November 18, 2013

Cashew Wheat Appam

How to make Instant Cashew Wheat Appam

              As soon as Deepavali was over, we (as kids) used to start looking forward to Karthigai Deepam; reason being that we could repeat some of the favorite rituals again; like lighting up the house with dozens of oil lit lamps, eat some goodies & finish up what ever fireworks was left over from Deepavali. Compared to Diwali, the Karthigai Deepam was much conservative; in the sense, it didn't have the novelty or showiness of Diwali; every aspect was low key & in moderation. Yet, the images run through my mind, when I think of this festival - the purchase of new clay lamps every year, rows of oil lit lamps outside every house, every room in my house had to have a oil lit lamp (requiring frequent inspection & refills) & not to forget the time spent in front of the mirror with the lamps in hand :) Everything looks n times beautiful in candle light, you got to agree!!




               I know this post is a little late - since the Karthigai Deepam is an evening affair, I didn't have the time or privacy to do my post yesterday. If my little one sees me working on the laptop, he expresses various degrees of displeasure, until he successfully takes over & gets in control of the machine.

               The Cashews are optional, but they do add a layer of flavor, when you chew on this delicacy. You can either deep fry in oil or use the Kuzhi Paniyaram pan, if you want to cut down on oil. It tastes delicious, with a crispy outer shell & soft chewy center. There are many variations to the Appam - can be made with Rice flour, All purpose flour/Maida; can be made with sugar instead of Jaggery, etc.




Makes approximately 20 Appams

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Wheat flour
2 Tbsp Rice flour
2-4 Tbsp Roasted & powder Cashew nuts
3 Tbsp Fresh grated Coconut
Salt - a pinch
1/8 Tsp Cardamom powder
3/4 Cup powdered/crumbled Jaggery
Oil - 1/2 cup or less
Ghee - 4 Tbsp



Special Equipment needed:

Kuzhi Paniyaram Pan
(Or Oil for deep frying)

  • Make a thin syrup with the Jaggery & 1/4 Cup water in a sauce pan, over stove top. 
  • In a bowl, add the Wheat flour, Rice flour, Salt, Cardamom powder & mix. Now add the powdered Cashew nuts & grated Coconut - mix & set aside. 
  • Filter the Jaggery syrup into the flour mixture to make a thick batter (add more water if necessary) 
     
  • Heat a Kuzhi Paniyaram pan with little oil in each cavity. 
  • Pour a spoonful of the batter into each cavity, cover & cook for around 5-7 minutes. Poke with the wooden stick to check whether the center is cooked. 
  • Now flip the Appams gently & pour little Ghee around the edges of each Appam, cover & cook for another 5-7 minutes. 
  • Remove onto a paper towel to absorb any excess oil/ghee & serve.

Tips/Notes:

  • IMP - Keep the flame on low, cover & cook each batch to make sure, you don't burn them.
  • You can deep fry them in oil, if you do not have a Kuzhi Paniyaram Pan. Other options are to use a Cake Puff/Cake Pop maker.
  • You can avoid the Ghee & use just oil. The Ghee adds a very delicious flavor to it.
  • Roasted broken Cashew nuts can also be added, instead of powdered Cashews. 
  • Depending on the quality of the Jaggery used, the final color will differ from light brown to dark brown.


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