Unniappam, also known as nei appam, is a Kerala speciality. The addition of jaggery gives this snack a delicious taste. I have eaten unniappam in Kerala on different occasions, and each time I discovered something new about it. I have created my own version here and you can choose to fry the unniappam in lots of Thirumala Ghee or use minimal ghee – however, the important thing to note here is that unniappam will never taste nice if ghee is not used!
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
300 ml water
125 grated jaggery
3 ripe bananas, peeled
250 g rice flour
125 g plain flour
2 tablespoons melted Thirumala Ghee
10 g dry roasted sesame seeds
100 g coconut chips
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Thirumala Ghee for frying
- Make syrup by boiling water and jaggery in a small saucepan till the jaggery dissolves. Strain and cool the syrup.
- Pour the syrup in a blender. Put in the bananas and blend till smooth.
- Heat wok on low and dry roast the rice flour, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes or until the raw smell vanishes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and leave it to cool.
- Add in the plain flour, melted Thirumala Ghee, blended jaggery syrup, sesame seeds, coconut chips, cardamom, ginger powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.
- Combine to form a smooth batter with dropping consistency. If you find the batter too thick, add a bit of water at a time and stir well until you get a thick but not runny batter.
- Leave aside for half hour.
- Heat an unniappam pan and add 1 teaspoon Thirumala Ghee to each compartment. If an unniappam pan is not available, use a small frying pan and make flat pancakes.
- Pour 1-2 tablespoons of the prepared batter into each compartment, till they are three-quarters full and cook. Turn the appams and fry until crisp and golden brown on both sides.
- Serve warm.