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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Monday, May 2, 2011

Neiyyappam

Recipe No: 251
This is my Fathers favorite Kerala snack and I still remember my Mother making it from 2 and 3 Kilo Rice, starting at 6 a.m. Apart from Unniyappam, Neiyyappam doesn’t need to have any specialized pans to make and it don’t have Bananas in them, giving a clear difference in taste. This will stay good at room temperature for longer period of time than Unniyappam.
Ingredients                              Makes 12 - 14
  • Long Grain Rice…...1 Cup
  • Jaggery……………….1 Cup (Cut into small pieces)
  • Ghee……………………1 Tablespoon
  • Coconut pieces…….3 Tablespoons (Cut into thin, small pieces)
  • Cumin Seeds………..1/2 Teaspoon
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Oil for deep frying
Method of Preparation
  1. Wash and soak Rice for 4 hours. Drain it properly.
  2. Grind the soaked and drained Rice into a course powder. This will yield around 2 ¼ cups of Flour. Keep aside till ready to be used.
  3. Melt Jaggery with ¼ cup of Water and strain it a few times to get rid of the impurities. Let it cool completely.
  4. Add the Jaggery syrup and a pinch of Salt to the Rice Flour and make a thick batter out of it. (Well don’t add any more Water and take care as we are using raw Flour; it will need only a fraction of Water when compared to the roasted Flour.)
  5. Keep this mixture aside for 6-7 hours.
  6. Once that resting time is over, heat Ghee in a pan on medium heat and fry the Coconut pieces till slightly brown. At this stage, add the Cumin; let it fry for 3-5 seconds and switch off the heat.
  7. Pour this fried Coconut and Cumin together with the remaining Ghee into the batter and mix well.
  8. Adjust the thickness of the batter by adding more Water (a tablespoon or two) if necessary. The batter should be a bit thicker than the Unniyappam batter or when poured it should be flowing in thick lines.
  9. Heat at least 2 inches of Oil in a deep pan on medium high heat and pour a small ladle (two tablespoons) of batter into the Oil. (When the batter is poured, it will sink to the bottom of the pan and will take some time to puff up and rise to the top of the Oil. Pour the second one only after the first one started floating.)
  10. Fry the Neiyyappam for a few minutes on both sides or till it is golden brown.
  11. Drain the excess Oil on a paper towel and serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes:
  • Instead of starting with Rice, you can use 2 cups of Rice Flour (Regular ones in American Grocery stores which are not fried well.) with 1/4 Cup Cream of Rice (that resembles coarse rice powder.) which is available in most of the Indian stores.
  • The coarse nature of the Rice Flour is very important as that helps in raising the Neiyyappam. (We don't use any other leavening agents.)
  • As per my mother, keeping the prepared batter for less time will reduce the puffing up of Neiyyappam and on the other hand if you keep it for more time it will absorb a lot of Oil.
  • Neiyyappam needs to be immersed in the Oil while frying and hence, I prefer a pan which is deep in the middle like a Kadai/ Cheenachatti.
  • Let the Kadai/ pan heat up really well before adding the Oil or the batter may stick to the bottom of the pan. (and it may need a bit of help to float.)
  • Adjust the heat according to your stove to a medium- medium high, as higher temperature may brown the Neiyyappam fast without cooking the inside properly and too low temperature will make it absorb a lot of Oil. So decide the temperature that is suited in your cooking conditions.
  • Neiyyappam will stay good at room temperature for up to a week; don’t keep them in the refrigerator. But if you want to keep it for longer period of time, do refrigerate and serve them at room temperature; but I am not so sure about its texture after refrigeration.
  • Don't over fry the Neiyyappams as it  hardens them.
 




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

3 comments:

sojo said...

love it love it love it love it.... Asha, is unnippam coming next or pazhm peechi? seriously, as someone asked u in ur fb page, achayn-e ethra pounds koodi? hee hee...

Kurinji said...

Wow mouthwatering neiyappam.....
Kurinjikathambam, Event : HRH-Healthy Summer, HRH-Puffed Rice Roundup

Priya said...

Simply irresistible,love this neyappam very much but havent had or prepared them since a long,seriously feel like having soem..

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