Pal Appam — Lace Hoppers

 

 

Hello my wonderful readers,

Do you follow my Instagram feed? Many a times Appam is our preferred breakfast and it is super easy to make once you have the batter. Much like the dosa batter but I use yeast in this recipe. There are recipes that do not include yeast but I love that lovely fermented smell that comes from the yeast and frankly its more like  a – ‘Soak, Dump , Grind and Rest’ method. The reason it is called a Lace Hopper is because of those wonderful intricate lace like weave that it has on the outsides. The inner centre of the circle is thicker and the outer ring is crispier. These are perfect with a coconut milk based egg curry. The recipe for which I will share later. You could also pair with left over curry from the previous day.

My son started school this week and man now I know how it feels to be a mum of child going to school!! no am not talking about the work that goes into getting him ready for school but the fact that this little human being is already ready to start his formal education! The school is like no other school we have ever seen. It believes in being as natural and close to the environment as possible. Infact as you enter into the school you wonder where the building and concrete structures of the school is. Lots of lush green, children learning under trees, no foot wear, greeting each other with a namaste. In all, this is the perfect place for my little one. While the little one is inside his little environment, I sit outside and just breathe! all the fresh air and the sounds of chirping birds, the occasional squirrel running around. It feels like a Gurukula straight out of the Mahabharata! In all this new change is one my little bunny is trying hard to cope up with but is also something he looks forward too. Wish me luck people! I hope he likes it for all the years to come..

So back to the recipe! This recipe makes easily 20 appams and you have 3 breakfasts from the week sorted.

Now before I get into the recipe, I wanted to tell you this. Traditionally appam is make with ” Kallu” / palm wine / Toddy . It helps in the fermentation and it gives the appam its unique smell. But Kallu is hard to find and yeast gives you just about the same smell so why not? My grandmother lives on a property that houses almost 5 dozen coconut trees and so back in Kerala toddy is easier to come across and the appam is so so good! Also the heat and the humidity of the place also helps in making the perfect batter. This is my straingforward recipe and it works all the time. All you need to make sure is it to keep the batter in a warm place of your kitchen over night. Not in the fridge! Not near a window with cold air blowing in etc. A nice warm corner for the yeast fairy to work her magic!


Ingredients :-

  1. Ponni Rice – 2 cups
  2. Boiled cooked rice – 1 cup
  3. Desiccated Coconut – 1 cup
  4. Yeast – 1 tsp
  5. Sugar – 1 tsp + 3 tbsp
  6. Warm Water – 3 cups ( more if required)
  7. Coconut oil for greasing the pan

Instructions :-

  1. In a large vessel, wash the Ponni rice. Then soak the rice in water for 5 -6 hours ( 12 hours is best) I usually soak in the morning and do the rest after dinner
  2. After the rice has soaked in the water for sufficient time, in the bowl of your grinder or blender, add the soaked rice, cooked rice and desiccated coconut
  3. In a small bowl add 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tsp of sugar. Then add the yeast and let it stand still till the yeast becomes frothy ( activated yeast)
  4. Then add 2 cups of water to the blender jar with the rice and coconut and blend to form a nice smooth paste. There shouldn’t be any coarse rice pieces or coconut pieces
  5. finally just before you remove the blender jar from the machine, add the yeast water and the rest of the water and run the blender for 1 min.
  6. Now use a large vessel / container for the fermentation.
  7. Pour the batter into the container and add 2 tbsp of sugar. Mix well and combine.
  8. Now cover the container loosely and set it on a plate. Place the container in a warm place over night. By the next morning you will see the batter rise up and be bubbly
  9. This is because of the yeast in the batter . Your batter is ready
  10. Now heat up your appam chatti.  ( Appa chatti is a vessel that is used to make these hoppers, the market is flooded with teflon non stick pans, but I DO NOT USE any teflon / non stick pans in my kitchen, so if you are interested in buying a pan I suggest you look for a iron pan, the one I own is from —   the Village Fair 
  11. Heat your Appa chatti on a medium flame. Once it is hot grease the pan lightly with coconut oil. I dip a cotton cloth in oil and then spread it around the chatti
  12. Now using a ladle pour the fermented Batter into the chatti. Slowly swirl the chatti round to spread the batter to all the sides of the chatti and then place it back in the flame. You will notice that the batter settle back to the centre. That is fine, that is what gives it that fully centre and crisp side. Now if you do not like it to thick, just reduce the amount of batter and rotate the chatti for a little longer that way all sides are crisp yet not too thick. Also make sure to use mittens or use a cotton cloth to hold the sides of the chatti
  13. Close with the lid and cook on medium flame for 3 -4 mins
  14. Once it is done, take off the lid and let it cook for 1 min.
  15. Finally using a soft wooden spatula loosen the sides of the appam
  16. Then slowly loosen the centre and transfer to a plate!
  17. Your appams are ready! Serve with egg curry, or Kadala curry 

 

 

Kerala Style Fish Fry (Dedicated to my Amma for mothers day)

A perfect Kerala style lunch should and must consist of a fish fry! And this recipe is the one my mom taught me. I love Seer fish. There is just one big bone that runs in the centre of the fish and its very easy to clean too. I will do a segment on how to clean a fish once. It is important that you clean fish well in order to avoid food poisoning and also that pungent smell while cooking it.

♥ Fish can be very tricky when it comes to tossing it over when you fry it. So be careful and handle it gently. Unlike meat like chicken or mutton, it tends to break into pieces if not handled with care. Use a nice flat spatula to turn the fish over. I used a burger flipping spatula. Any kind would do just as far as it has a nice flat mouth that will allow the fish to sit as a whole on it

♥ While frying the fish, after placing the pieces on the pan, keep it pan closed for a few mins. This will allow the fish to cook from within and also remain nice and soft on the inside

 ♥ Try not to put too many pieces as at once cause when you flip the pieces over you really want a lot of space to move around and maneuver the fish

Kerala Style Fish Fry

Kerala Style Fish Fry

 

Kerala Style Fish Fry

Ingredients 

 For Marinating :-

  • Fish Pieces – 6 big pieces ( I used Seer Fish)
  • Small Onions / Shallots – 6-8 peeled and blended to a paste
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  • Pepper Powder – 1tsp
  • Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  • Coriander Powder – ½ tsp
  • White Vinegar – 1 ½ tbsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp

 Frying:-

  • Oil – 4 tbsp ( any neutral smelling oil will do)

Instructions:-

  • Mix the chilly + turmeric + coriander + ginger garlic paste + shallots paste + pepper powder + salt and vinegar. This will make a nice think red paste
  • Apply this paste on the fish pieces liberally coating the fish completely
  • Keep aside to marinate for 1 – 2 hrs
  • Once ready to fry, heat oil in a pan (I used a flat pan cause I did not want to deep fry the fish)
  • Slowly place the fish on the heated oil and cover for the first two minutes. This will help contain the moisture in the fish and let it cook in its juices. And once one side is down gently turn to the other side and fry well.
  • Serve fish hot along with flavored ghee rice and “challas”/ the simple onion salad

 

Kerala Style Fish Fry
Kerala Style Fish Fry

Simple Onion Salad / Kerala style / Challaas

My next post is an authentic Kerala style fish fry for which the perfect accompaniment is a “Nadan” salad. Back in Kerala it’s called Challaas. Usually when alcoholic drinks are served with fish fry, Challas is a must. So here it is.

Simple Onion Salad
Simple Onion Salad

Ingredients –

Onions – 2 large
White Vinegar – 2tbsp
Green Chilli – 2
Salt – ½ tsp

Instructions –

  • Cut onions length wise and green chilli’s into small thin round circles.
  • In a bowl add the onions, chilis, vinegar. Toss in the salt and mix it all up nice and well. Serve straightaway or the onion will lose water and it will become soggy .