Saturday, February 13, 2010


The reaction from people of all ages who taste the appams for the first time is always the same - they find it delicious and they always assume that making it must be really complicated. I cant describe how surprised and pleased I was when Mummy introduced Appams to me several years ago in 2001 or 2002. I had eaten something similar in Bangalore but had no idea of how to make it. I was even more pleased to find out that Mummy had got me an Appam Patra, a special gadget/pan required for making Appams. Mummy had got these pans on special order from Madras. Since there was a high demand for the pans among anybody who tasted the Appam and also because they were not available in Agra, i considered myself extremely lucky to get one. This is a good example of how mummy was always seeking and embracing new recipes and making it part of the family tradition.

Having learnt the recipe, I made it and served it to people who visited us and had a similar reaction. Anybody who tasted appams for the first time found it so good that they asked for the recipe and having learnt the recipe asked for the pan. Mummy had to special order appam patra several times to give away from Bombay, Madras and then she personally bought them when she visited Surat in summers.

Here is the recipe that literally takes 15 minutes from the time you have a craving for making it to the time you are ready to serve the first batch.


1 cup course soojee (cream of wheat)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seeds
Plain yogurt*
1 tsp eno powder
Rest of the ingredients are optional or can be substituted with other vegetables. Mummy added whatever vegetables (spinach, carrots, peas, beets...) were available giving these a slightly different color or taste each time. I used following vegetables to make these today:
1 small onion - finely chopped
1/2 cup cabbage - finely chopped
1-2 green chilli finely chopped
Handful of cilantro leaves chopped
* I will measure amount of yogurt next time.

1. Mix Soojee, salt, cumin and add yogurt to make thick paste.
2. At this time, start to heat Appam patra on slow heat. Add 1/4 tsp of oil in each round and let the oil heat.
3. Mix the vegetables to the batter and if it seems thick, add more yogurt or water to adjust the consistency. The batter should have thick consistency so it can be dropped using a spoon.
4. Add eno to the batter and quickly mix.
5. Using a spoon, drop the batter in each appam round and let it cook on one side for couple of minutes.
6. Turn each appam using the wooden spoon supplied with non stick appam patra and add little oil in each appam round again.
7. Appams are done when both sides have developed a crisp brown surface and are fully cooked in the middle. Cooking on low to medium heat produces the best results.
8. Make more appams till batter is used.
9. Serve them with chutney or pickle of your choice.

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