Blame Girija, my school friend for my Kal-Appam fetish …. she would bring them in her tiffin box and I would eat them all up. God bless her mom and her for introducing me to the wonders of Kerala food, so early in life. Its also my belief that you can never make authentic Appam, idiyappam and Puttu if you aren’t born a Malayalee for a couple of lives.
After Girija’s tiffin box, I found the same authentic taste in Simi’s Appam that we ate at Thekkady. Our friend Latif introduced her and she cooks at home, doesn’t have a restaurant and just sells to people who know her and others who discover her. For three days I just stuffed my face with Appam, Idiyappam and Puttu there.
Today morning, my dear Mom and I made Idiyappam at home. All Malayalees, please stop reading at this stage – I don’t want you guys gunning for me. This “jugaad” innovation is meant for non-Mallus like me to make passable idiyappams till we manage to get authentic ones. Pushpa, you are forbidden from sharing this with Chechi, because the Idiyappams she made were outstanding.
So here goes – Grind the raw rice with coconut milk in a wet grinder or use the rice powder that comes in a packet (there is a difference in taste though). Leave it overnight to ferment a bit. Amma adds a little bit of lemon juice and red chilli powder to it so we can eat it without any accompaniments. When you are ready to make the Idiyappams, pour the dough into a wide container and put it on slow heat and keep stirring it to thicken the dough. Once its thickened enough, use a spoon and ladle it into this snacks maker. Here’s the pic and the link on Amazon for this snacks maker – http://www.amazon.in/Stainless-Kitchen-Cookies-Murukku-Stailess/dp/B01A8QZ4AQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1470157433&sr=8-2&keywords=murukku+maker.
The dough should not get fully cooked or hardened, otherwise it won’t be easy to press it through this snack maker. Use the “jaali” that you would for “sev” or “Oma podi”. You can make two rounds of the idiyappam in this snack maker and use a microwave steamer to steam these for two minutes with some water at the bottom.
If the dough becomes cooler, you can roll it into egg shaped balls like I have in the picture below –
When the dough is cool, its difficult to press it using the snack maker, so steam these egg shaped balls in the microwave for about 40 seconds to a minute and then press them through the snack maker into idiyappams that you steam again for two minutes. Here’s how the Idiyappams look once they are steamed and ready to eat –
They are rice noodles in a way and very easy to make in this manner. The whole process was done in about 20 minutes and it takes a little extra time if the dough cools down and you have to reheat it a bit.
I don’t like things coming out of a factory made packet and I also don’t like spending hours trying to cook, so I keep trying these “jugaad” innovations that will make connoisseurs cringe, but hey, we are eating fresh food made at home and quickly enough so one can get to work in time.
The idiyappams tasted great, not close to Simi’s or Pushpa’s Chechi’s idiyappams, but very good and fresh. If you want them to look white, just don’t add lemon and the red chilli powder. Have eaten just these the whole day today :):).
Enjoy idiyappams with kurma or stew or avial or pickle or like me, just plain, sprinkled with freshly grated coconut.