Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Main Dish, Millet Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Thinai (Foxtail Millet) Appam and Potato Mappas

Potato Mappas and Thinai AppamNever before have I thought of, collected info and ingredients, prepared, and executed a recipe with such urgency and efficiency. Appam is one of my favorite breakfasts and I wanted to try appam with Foxtail/Thinai millet. I was really excited about this gluten-free and healthy breakfast option. Soaked the ingredients (randomly without any reference), ground the batter yesterday evening. I tried to think of what side dish to prepare and suddenly remembered the vendakka mappas (a type of Okra stew, a typical Kerala preparation) curry that used to be my favorite while living in Kochi. Being unfamiliar with the dish since this is not prepared in our region, I read some recipes online and tried the same recipe with potato instead of okra. Both appam and mappas turned out to be excellent. Had to share this immediately with Samagni readers.

Foxtail Millet Appam

Ingredients:
Foxtail millet – 2 cups
Raw rice – 2 cups
Grated coconut – 1-1/2 cups
Cooked rice – 1-1/2 cups
Salt as needed
Water as needed
Sugar – 1 tsp (to be mixed with the batter next morning)
Yeast – 1 tsp (optional – i skipped this)

Preparation time: 10 mins
Soaking time: 4-5 hours
Grinding time: 10 mins
Fermentation time: Overnight (8-12 hours depending on the climate)
Makes roughly 20-22 appams

Method:
Soak the millet along with raw rice for about 4-5 hours. Using a mixer to grind this
along with grated coconut and cooked rice to a smooth paste by adding adequate amounts
of water. Make a batter of dosa battery consistency. Keep aside to ferment overnight. In
warmer regions, overnight fermentation is enough. But in colder regions, you may need to
add yeast and keep the batter at a warm place (near the stove or closer to the
refrigerator compressor). In the morning, add a teaspoon of sugar to the batter and mix
well.

To learn how to make appams, click here.

Notes:
I did not add yeast to the batter but yet it turned out fluffy and crisp at the edges. You may choose to add skip it.

Potato Mappas

Ingredients:
Potato – 300 gms, peeled and sliced 1″ lengthwise
Onion – 2 medium, thinly sliced
Tomato – 2 medium, thinly sliced
Green peas – 1/2 cup (optional)
Ginger – 1 tsp, thinly sliced 1-inch pieces
Garlic – 1 tsp, thinly sliced 1-inch pieces

Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp (you may use whole ingredients)
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Pepper powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
Green chilies – 2
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coconut milk powder/coconut milk – 50 gms/1 cup (I used two 25 gm Maggi coconut milk
powder packets)
Salt as needed
Cardamom pod, clove, cinnamon (Optional)

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves 3-4

Method:
Heat oil (coconut oil is preferred because this is a Kerala dish) in a pan and add mustard seeds.
When mustard seeds splutter, add chopped ginger, garlic, slit green chilies, and curry leaves. Saute for a minute. If you are adding cardamom pod, clove, cinnamon, add it at this stage.
Add sliced onion and cook for 5 mins.
Add chopped tomatoes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add all the masala powders, i.e., coriander, chili, turmeric, pepper, garam masala. Saute and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add chopped potato and green peas. Stir. Add a cup of water.
Empty one packet of coconut milk powder into one cup water to make a thin coconut milk. Add this to the vegetables. Close with a lid and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally until gravy thickens and potatoes and green peas look well cooked. Add salt, cover and cook for 2 more minutes.

Mix the other coconut milk powder packet in half a cup milk. Add this thick coconut milk to the dish, simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from fire. Garnish with freshly ground pepper, if desired.

Notes:
You may use some cashew nuts while making mappas. Soak the cashew in warm water for 5-10 mins. Grind to a smooth paste and add this to the gravy when you add the first set of coconut milk.

Festival Recipes, Kerala Recipes, South Indian, Sweets

Unni Appam

Sweet balls, crisp on the outside and soft inside. The dessert of the Gods!

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Ingredients:
Rice flour* – 1-1/2 cups
Jaggery/molasses – 2 cups
Ripe Banana – 2 (tiny yellow ones, Elaichi Kela in Hindi, Rasa Kadali in Malayalam)
Cardamom – 5 pods
Thinly sliced coconut pieces – 1/4 cup
Ghee (for frying the coconut pieces) – 1 tbsp
Coconut Oil* – 1-1/2 cups
Water – 1 cup

* In case any of these ingredients are unavailable, check the alternate ingredients section for other options.

Alternatives:
Ghee can be used instead of coconut oil to fry the unni appams.
This snack can also be made with wheat flour instead of rice flour using the above-mentioned method with the exception of plantain.

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Resting Time (for batter): 30 mins.
Cooking Time: 5 min.

Method for batter:
Mix the jaggery in 1/2 cup of water and let it boil. Remove from fire when all the jaggery pieces have melted. Let it cool. Peel banana, mash, and mix it in jaggery syrup. Cut coconut into small pieces, fry in ghee, and add to the jaggery syrup. Add the rice flour into the jaggery syrup. Powder the cardamom and add to this batter. If the batter is too thick, add a little water. The batter should be of the consistency of idli batter.

Method for Unni appam:
Place the appam mould on fire and pour coconut oil enough to fill all the pits with oil. When you get the sweet aroma of boiling coconut oil, pour the batter into the pits in the appam mould.

The fire should be in medium.

When the sides turn golden brown, turn over the appam. You can dip a toothpick into the unni appam to check for stickiness. If the batter sticks to the tooth pick, it is not ready to be turned yet. Remove from oil, drain and set aside. Crispy unni appams are ready to be gobbled.

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Notes:
After removing the unni appam from fire, place them on absorbent paper for 5 mins to remove excess oil.

This sweet is free of processed sugar. Jaggery is a healthy alternative for sugar.

Trivia:
This is a sweet dish that is often offered to the Gods in South Indian temples, especially in Kerala.

Skill Level:
Medium

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