Unni appam is a very popular snack item made in Kerala homes using rice, jaggery and banana. Fried in either coconut oil or ghee, it is made in a special pan, usually made of cast iron with many holes in it. The pic above will give you an idea of how the pan looks. These days for easy, you get non-stick unniappa chattis/pans 😛 I like this snack because of its softness and is very mild in sweetness 🙂
You will find many variations in its cooking style. Some people use sesame seeds and fried coconut slices in the recipe. But I personally don’t like to disturb the softness of unni appam and so I don’t prefer the coconut slices in it. I have made a very simple version of unni appam and it came out well the second time. The first time I made it, I didn’t use all-purpose flour. So it turned out a little hard. I personally don’t like to add baking soda in any of the deep frying items because it results in too much of oil absorption. The reason I mentioned baking soda is because, to soften the unni appam and for it to rise well, some people use baking soda. Instead I used very little all-purpose flour and it was perfect.
The reason I attempted to make unni appam is because DD absolutely loves unni appam. So much so, that even the hard unni appams(from my first batch), were over in like a day 😛 Though I knew that he likes unni appam, I had no clue, that probably this is his all time favourite 🙂 I didn’t wait a second day to try and get the perfect recipe for unni appam. Such a relief it was, when I got it right in the very next attempt. Haven’t seen DD happier 😀 This one’s for you my unni appam lover 😛
Note: Cup used for measurement is US measurement cup, 1 cup = 237 ml
Jaggery – 200 gm or 1.25 cups
Rice flour – 200 gm or 1.25 cups
All purpose flour – 50 gm or 1/3 cup
Small banana(called Palayankodan in malayalam) – 3 nos
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Water – apprx. 1.5 cups
Oil or Ghee – for frying
1. Melt jaggery in a pan using 1 cup of water.
2. Grind the palayankodan(banana) into a smooth paste using a mixie/blender. The banana should be fully ripe.
3. In a bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients. To this add melted jaggery and ground banana. Good a good mix so that the ingredients blend well together(use a mixie if needed. I used just a whisk).
4. The batter shouldn’t be very watery. It will drink lot of oil if it is too watery. But you should be able to drop a spoonful of batter easily to the oil.
5. Keep the batter aside for atleast 4-5 hours. For best results, prepare the batter 1 day prior to making the unni appams.
6. Heat oil/ghee in unni appa chatti(shown in the pic above). Drop a spoonful of batter into each hole(of the pan).
7. Let it fry in medium/medium high flame. Turn around the unni appams when one side cooks, for it to cook evenly on both sides. You would know that the unni appams are ready, when they turn brown. Take them out using either fork or skewer.
8. Drain the excess oil/ghee by placing the unni appams on a paper towel.