Monday, April 8, 2013

Palappam

About 74 meetings (and a trillion words ago), we discussed appam. One of my first updates complete with an introduction into the cuisine of the ultimate Malayali, is where that song and dance began and where you met Kerala's very own pancake. One that took India's staple, rice, to one of the many dimensions it can transform its superhero self into. Ground and battered up to reach a very creamed, tad liquidy consistency, thus it takes you to this griddled hopper form. Transfer that philosophy to the rightnow, where I show you a much different appam, the palappam, amped up with not much more, yet its very preparation and the vessel in which that happens gift The One a uniquely magnificent form. The pal in appam translates to milk in my native (hear that, Rosetta Stone?) and in this case that pal is the milk from coconuts, velveting in a richer appam experience.

Some argue it is the one up on the traditional  hopper and many favor just this one. In my family its place in importance rests solely on condition and occasion, that is when the condition of my gracious self lines up with an occasion where I can hold fort in front of a heated stovetop, to create several sets of these laced up lovelies. Bonus points that make up for this heat instilled penance: it requires only three major components( presuming water, salt and sugar are givens in a kitchen and therefore require no effort of additional purchase). Other than blender, bowl and a specialized pan, there is no monster equipment, not even the- heavier- than- a- ten- pound- baby "ultraslim" counter grinder that takes the joy out of the whole ordeal. No, here I will not ask you to grind rice. Instead, rice flour and canned coconut milk that's readily available is what will star in this debut audition of The Easiest Palappam Production. Ever and after.

Besides being just about the greatest food item a Keralite's mouth has ever known, and especially those of the Central part, it is catered from dozens of home kitchens, made ungrudgingly available to travellers at roadside stalls and often the piece de resistance highlighted on countless five star menus. The crepe-laced Kerala palappam has clearly bloomed beyond its original borders. You see, even 5 years prior, the web didn't render much in terms of a decent recipe. But with the passing of that time and the love of Blogger, everyone and their rss feeds seem to know a thing or two about producing perfect palappam. It is the flavor of the month, reading fashion into tradition, all with home cooks and citizens of the foodosphere fueling the new, improved appam mania. Enough so, that my head reads the new destiny of the Kerala palappam in hashtag rant. Clearly a hapless stance, since I am so not the twitter trender. Fair warning hashtag haters: hold your ears. Because, hands down #keralalaceappams is the #breakfastofchampions, but of course #hoppersrockandrule anytime, everywhere, amirite? Know it, #traditionistrend. Enough twitspeak? Me, too. 

Keep in mind, people, the batter here yields approximately 30- 35 regular size palappams. Make half and save for another day. All for one show? On average it feeds 6-8, far from our normal, where the whole whets the horselike appetites of we four, in one sitting. Once out, its all gone
Ingredients:
Directions:
  • In medium saucepan, over medium heat, make a "roux" by mixing ¼ c rice flour and ½ c water to almost boil, where it comes together like thick porridge. Turn off heat.
  • With the blender on a medium setting, drop yeast, then half cupfuls rice flour alternatively with the coconut milk. Stop at intervals and use a rubber spatula to help you blend the ingredients that stick to the sides. Add enough water from the can of the coconut milk for measure, only until it reaches a pancake batter consistency, not too thick.
  • Add rice powder roux, salt, sugar, and blend for a few more minutes until all ingredients are incorporated well.
  • Pour into a bowl, large enough to let it bloom and"grow".Cover and keep aside in a closed, warm, dry place, preferably an oven ( turned off), undisturbed for a minimum of 6 hours, even overnight. 
  • Mix fermented batter well. Take out as much as you need in a smaller bowl. Leave remainder in refrigerator. If using at once, still do batches. It is easier to hold and ladle. Heat your pan on medium- low heat, ladle a little less than ¼ cup of the batter into the center of the heated pan .
  • Lift the pan off heat. Hold both sides firmly (use a heat proof towel or potholders when doing this) and using your wrists, swirl the batter around in a clockwise motion, so that it lightly coats the outer circumference of the middle of the pan, and nearing its edge.(Almost like hula hooping your pan once around). The center batter should be thicker, in a puddle. Return to heat. Lid your appam.
  • Allow to cook for a minute and then check on it. The center will puff up, the edges left like frilly lace. Leave it covered and cook further for browner, crisper ends. 
  • Lift out with spatula.
  • Repeat with remaining batter.
Notes~ Once batter has risen, you can thin it with a wee bit of water so that that it can twirl effortlessly in the pan but not appear too drippy. Think crepes.
No palappam pan? Try using a smallish medium (about 5-6" in diameter) wok, preferably nonstick. Else you can dab oil at intervals to keep it from sticking to the pan.

Pairing two, three maybe 5 with beef, porkchicken, even the eggs used here is very right and all good.
An option would be to test the yeast with ¼c of water, before it goes into the blender. My exception is that if I know my yeast is new and good to go, I skip that step.
If you notice,  the palappam pan is molded to form a perfect middle dome. You can find these at Indian specialty stores, even the online ones.
Another name for this is lace appam. You don't need a translator to guess why.

Two stations makes palappam production swifter and smoother.

Scalloped edges and a soft, over endowed center, there are no two that are alike.

******
"When your mind is occupied with thanking Me, you have no time for worrying or complaining. If you practice thankfulness consistently, negative thought patterns will grow weaker and weaker. Draw near to Me with a grateful heart, and My Presence will fill you with joy and peace." from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

23 comments:

  1. one of my fav kerala breakfast dishes,yummy!!

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  2. lovely presentation and great clicks Tisa. my favourite breakfast ever.

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  3. wow... i could just have atleast 6 of them with yummy chicken stew... slurp!!!

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    1. At least 6, Rafeeda? You make out to be the glutton- not saying how many I down ;-)))

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  4. Delicious idea for breakfast or midnight snack :D

    Cheers
    CCU

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  5. Hi ! you have a nice blog with amazing clicks started following clicks . I have just started following you and it would be highly encouraging if you may follow me back.
    http://cookingwithsapana.blogspot.com
    Thanks
    Sapana

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your support and kind words.

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  6. yummy and oil less breakfast recipe..lovely clicks

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  7. Love the way u write !! And me too always a fan of this pure white treat always.. Gimme beef or mutton or at least chicken to side with, I am all in :) Happy to be ur new follower of this cute humble space :)

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    1. Oh yess! count me in too! Thanks for the support.

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  8. Awesome recipe! Thanks for sharing! I'm a new blogger... Do visit my blog.. http://kitchenserenity.blogspot.in/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, will come over and see you Ms. Kitchen Serenity!

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  9. beautiful cliks n nicely made appam..This is maha btw.catch me at my space ven u find sum time..
    MAHA

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  10. What a Lovely Space with beautiful clicks :) Wonderful :) i have a similar food my blog too :) Do check it when free
    http://sweets-n-spices.blogspot.in/

    Im a new blogger in search of new blogger friends :) Do follow me back or add me to your cicle will be glad to have a new frnd out there

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  11. I have recently learnt about Appams and though mine looked nothing like yours..I enjoyed learning a new dish. Love your space.

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  12. Hi Tisa, Your blog is lovely and lovely pictures..:-)

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  13. I love appams..
    First time on your blog.. will go through the recipes..

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!