Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings. · Sweets

Quick & Easy Nei Appam – No Grinding, No Fuss.

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“Cooking is like Love; It should be entered in to with abandon, or not at all” 

Cooking has always been a wonderful way for me to express my ramblings, except otherwise when I do it on paper! Many days when I feel upset or a little down, cooking has always been therapy. It`s also the thought that there are people I love, who enjoy eating what I cook! Festivals always always make me extremely chirpy and happy as I love succumbing in to the rituals of a tradition hundreds of years old, including  my kids in to explaining the reasons behind such time tested traditions, dressing up in traditional attires and jewellery, and of course the food…The Food!!! Every religious celebration has very different offerings, with its own significances.  Chakkara Pongal and Venn Pongal for Pongal, Nombu Adai for Karadaiyar Nombu, Kozhukattais for Lord Ganesha, Cheedai and Murukku for Lord Krishna on the celebration of his birthday, different Sundal Varieties for Navarathri and so on and so forth. Nei Appam is one such traditional preparation that we make for Karthigai Deepam, Deepavali, Avani Avittam, Aadi Perukku etc. This is a quick fix version when you dont have the time to soak raw rice and grind. I still prefer the traditional method, but this was something that my MIL taught me to do whenever I have not planned it in advance.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup Rice Flour.

1 Cup Wheat Flour.

11/4 Cup Grated Jaggery/ 11/2 Brown Sugar.

1/4 Cup Finely chopped coconut slivers. (Optional)

1 1/2 Tsp Powdered Cardamom.

2-3 Pinches Baking Soda. ( 1 Ripe Banana Mashed)

1 1/4 – 11/2 Cups Milk.

PREPARATION:

  • Quickly measure out the dry ingredients  – Rice Flour, Wheat Flour, Jaggery/ Brown Sugar, Cardamom, Baking Soda and pop them all in to a open mouthed bowl.
  • Whisk it and mix all the ingredients with a spoon.
  • If you want to use a mashed banana instead of the baking soda, add the mashed pulp to the bowl.
  • Now warm up the milk and slowly pour in to the bowl.
  • Using a whisk, mox it all in little by little. Start by pouring 1 cup and add more as you need little by little.
  • The consistency of the batter should resemble a thick idli batter. Not too runny.
  • Allow it to sit on your counter for about ten to twenty minutes.
  • Take the tradional Appam Pan with the hemispherical indeentations or use the Ebelskiver pan available in the specialty kitchen stores like Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table and even Amazon.
  • Fill up the depressions with oil/ ghee and set on the stove on medium heat.
  • Once then oil/ghee is hot enough, pour out the batter with a ladle slowly to fill about 75% of the depression.
  • This should take about 2-3 minutes to cook on one side. Using a knife, or a skewer, tip it over to get the other side cooked.
  • When the oil stops bubbling, carefully drain the appams on to a clean dry container lined with a napkin to drain out the excess oil.
  • Continue until all the batter is complete.
  • Easy Nei Appam is ready with just about ten mins of prep work!

 

 

 

 

Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings.

Nei Appam ( Spongy soft balls made from rice and jaggery fried in ghee)

Nei Appam
Nei Appam

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.

INGREDIENTS:

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.

PREPARATION:

 

"Appa Karal"

 

  • 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!

HINT:

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!!!

Appam Stick or Flipper!!!
Appam Stick or Skewer.