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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

Serves:   8

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


  1. Make syrup by boiling water and jaggery in a small saucepan till the jaggery dissolves. Strain and cool the syrup.
  2. Pour the syrup in a blender. Put in the bananas and blend till smooth.
  3. 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.
  4. Add in the plain flour, melted Thirumala Ghee, blended jaggery syrup, sesame seeds, coconut chips, cardamom, ginger powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.
  5. 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.
  6. Leave aside for half hour.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Serve warm.  


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