There cannot be a better way to celebrate the 150th post other than this delicious, mouth watering sweet. Neiyappams are a delight to prepare as well as devour. It is not very sweet and the texture makes you crave for more. No one can stop with just one. I recall my grandmother preparing tins full of these keeping it ready for us during our vacation to her place. The rich golden brown color would give us a detailed account how patiently it was prepared in medium heat. I recently brought back my grandma's 'Appakaaral' (the mould which is used to make appam). This is a very old one and used by generations. Glad to have it with me. The mould is made of bell metal, heavy , quite deep and hence the appams are quite big and looks beautiful. Because of its heaviness, there is less risk of it being tilted during the process and the heat is also uniformly distributed.
Raw rice - 1 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Ripe banana - 1/2
Shredded coconut - 3 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Soak raw rice for almost two hours. Soak the jaggery in 1/4 cup water. Once the jaggery is fully dissolved in water, sieve it for impurities. Grind together the soaked rice, banana with the jaggery water to a fine batter. The batter should be of semi-flowing consistency (like dosa batter). Add cardamom and shredded coconut to the batter.
Place the 'appa kaaral' on the gas and pour 1/2 tsp of ghee in each depression. Once the ghee is heated up (not smoky), pour ladle full of the batter into each mould. The batter should fill up to the brim of the mould. Allow it to cook gently in medium heat and when the bottom sides have begun to brown, gently turn it over so that the top portion is also cooked. Once both the sides are evenly rich golden brown in color, remove from the mould with the help of skewers and drain the excess ghee by resting in paper towels. Allow it to cool and the appams are ready to be served.
Neiyappams usually have a semi-hard texture, I wonder if there is any combination with which Neiyappams can be enjoyed which is otherwise eaten as it is.
'The two biggerst sellers in the bookstores are the 'cook books' and the 'diet books'. The cook books tell you how to prepare the food and the diet books tell you how not to eat any of it ' - Andy Rooney