When we were kids, we didn’t have to make difficult choices of what to snack on from the hundreds of choices available in the market or which cafeteria to visit for a quick bite. We binged on home-made goodies made in bulk and stored in air-tight containers by Mom. One of my all time favorite munchies cum festive food is Unniappams. There must hardly be a Keralite who has not heard of or tasted these delectable little fritters. They are a staple in Malayali households especially during festivals.
Schools in UAE have closed for vacation and my little one is at home. So I made a batch of these for her and her next door friends. They are supposed to be stored for a couple of days, but here they disappear in no time at all.
Unniappams are made from rice flour… typically rice is soaked for a couple of hours, drained and then ground. The flour is then roasted and used for different delicacies. This is long and tedious process…definitely worth it if you are game for it…Or you can just use store bought rice flour. I play it smart and carry sacks of homemade rice flour everytime I go to Kerala!
The typical shape and standard size of Unniappams are achieved by making them in a special cast iron mould traditionally called the ‘appa chatti’ or ‘appa karal’ and this is how it looks like.
Unniappams derive their sweetness and colour from jaggery and not sugar. Jaggery is melted and strained to remove impurities.
Black or white roasted sesame seeds is mixed with rice flour to add to the unique taste. Add cardamom powder, baking soda and ripe chopped or mashed bananas.
Then add the melted jaggery. Fried bits of coconut can also be added to this mixture if you wish to.
Blend this mixture to a thick dropping consistency.
Heat the appa chatti/cast iron pan. Add oil till it comes half way up the moulds. Once it is hot, drop one tblsp each of the mixture into the slots. Let it fry on medium flame.
Turn over every two minutes till both sides are brown.
Unniappam / Rice flour fritters
2 cups Rice flour
2 1/4 cups Jaggery – (melted and strained)
1 tsp Cardamom powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Sesame seeds – roasted
2 ripe Bananaa – chopped
1 cup Warm water
A pinch of salt
For frying – Coconut oil/Ghee/Vegetable oil
- Melt the jaggery, strain to remove any impurities and keep aside.
- In a bowl, add rice flour, roasted sesame seeds, cardamom powder, baking soda, bananas, jaggery and warm water. Blend this into a smooth mixture till it is of dropping consistency.
- Now heat the unniappam pan (cast iron mould pan especially used for this purpose), pour oil till it comes half way up the moulds. Once the oil is hot, drop one tblsp each of the mixture into the slots. Let it fry on medium flame.
- Turn each side after every 2 minutes. Remove them onto a paper towel after its turned golden brown.
Enjoy with a cup of tea!