My 120th recipe, “Unniyappam (Unni appam)”, one of my favorite dish from Kerala. Unniyappam is a small round snack made from rice, jaggery, banana, roasted coconut pieces, roasted sesame seeds and cardamom powder fried in oil. It is Kerala’s version of Sweet Kuzhi Paniyaram.
In Malayalam, ‘unni’ means small and ‘appam’ means rice cake. Today is Panguni Uthiram, the full moon day of the Tamil month of Panguni. It is believed to be the day of Incarnation of Lord Ayyappan. My mom generally pays a visit to the Ayyappan temple on this day.
Apart from the divine blessings, the one other thing I remember from those visits were the Unniyappam given as prasad. It tastes super delicious and one of my favorites of all time. My mom usually prepares a similar kind of dish, which is a sweet version of the Kuzhi Paniyaram. However, I wanted to try making an authentic dish as Keralites would make.
Thanks to Zalee Chandra for guest posting this lovely recipe on Rani’s Kitchen Magic. An easy to follow recipe, it was. When I made it today, I could not believe my taste buds. It tasted so divine just like how I remember tasting it as a prasad from Lord Ayyappan. Crispy on the outside and a soft inside with a yummy banana flavor 🙂
Unniyappam | Unni Appam
Unniyappam or Unni Appam is a traditional Kerala sweet snack made from flour, banana, jaggery, coconuts and deep fried in ghee or oil.
- Coconut - 1/2 Cup (chopped into small pieces)
- Jaggery - 1 Cup
- Water - As needed
- Rice flour - 1 1/2 Cups
- Whole wheat flour - 1/2 Cup
- Ripe Banana - 2 large
- Salta small pinch
- Baking Sodaa large pinch
- Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp
- Roasted Sesame Seeds - 1 tsp
- Oil | Ghee - For frying
- First heat a small pan. Optionally add 1/2 tsp ghee / oil. Roast the chopped coconut pieces until it turns slightly golden brown. Transfer to a plate and let it come to room temperature.
- To the same pan, add the jaggery along with 1/2 Cup of water. Heat in medium flame until the jaggery is completely melted. Filter the jaggery syrup through a fine metal mesh strainer and let it come to room temperature.
- Then, roughly chop / mash the bananas and add it to the mixie. Grind it to a smooth paste.
- Now, take a heavy bottomed pan and dry roast the rice flour and whole wheat flour for about 1 min until a nice aroma arises. Do not roast until the color changes. Let it come to room temperature.
- Now, take a large mixing bowl, add the rice flour, wheat flour, jaggery syrup, banana paste, coconut and mix well into a batter. The batter should be in the consistency of a idly batter, add water accordingly. I used about 1 Cup of water. Leave the batter to rest for 20 mins.
- After 20 mins of resting, add the salt, baking soda, cardamom powder, roasted sesame seeds and mix well until combined.
- Now heat the paniyaram pan with some oil / ghee in each hole and fill 3/4th of the hole with prepared batter. I used 1 Tbsp batter per hole. Cook in low-medium flame until small holes appears on top and the side turns golden brown. Now flip the appam using the spatula or spoon and cook the other side until they are fully done. Check by inserting a toothpick in the center and it should come out clean, with no raw batter sticking to it.
- Transfer to the serving plate and enjoy hot.
- In case you can't find fresh coconut for adding, you can instead use grated coconut. You can however skip the roasting step.
- Even though using non-stick paniyaram pan, adding generous amount of oil will help the appam to crisp up and achieve the best taste.
- I did not add sesame seeds, however adding it is recommended to get the authentic taste.
- Overripe bananas gives the best taste to the dish.