Monday, 30 September 2013

Kerala Palappam/Lace Hoppers

There are some dishes that should be made at home, from scratch and some that can be made from ready mixes off the super market shelf. Palappam 's made from the ready mix is one such, that can never come close in taste to the ones that are home made from the fermented batter.

To this date, I had no courage to make these tasty, mouth watering palappams at home for the fear of wrong consistency after the failures with the ready mix. Never have I got the thin paper weight appams the way it should be. There were days when I thought if I could make vattayappam , why not the simple palappams.  A neighbour one day asked me, "Could you share the recipe of the batter needed for the palappams?" and that's when I knew it was about time to try this out and to my surprise it turned out to be one of my best attempts to date. 

 Then again, my maternal grandmother used to make with the toddy(kallu in malayalam) and its called Kalappam. Since toddy is not easily available here at Bangalore (sources say you get them somewhere in the outskirts at Shyanumangala ;)) I settled down for some yeast as the rising agent this time around. Next time I plan to get real authentic with toddy.

Palappams are prepared in a special pan called appa chatti. Pans made from iron are the best, but non stick would work well too.

What works well with palappams are Egg curry with coconut milk, Veg stew , Kadla Curry, Chichen/Mutton Stew, Egg roast and plenty other combinations with Egg, Chicken, Mutton. And yes there are some who would just want to soak them in coconut milk and have them in their natural best taste. 



Ingredients
Raw Rice                           - 350 gms (Sona Masoori is what I used)
Cooked Rice                      - 50 to 100 gms ( fistful would do too)
Coconut Milk                     - 200 ml
Shredded Coconut              - 100 to 150 gms
Sugar                                  - 75 gms( 5 to 6 headed tbsps)/ as per your taste.
Yeast                                  - 1 tsp ( Optional)
Salt                                     - As per your taste though 

My way of Making
1. Soak raw rice in water for 3-4 hours.
2. Drain the water and grind together soaked raw rice, cooked rice, shredded coconut to a fine mixture. A little bit of grainy texture is fine.
3. Next step  requires you to make a thick mixture of the fermenting agent. For this you will need to take around four to five tablespoons of the finely ground mixture and cook it to a thick consistency with one tablespoon of sugar.
4. Add the thick mixture to the ground mix (Step 2) along with the coconut milk and rest of sugar. Mix well  and leave it aside for the batter to ferment for about 8 to 10 hours.
5. This step is optional but recommended if you reside in a place like Bangalore where the weather does not help much, you could add some yeast to the batter to help raise. Dissolve 1 tsp of yeast in luke warm water and allow it to bubble. Add this to the batter and let rest.

6. When its time for breakfast, You could add some water to loosen up the bubbly fermented batter, if needed. 
7. Heat an appa chatti and  pour a ladle of batter. Immediately twirl  the batter two times around the chatti.
8. Cover and cook for around three four minutes.
9. You could wait for the sides to brown (the way I like it) or take them off the pan, when you see the sides leaving the pan.
10. Do not flip them over , when removing from the pan. They are best served hot and fresh

Notes
1. Yeast is OPTIONAL. I waited for about 6-8 hours and then added some yeast since I saw no raise in the batter on a cold cold day.
2. The appam batter must be thin else the batter would not twirl.  Mine did not require any additional water or coconut milk. The batter was of just right consistency for the first time ever.
3. The appams must be cooked on a low flame all throughout. Its best to stay closer to the stove when cooking appams for you may end up with burnt ones.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Simple Egg Curry with Coconut Milk



Theres no big deal to this simple recipe. Since I was short of time and I had to figure out something for dinner, I put together few eggs, bit of spices, and used up left over coconut milk. This goes well with Palappams as well.

Ingredients
Boiled Eggs                            - 3 Nos
Onions                                   - 1 Medium Sized thinly sliced
Ginger Garlic Paste                 - 2 tsp
Tomato                                  - 1 thinly sliced
Coriander Leaves                   - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Green Chillies                         - 2 to 3 finely chopped / as per taste
Curry Leaves                          - One sprig
Turmeric Powder                    - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala                        -2 tsp
Oil                                          - 2 tsp
Salt                                        - as per taste

My way of making
1. Saute onions, ginger garlic, tomatoes, green chillies,curry leaves and coriander in medium flame. The ingredients have to be added and saute one at a time.
2. To this add  turmeric powder and garam masala and saute till you get a wet masala consistency.
3. Bring in the boiled eggs. You could lightly make some diagonal cuts on the egg or cut them into quarters/halfs and add them to the wet masala.
4. Cover and simmer for two three minutes.
5. Once the masalas are evenly spread, check for salt and pour in the Coconut milk and simmer only for few seconds.
6. Garnish with some curry leaves or coriander leaves.

Notes
1. This is a last minute fix recipe, not the traditional way of preparing Egg curry in coconut milk.
2. You could add some boiled potatoes along with boiled eggs.
3. Do not mix the eggs and masala with a spoon or spatula, egg would break and not retain shape.