Neiappam/Neyappam is a sweet rice-based fritter fried in ghee. Neyyappam has its origins in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The name is derived from the words ney/nei meaning “ghee”, Unni meaning “small” and appam meaning “pancake”. Neyyappam is typically made of rice , jaggery, ghee-fried coconut, ghee and cardamom , you can add in plaintain and jackfruit too to this sweet.

Now this sweet holds too many memories for me so yes I do say this is one sweet I associate with my childhood hence it is my “the” favorite sweet. As a child, during any festivals, my mom used to take out her appachatti and prepare this. I used to wolf it down immediately once it was done and others hardly used to get chance to eat it 😀 :D. I lost my mom 23 years ago so even now when I prepare this sweet, yes, I still gobble it down and remember those old days (sigh!)…Today on the first day of Onam (Atham), I present the recipe here

There are multiple variations in preparing this dish, I am sharing my way of preparation. I have added Jaggery directly to the rice, you can melt jaggery in water, sieve it and then add it to the rice. This dish is prepared with Cherupazham (small bananas) or you can use ripe plantains (Nendrapazham). Alternatively instead of bananas, jackfruits can be used too. Regular bananas do not add the right flavor. I would recommend using raw rice instead of rice flour , again raw rice gives better taste. With rice flour, you can instantly start making appams

* You can add milk to the batter instead of water for better taste .You can substitute rice with roasted rice flour or wheat flour too. If using traditional cast iron to prepare this dish, you would need to increase the amount of ghee and oil in the molds and add them too while deep frying

**Do not fry this over high heat, it will quickly brown while the inside portion will remain raw. If cooked at low heat, it will absorb too much oil. It should be cooked over medium heat all time. Baking soda makes it more softer and you can start preparing appams once batter is ready. You can also skip it but do ferment the batter then for 75 minutes and then prepare appams

***Store any leftovers in refrigerator in air tight container and use within a week. Just warm up before serving. This can be stored at room temperature upto 2 days.

Do watch the video for better clarity in preparation and share your experience once you prepare the dish

Preparation time: 5 mins Soaking time: 5 hours Cooking time: 25 mins

Servings: 26-28 Neiappams

Ingredients

  • 11/4 cups raw rice/ roasted rice flour
  • 2/3 cup grated/powdered jaggery (molasses) – adjust to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1.5 tbsp ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • 2 small banana (cherupazham), chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp small coconut bits
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Coconut Oil + ghee for frying

Steps to prepare

  • Clean and soak rice in water for 5-6 hours. Drain excess water
  • Transfer raw rice to the grinder. If using roasted rice flour instead of raw rice , then add rice flour to the grinder
  • Add in bananas, 1/3 cup water and jaggery
  • Grind to fine semolina consistency paste. Transfer the paste to bowl
  • Add cumin powder, sesame seeds, ginger powder and cardamom powder to the batter and mix well
  • Heat 1.5 tbsp ghee in a pan, Add coconut bits. Fry until they are golden brown and crisp
  • Add the coconut bits to the batter and mix well
  • Either ferment the batter for 75 mins or add in pinch of baking soda and mix well. If using baking soda, start preparing the appams immediately
  • Add water or milk as required, batter should be thick but of pouring consistency. It should not be too dense or thin
  • Now heat appachatti (aape pan) , if using non stick you would require lesser oil and ghee
  • Pour equal amounts of ghee and coconut oil into each mold . Each rounds should be half full if using traditional cast iron , for non stick, it should be 1/4 full.(Note : The level of the oil in the pan will rise with the addition of the batter so consider this when you pour oil/ghee into the pan)
  • Pour the batter into each round. Cover and cook over medium heat
  • Once cooked, the sides will detach from the pan and will start to rotate in the oil
  • Using small appe pan stick or fork or spatula, turn the appam to cook on the other side to a golden color.
  • Once the appams are browned both on the bottoms and tops, remove them from the pan using a metal skewer or  with a pair of forks/ tongs. 
  • Prepare them in batches until batter is completed
  • Drain excess oil over kitchen towel and allow to cool to room temperature
  • Best consumed within 2 days, store leftovers in air tight container under refrigeration. It will stay fresher for a week. just warm them up before serving
Neyappam/ Unniappam
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Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

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