Appams are something both of us love and when in Chennai, we hardly needed a reason to go out to the neighbourhood Kerala joint and feast on those lacy fluffy circles of heaven. I haven't been very successful making aapams at home, though to be honest I didn't really try too much - why bother with facing failure when we could just as easily eat out!
Then we moved to Delhi - if I thought Chennai needed Mumbai's Udipi restaurants when I moved there, then Delhi definitely needs any kind of South Indian restaurants (yeah sure, Saravana Bhavan is here with meals that cost a minimum of Rs 300 per head!!; Sagar Ratna restaurants are few and far between)
So we pined for our appams with chicken curry and vegetable stew......The last straw was when Hubby started travelling extensively to Cochin for a month and used to come back raving about the food. That's it - I decided that it was time to shake off the laziness and crack this thing!
I found a similar story to mine on Ginger and Mango and was quite inspired by Inji Pennu's success in making perfect palappams - they looked so delicious! The rice flour paste in her recipe was the one major difference between other recipes I have tried before, and also appears in Madhur Jaffrey's recipe for Appams.
Well, it did the trick and I was able to make fluffy appams for the first time. I was afraid that the batter wouldn't ferment enough since February in Delhi was still quite cold, so I left it out quite long and it became a tad sourer than needed. Easily remedied the next time round! And there is definitely going to be a lot of next times!
I served this with a vegetable stew (ishtoo) which is easily the dish for me, which has the simplest of ingredients and the richest of flavours!
I am sending this breakfast duo to Weekend Breakfast Blogging #20, the brainchild of Nandita of Saffron Trail which is being hosted this month by Mansi over at - Fun and Food. This month's theme is "Balanced Breakfasts" and Mansi makes it easy with this definition - "A balanced and wholesome breakfast is something that combines 2 or more of the food groups below to fulfill nutrition needs.
Fruits or vegetables (dried fruits are fine too)
Grains and Cereals (whole grains, oats, high-fiber foods)
Dairy (skim milk, low-fat yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese (paneer) )
Proteins (eggs/egg whites, peanut butter, beans, nuts, sprouts, protein isolates)"
With rice in the appam and vegetables in the stew, I think this breakfast is as balanced as they come...not to mention so so tasty!
Kerala Vegetable Stew
Potatoes - 2 medium peeled and chopped
Carrots -1 medium peeled and diced
French beans - 8-10 diced
Green peas - 1/4 cup
Cauliflower florets - 1 cup
Coconut milk - 1 cup thin milk and 1 cup thick milk
(If using coconut powder, then just make 2 cups of coconut milk as per the instructions)
Onions - 2 sliced
Green chillies - 5-6 slit lengthwise
Ginger - 2.5 cm grated
Curry leaves - 10
Salt to taste
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon stick - 1 "
Cardamom - 1
Cloves - 3-4
1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the whole spices to it (cloves, cinnamon, cardamom). Saute for 3-4 minutes
2. Add half of the curry leaves and the green chillies, all of the grated ginger and sliced onions. Fry till onions turn translucent and then add the chopped potatoes, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of thin coconut milk and salt.
3. In the meanwhile, boil the chopped vegetables in 3/4 th cup of lightly salted water till just cooked and keep aside.
4. When the potatoes are soft and well cooked, add the cooked vegetables, rest of the green chillies and curry leaves and the thick coconut milk. Gently heat through for about 5 minutes, take off fire and serve with hot appams.