Festivals have been an integral part of our lives and they usher in so much of redundant goodness and positive vibrations. Every festival has its own significance and I try to capture as much as I can with what I have lived with, in my childhood. It`s more an effort to showcase to my daughter all the traditions that I had grown up with, although in many cases it can never be the same. It`s always better with a grandmother in the household, leading the way for all of us to learn. I do miss the fact that my daughter is not growing up in a joint family, with elders to guide and grow with….
Nei Appam is a staple “neivedhyam” for karthikai deepam, avani avittam, Krishna Jayanthi etc. I remember the lovely heavy bronze Appakaral that Madurai amma had with its huge curvy depressions. I have an Appa Karal thats made of non stick and very shallow depressions. I do miss the heaviness and the beauty of the bronze one I am used to.
1/2 cup of Rice soaked for 3-4 hours.
A little less than 1/2 cup of Jaggery. (I don`t prefer the dripping with sweetness taste)
1/2 a ripe banana.
1 Tsp Wheat flour.
A pinch of baking soda.
1 tsp cardamom seeds powdered.
1/4 cup of finely chopped coconut pieces.
- Clean the soaked rice and put in to a mixer jar. Pulse it to grind to a smooth paste adding little water .
- Crush the ripe banana with a fork. Grate the jaggery with a peeler or knife. Set aside.
- Now add the ripe banana and the grated jaggery and pulse it once again to mix it well. The jaggery pours out more water in to the mixture.
- It is always better to watch the water added as we dont want the batter too runny.
- Pour out the batter in to a vessel and add the chopped coconut pieces. Stir well.
- In the Appa Karal add a few spoons of ghee and allow to heat.
- Pour out the batter in to the depressions and allow to cook well on one side.
- Now flip it over with a knife or a skewer and allow the other side to cook in the ghee.
- When done, it would look a little crusty on the outside.
- Remove and allow the ghee to drain on a tissue.
- Keep closed.
- The Nei Appam should be a littl crusty on the outside but soft and spongy on the inside, with the aromas of the cardamom, ripe banana and fried coconut pieces.
- Offer to the Lord and ENJOY!
Retried the recipe today and I added 1 spoon of wheat flour and a pinch of baking soda to the ground batter.The results was an astonishingly crunchy crust with a very soft spongy inner layer!!!