Uncle R would say, "Appam is the product of a love marriage between a dosa and a idli." LOL !!

Yesterday I made Appams for dinner with Tomato bhaaji, Coconut Chutney and Olan. They didn't turn out as lacy as they normally do and I hate to take pictures at night using flash and that reflects here. I swear I make better Appams and take better pictures too. You know it don't you? Ok atleast you know the better pictures part! I promise I'll post better picture with the laciest Appams.

Till then here is the recipe I follow.


1 cup raw rice
1 cup bolied rice
1/4 coconut grated
pinch of yeast
salt as per taste

Wash and soak both the types of rice together in water for atleast 4 hrs. Grind to fine paste in a wet grinder along with the grated coconut. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup water and add to the batter. The batter should be pourable consistency. Through out the night let it ferment.

In the morning add the salt into the batter and mix well.

Heat a non stick appam kadhai or wok. Add 1/2 cup of batter in it then with a deft hand swing the wok around to spread the batter along the curves. Keep it back on the heat. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 mins. The center should become shiny only then it is cooked and ready to be removed from the kadhai before you start again with the second appam.

Serve with any coconut milk based curry delicately flavoured or the full bodied Kadala curry depending on what time of the day you are enjoying the Appams.

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