Sweet dumplings with banana, rice, all purpose flour, jaggery, coconut and cardamon
I had been watching Singh is King at IFC channel and was just done with cleaning at home. It was time for a chai and also time for S to return from his cricket game. The kitchen looked sparkly clean and my fridge looked so bright after a thorough wash. I feel I achieved my target for the week. I wanted some simple snack to munch and also some treat for myself. I was reminded of my all time favourite school day snack: Banana appam which my mom used to make. The thought of it made me crave for more. Sometimes S’s team loses their matches and generally, he wouldnt be in a great mood when he returns home after that and above all, if he finds a sweet (In India, a sweet typically depicts celebrations) he would be irritated for sure. I was in dilemma whether to make it or not.
Suddenly, I was reminded of the famous Cadbury Chocolate ad where a group of men and young boys would be watching a cricket match between Indian and Kenya. They would be having a box of Cadbury celebration chocolates to celebrate after India wins. Unfortunately India loses and the entire gang goes disappointed and suddenly a small boy from the group says “Sweet yedu, Kondadu!!!” (meaning Celebrate with a sweet in Tamil). The remaining guys who are really pissed off stare at him for what he said. Then the small boy replies “Someone won right! Lets celebrate”. Thats the tag line for Cadbury chocolate “Celebrate with Cadbury’s”. I was convinced that I had a back up answer for making this sweet treat if his team has lost.
Banana Appam is a popular South Indian sweet. They are made during festival season. It is particularly cooked for Kartigai Deepam which is celebrated on the full moon day (pournami) of the month of Karthigai, as per the Hindu calendar. It is one of the most important festivals of the people of Tamil Nadu. Deepam knows as clay lamps in Tamil language is lit up in houses and streets in the evening of the festival day.Appam and Poori urundai are made on this day. Puffed rice called Poori in Tamil are cooked with jaggery to form delicious sweet balls and appam are cooked with banana and a sweetener like jaggery to form Indian Hoppers.
I used fresh ripe bananas to make these. You also use frozen ones. Next week I am planning bake some banana bread or pancake for the road trip. I had purchased a non-stick appam pan from India and they deliver great appams without much fuss. No oil needed at all! But I smeared little ghee on top to create the authentic flavour to the dish.
These yummy little balls are a true delight in every bite. The wonderful cardamons infuse a lovely aroma to the maida-rice flour batter. A dash of salt enhances the sweetness of the jaggery. With the addition of little water, the smooth batter was ready in no time. My kitchen air was filled with a lovely smell of the appam coated with ghee. I felt the smell of my home back in India. I ended up with 14 appams which disappeared in less than 2 mins. Yummy!
Do try this and I am sure everyone at home will love it. Importantly, its so easy to fix. It’s OK if you don’t have an appam pan. You can reduce the amount of water and make the batter real thick like the vada consistency. Deep fry them in oil/ghee. Nothing can stop us from enjoying this little pleasure. Give it a try for sure!
PS: S team won the match today and he was so happy when returned home. He enjoyed the appams and went sad when they disappeared too quickly.
South Indian Banana Appam – Healthy, Less Fat Recipe
1 ripe long banana
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rice flour
4 cardamon – powdered 0r 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon dessicated / fresh coconut shavings (cut into small chunks)
- 1/4 cup jaggery – powdered + more (if you need more sweeteness)
- 2 cups water + 2 cup more (if needed)
- Ghee to cook
- Iron or non-stick appam chatti (amazon link below)
- Heat water in a pan, add the jiggery and let it dissolve, about 10 minutes on medium low flame. Switch off the flame and let it cool.
- Seive whole wheat flour, rice flour, cardamons, salt, baking soda in a large bowl. Pour the jiggery water and whisk them to smooth batter.
- Add the mashed banana and coconut piecess to it and mix well. The batter shouldn’t be too watery. Check for the sweetness. If you need more, dissolve jaggery in little water and add to the batter. Adjust thickness with rice flour. It should have a consistency of dosa/idli batter or pancake batter. Let them sit for 15 minutes.
- Heat the non-stick pan on a medium flame. Brush the pan with little ghee. Once hot, spoon in the batter into each hole and wait for 15min and using a spoon/ wooden prickle turn them over. Cook for another 10-15min. Have an eye on it. Dont burn them. The jaggery should caramelize and impart a beautiful brown color. Smear ghee on top (optional).
- Serve hot with chai. Enjoy!