Kerala Appam With a Twist!

Nice and Crispy ain't it??

Nice and Crispy ain't it??


The word Appam conjures up so many pleasant memories for me.
Having spent most of my childhood in Kerala ,Appam was almost a regular breakfast fare.
Often known by its other name’s- paalappam, vellayappam or just plain and simple Appam, its preparation and execution is almost considered an art form in Kerala and even appam-virtuosos don’t always dish out perfect Appams.

If we had guests at home these delicious Appams would be accompanied by a Mutton Stew. On regular days we relished appams with Chutney or a Vegetable stew sometimes with coconut milk and sugar. Yumm…

These fermented rice pancakes have many varieties and i have here a very unique recipe. These Atta Appams are much easier than the original rice version and taste just as good. The recipe was given to me by a very good friend who is herself a very talented and accomplished cook. So here goes…

Ingredients

Atta( Whole Wheat Flour) 3 cups
Active dry Yeast 1/4 tsp
Warm Water 1/4 Cup
Coconut milk 1 Cup
Sugar 3 Tbsp
Salt to taste

Method

Add the yeast to the lukewarm water (not hot) along with 1 tbsp of the sugar. Shake it a bit and keep in
a dark dry place until the yeast ferments, about 15 min. The water should appear frothy. If not discard and try again.
Add this to the Atta and combine with a little more water until it is a thick paste.
Do Not Dilute.
Keep this aside for around six hours.
Before preparation add the remaining sugar, coconut milk and salt.
It should be smooth and of slightly thin in consistency.
Heat the Appam-chatti/ pan and pour a ladle of the batter into the pan. Here is what an Appam pan looks like-

Appam Pan

Appam Pan


Holding both sides of the pan immediately swirl the pan so that the batter spreads to the sides of the pan and forms a circular shape. You can add some ghee, if desired. Close the lid and let cook for about 3-4 min. By then the edges should look crispy and the centre should be a bit thick but look cooked nonetheless. Enjoy these beauties anytime of the day.

Makes around 20 appams.

Tanjore Painting-Ganesha

Ganesha-Tanjore Art

Zebra Cake

Check Out My Stripes :)

Check Out My Stripes :)


Was not so sure about this recipe but am so glad i did try it out. It was absolutely fun to make and had such a different pattern to it. My family loved it and when i served it to some friends who came to visit they loved it as well. The original recipe called less sugar so i needed to dust icing to suit our tastes. The texture turned out perfect too. All-in all a good cake. This one is for keeps!

ZEBRA CAKE

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) cake

INGREDIENTS

4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) milk, at room temperature
1 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups (10 oz / 300 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

You’ll also need: mixing bowls, electric mixer or wire whisk, 9 inch (23 cm) non-stick round cake pan.

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C).

2. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs and sugar until the mixture is creamy and light in color.

3. Add milk and oil and the vanilla essence and continue beating until well blended.

4. In a separate bowl, sift, combine and mix flour,baking powder and the baking soda. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and combine just until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are thoroughly blended. DO NOT OVERBEAT to prevent air pockets from forming in the batter.

5. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. Keep one portion plain. Add cocoa powder into the another and mix well.

6. Lightly grease the pan with oil.

7. Now come the most important part. Scoop a big ladle of the plain batter into the middle of the baking pan. Then using another ladle of the same size scoop the cocoa batter and pour it over the center of the plain batter. Do not stop and wait until the previous batter spreads – KEEP GOING! Do not spread the batter or tilt the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan gradually. Continue alternating the batters until you finish them.

8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Enjoy with or without icing…..

Easy ,Yummy Crinkle Cookies!!!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
These were one of the first cookies i ever baked and they were awesome. Not too sweet these cookies are storage friendly as well-they keep for nearly 5 days, but i bet you will finish them off much sooner!!!With a contrasting light and dark finish they make an interesting addition to your cookie platter.

I got this recipe from the recipezaar site but tweaked it a bit….so Go Ahead INDULGE, its quite simple and you wont regret it…

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
60 gms sifted confectioners’ sugar

Preparation:
Preheat oven at 160 c.
Melt the chocolate .In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, chocolate, oil, baking powder, and vanilla until blended. Beat in as much of the flour with the mixer as possible, then stir in the remaining flour.
Cover and chill the cookie dough for 2 hours or even a couple of days.
Shape dough into 4 cms balls and roll in the sugar.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until almost no imprint remains when touched lightly in center. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

A Weekend in Kolhapur

Decrepit, Dull, Dirty , Dusty….these were the adjectives that sprung to my mind when i learn that we had to make a weekend trip to Kolhapur. But little did i know that the city had so many little gems to offer that at the end of a marvelous weekend i would leave promising to be back for more…..

A Mac Donalds in Kolhapur? Boy! was i surprised. Located on the NH4 highway(and my what a highway….absolutely a thrill to ride on) this huge outlet was a good way to start the holiday . the kids had a blast and so did we.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the city. Kolhapur is popular for its cotton textiles, in particular Kolhapuri sarees. This city is also popular for its jewellery and leather sandals or Kolhapuri chappals. Here chappals of good quality are available at extremely cheap rates. Its jewellery is also distinct. The Kolapur Saaj, putlihar, chaplahar, bormal and the popular chokar thushi are the various types of distinctively kolhapuri designs with beautiful workmanship. We trekked the Mahadwar and Shivaji Roads roads and checked a variety of Kolhapuri chappals and other leather goods on Bhausinji Road. One can also shop around the bus station in the Rajarampuri area.

The early evening found us admiring the breathtaking view at the popular Panhala Fort. Although 20km away from kolhapur, the drive was lovely and the fort an enchanting hill station that reminded us of the historical splendour of the place.

Thanks to marvellous friends we had an out-of-this-world kolhapuri meal . The cuisine is outstanding.The Tambra Rassa,Pandra Rassa ,the mouth watering mutton preparation’s all make the food to-die-for!!!Ice creams and the ‘Cold drink’ at solankis , a popular chain of ice cream joints was another high point of the great day. the cold drink available at the solanki opposite the railway stations is a definite must-have.

Mahalakshmi Temple

Early the next morning we offered our prayers at the Mahalakshmi Temple , some 5 km from the Central Bus stand. The idol, weighing about 40 kg exists in its natural form- a primeval monolith of uncut diamonds and precious stones. The Goddess known as Amba Bai is the presiding deity of this temple. Chalukya ruler Karandev begun construction of this beautiful and large temple and it was later taken over by shilahara and Yadavas in the 9Th century.

Another tourist attraction is the Rankala lake, said to be the oldest of all lakes in Maharashtra.This wide and spacious lake lies at the center of the temple of Rankabhairav where one can admire the intricately carved black stone and Italian marbles.

When we left Kolhapur was with a feeling of elation at having experienced the magical amalgamation of Nature, History, Culture and Spirituality all in one place.

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