Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kuzhalappam

Recipe No: 247
This is one of those ever loving snack my Mother used to make. I  just have no idea how many times me and my brothers fought over it when my Mother accidentally gave one or two more to the other person. So to avoid this ‘war’ she used to count when she served them… but still me being the youngest and the only daughter who was born 9 and 10 years younger to my brothers, my Father always had a soft corner to me (well, only in restricted number of things and food being one of them!!) and exploiting the situation, I used to ask him for more and get it from him… I am not forgetting the immense amount of teasing that I received from my brothers on behalf of the same… but who cares when it is for this delicious Kuzhalappam.

After all these years, now at my home things are not a lot different… My effort for 3 hours will be over in less than 30 minutes if my daughter and husband see this Kuzhalappam sitting ‘ideally’ somewhere!! So making Kuzhalappam always improved my skills to hide stuffs around home... well this time I was making sure that I got a good click of that Kuzhalappam in my computer when the contents of that bowl simply disappeared...with those two lurking around!!!
Ingredients
  • Rice Flour………………….…1 ½ Cup (I used ready made)
  • Sesame Seeds…………….…3/4 Teaspoon
  • Boiling water as needed
  • Salt as needed
  • Oil for deep frying
To Grind
  • Grated Coconut…………….1/4 Cup (I used desiccated, which is grated very small)
  • Shallots……………………….4
  • Garlic………………………….1 big clove
  • Cumin Seeds………………..1/4 Teaspoon
Method of Preparation
  1. Grind all the ingredients in the ‘to grind’ section into a smooth paste using enough Water to make the blender run. (Well Cumin, Shallots and Garlic have to be smooth but the presence of very small Coconut grains is okay.) Do rinse the blender jar and get all the goodness out. (I used ½ Cup Water including the Water I used to rinse the jar.)
  2. In a pan on medium low heat fry the Rice Flour for 4-5 minutes or till it is nicely toasted. (To a Puttupodi consistency)
  3. Add the ground Shallot Coconut mixture together with the liquid (that we got by rinsing); mix well and let it heat through for 30 -45 seconds before switching it off.
  4. Once  the heat is off, mix in Sesame Seeds and enough Salt.
  5. Add enough boiling Water and mix with a spatula. (Don’t use too much Water at this stage as too much Water will make it hard to work with and we can add more Water  later if needed.)
  6. Once this Rice mixture is cold enough to handle, knead it really well (use more Water if needed) into a soft dough. To know whether the dough is soft enough, take a small amount of dough; roll into a ball and press to flatten it. If it cracks too much along the edges it is not soft enough.
  7. Now make small balls with a size of a marble out of the dough. Work in small quantities as the balls will dry off pretty fast. Cover it with a damp paper towel.
  8. Place a ball in between two lightly oiled plastic sheets (cut all the 4 sides of a Zip Lock bag for plastic sheets or use oiled Plantain leaf pieces instead) on a flat surface and press with another flat surface (flat bottoms of two plates will work).
  9. Remove the flattened Rice sheet from the plastic wrap and shape it into a Kuzhalappam with the help of a rod (at home my mom uses small round Papaya stems) or your lightly oiled finger. Do take care to press and seal the edges properly or it will open up in the hot Oil.
  10. Arrange this in a plate till ready to be fried.
  11. Heat Oil in a pan on medium heat till hot; drop the prepared Kuzhalappam and fry till crispy. Do stir in between to fry them evenly.
  12. Once crispy, take them out of the oil and drain the excess Oil on a Paper towel.
  13. Store in airtight containers and serve at room temperature.
Notes:
  • I used the regular store bought Rice flour that is usually finely ground,  which is essential for Kuzhalappam (Coarsely ground Flour is not good); it doesn’t have to be any particular brand.
  • It is very uncomfortable to grind Shallots, Garlic and Cumin alone due to the unpleasant fumes from the Shallots and hence I add the Coconut too (the presence of Coconut will reduce the uncomfortable fumes). If it is possible for you to grate Coconut very finely, then you can add it just like that. But if you have doubt that there are big pieces, do grind it like in the recipe.
  • I used unsweetened dry desiccated Coconut, but that worked very well.
  • Once the dough is made, always keep it covered with a damp paper towel until it reaches the hot Oil to prevent from drying.
  • While working in batches keep the remaining dough covered in a damp towel and don't forget to give it a quick knead before using it.
  • Don’t keep the shaped Kuzhalappam like that for long; do fry them as soon as possible. You can always work side by side. I fry 10-15 of them while I shape the next 10-15. But if you cannot work like that, do make and fry them in batches.
  • Don’t crank up the heat as it will make the Kuzhalappam brown fast without making it crispy.
  • Please don't overcrowd the pan while frying Kuzhalappams. 
  • Kuzhalappams, like most of the other fried snacks will slowly loose its crispiness if kept open (like when we serve it to guests) for a long time. So if there are leftovers from plating, keep them in another container and don't keep it back in the original container with the bulk of the Kuzhalappam. This will help the bulk of it  to stay fresh and crispy.






Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
serve it to your family with love…

6 comments:

Reshmi Mahesh said...

These look very tempting...used to have many while @ home...WIll try them some time..bookmarked.Thanks for he recipe and neat explanation..

sojo said...

another walk down memory lane.... amma making this with the help of her helpers..... papaya stem, the nice smell of kuzhalappam frying... banana leaves in the kitchen...urali for roasting the rice flour... O my, Asha... looks like we had a similar childhood..(hee hee, ella suriyaani christyaanikkum same childhood....alle?)

Asha said...

exactly Sojo.... thanks a lot...

Neenu Praveen said...

aah...my fav snack..u knw im havn them nw..but store bot..wud love to try them in my kitchen..thanks a lot fr the recipe...

Now Serving said...

This looks fantastic - Love the pictorials - And sesame in anything is acceptable to me because I simply love it --- super yummy post!

Priya said...

Omg,droolworthy kuzhalappams, feel like munching some..

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