Everyone who knows me well knows that I loved living in Kerala . It was not only the state but also the freedom, beauty around me , my friends and the fact that I spent my last years of high school there. The only 2 things I don’t like about the place are the guys, only the young ones, a little too oily and aggressive , and the food. I am not a big fan of keralite food, probably b’coz I don’t like coconut in everything !!! There are a few dishes that I absolutely adore…..Ulli theeyal, Kalan, Adapradhaman , Idiappam and Appam . I have made Adapradhaman ( a payasam /kheer ) a few times but since it heavy on the calories I make it only on occasions. Idiappam ( rice noodles ), I love especially the one that my dad used to get from this small poky restaurant in the heart of Ernakulam/Kochi …..it was wafer thin and it would melt on your mouth. Have’nt had some that good since I left the city. On a side note…..I do believe that V is cursed , as every time we go to India , we plan a trip to Kochi so that he can see where I grew up but it always falls through and…… we have been married for 11 years !!!! Getting back to food, my aunt L , in whose house I stayed while in college, makes an awesome Kalan ( a yam curry ) but having seen her make it and knowing its labour intensive I am not making it …I’ll just ask her to make it for me when I go to her house on my next visit to India….besides it one of the few Indian dishes that actually need resting time and tastes better the day after you make it ! The one thing I do make and on a regular basis is APPAM . For those who don’t know what it is , its a Dosa ( rice pancake ) made from a batter of rice and coconut milk. What makes it really different is that it requires the addition of yeast and also a special pan to make it in ! The middle of the appam is slightly fatter than the sides and if made right is so soft , you need not chew just swallow. It is traditionally served with vegetable /meat stew but I prefer a more spicy sidekick so I make it with vegetable korma / carrot korma or even plain old sambhar. My kids love it, calling it the white dosa ,and since it has coconut, V loves it.
- 2 cups uncooked white Rice½ cup cooked white Rice2 tsp Sugar
½ tsp Yeast
Salt to taste
- Soak the uncooked rice in water for 2-4 hours.Take ½ tsp of sugar and dissolve in a couple of tbsps of warm coconut milk. Add the yeast and allow to bloom.Grind the rice with the salt and enough coconut milk to make a batter that is a little thinner than normal dosa batter.
Take the yeast mixture and mix it with the rest of the batter. Rest for atleast 20 minutes.
Heat the appam pan . Using a tissue moistened with oil, rub all over the bottom and sides of the pan.
Ladle around ¼ cup of the batter and using the handles swirl the batter so that it coats the sides. You will end with a thick center and wafer thin sides. It will resemble a cup.
Lower the flame to medium -low and cover with a lid. When the undersides are golden brown and crisp , the appam is ready to be served.
Repeat the process for the remaining.
This dosa is cooked on one side only . If you do not have an appam pan , you can use a deep kadai for a similar result . This batter is enough to make 10 -15 appams. If I have any batter leftover I use it up within the next 2 days by making soft dosas ( original version ) with them. Don’t keep it for longer as it will spoil easily.