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Egg Hoppers | Mutta Velleppam

>> February 23, 2013

Egg hoppers are more identified with Srilanka than Kerala, I think. Even in Kochi, it is not common in a restaurant menu that reads out a mutta velleppam / appam. Recently, i saw the TV series - My Srilanka with Peter Kuruvita. The batter prepared for appam is slightly different from mine. In the TV series bread is used instead of yeast. Mine has even more difference. I don't use the coconut milk version. I follow the recipe where coconut is ground along with rice. This is much easier because there is no task of extracting the coconut milk and then cleaning up many vessels. The secret of my recipe is the addition of coconut water. Egg hoppers have crispier edges than usual hoppers because the egg is poured into the cooked palappam otherwise the middle of the appam will remain undercooked or even uncooked and messy. 

The rule of thumb therefore is to break the eggs in when the appam is almost cooked. Sprinkling salt and pepper is optional, but i prefer it, as it gives more taste.

recipe for egg hoppers or mutta appam

appam batter (click here for recipe) - as much as you need

eggs - 1 per appam  / hopper

Heat a deep pan, as seen in the first picture. Grease it with oil cloth or just use back of a spoon to spread 1 or 2 drops of oil. Pour a ladleful of appam batter. Swirl the pan to let the batter coat the pan. For egg hoppers make sure there is not much batter to collect in the middle. Put the lid on and cook in medium heat. This ensures that the sides are still soft. Once the middle the appam has lost its whitish colour or has turned pale, break an egg in. Sprinkle some salt and pepper ( i rubbed together a tiny pinch of salt and a tiny pinch of pepper in advance, so that it is evenly spread on the egg). Cover and let the egg cook in low heat. Low heat is required to cook this step, so that the sides do not turn dark brown. Remove the egg hoppers from the pan when the eggwhite is completely cooked and the egg yolk is slightly gooey. It will cook itself by the time it is served. Serve with a bean curry, like garbanzo bean curry / kadala curry (masala curry) or green peas green kurma or  a vegetable kurma.



>> February 17, 2013


Neyyappam is Kerala's own rice pancake deep fried in ghee. It can be compared to the North Indian deep fried pancakes called Malpua . I thought that it is intricate and difficult to prepare Neyyappam at home, but it is not. It is very easy as long as you have a dependable recipe and all the ingredients. I did a detailed research about Neyyappam before trying it, 'coz none of the photographs i saw online had the texture and colour of what i have seen in the ones we buy from store. And also because this is not a family recipe, just my trial to check whether i can be successful with it. 

If any of you who have a traditional recipe for Neyyappam, do let me know whether cardamom and dry ginger is added. Because the taste i have known does not have cardamom or any other flavourings, so i have left out in my recipe, but if you feel like you can add it. The measures of cardamom and ginger is given here on the basis of a similar Anglo-Indian snack called Soulinjha which we prepare during Christmas season.

ingredients for the recipe

rice flour (puttu podi)  - 2 cup (200 gms)
jaggery, grated - 2 cups (approx 175 - 200 gms)
plantain (palayamkodan) - 2 or banana - 1
water to crumble the rice flour - 100 ml
water to melt the jaggery - 100 ml
butter or ghee - 1 tbsp
coconut bits - 2 tbsp (cut thin slices of coconut and dice it into 1.5 cm pieces)
sesame seeds - 1tsp
oil for deep frying

Though the name literally means made of ghee, i have used vegetable oil for frying. Use a flat bottom pan to fry the neyyappam as seen in the picture below.

Neyyappam being fried

Place the rice flour in a deep bowl. Add the water and crumble it as done for puttu or for a pastry dough. Keep it aside for one hour. Mash the plantains and place it in the rice crumble. Add the butter. Knead it into a smooth dough. 

Heat water and melt the jaggery. Let it cool down to room temperature. Add one third of the syrup into the rice mix. Start mixing with your hands or a whisk. I mixed with hands. Get rid of all the lumps and mix till you get a smooth batter. Add the remaining two thirds of jaggery and mix well.

Fry the coconut bits in ghee or oil and add it to the batter. Wash the sesame seeds 2 to 3 times and add it to the batter. Let the batter rest for 5 hours or overnight. It would have become a thick batter now, but it will be in pouring consistency. 

If you like to add cardamon , powder 3 cardamoms and add to the batter at this stage. Additional spice is dry ginger. You can powder 1/4 inch piece and add to the batter alongwith cardamom.

Heat adequate ghee or oil in a pan. Use a small ladle to pour the batter. Or else you can use a spoon from which you can pour the batter in one direct stream. When the bottom of the neyyappam is cooked it will leave the pan by itself, otherwise you can slightly loosen it once the sides start turning brown. As you see in the picture , the first set i fried is the blacking brown colour, since i was not aware of the cooking time. So you can test with one and then repeat the frying process.  Switch heat between high to medium or even to low while frying Neyyappam.

This can be stored for a week or two in air tight containers.



Bread Pori - lettes

>> February 07, 2013

If there can be cakelettes and tartlets, why not some pori-lettes. Pori is nothing but the shot form of porichathu. In Kerala, we have our own, famous pazham pori and undampori. Similarly in rustic tea shops and some city tea shops you can find bread porichathu - a Mildly Sweet, Batter fried bread. But the one you get in the tea shop is a whole slice of bread, which has very little crispy sides. What i like in a snack is the crisp and crunch. When i used to eat undampori  served in our college hostel, i used to peel off that brown coat like crispy side and leave a table tennis sized inside of the undampori in my plate. I hate to waste food, but i just couldn't afford to eat the uninteresting inside. So, the undampori's i prepare is also small. Maybe i should start calling it undampori - lettes .....

The miniature sized bread pori's as you see in the picture is as a result of my fondness for that crispy edges and crunchy sound you get with every bite. Kids would just love to see these tiny snacks. It is easy for them to pop in one, run around and pick another one. You need not hold that one huge slice of bread pori and think when is this going to finish.

This recipe is good to use up left over bread slices, which are a day or two old.

Recipe for bread porichathu

Oil for frying

ingredients for the batter

5 tbsp flour / maida

1 1/2 tbsp rice flour (this gives the crisp & crunch) - its fine, even if  u don't have rice flour - just add soda instead of water to prepare the batter or you can just skip this ingredient and add the same quantity maida

1/4 tsp or a little less salt

2 tbsp sugar

1 or 2 tbsp sesame seeds - Sesame seeds are healthy, so i have added a lot of it

Water - 12 tbsp or as much required to get a thick batter. If the batter is runny it wont coat the bread

Turmeric - 1 large pinch for colour (optional)


Place the water, turmeric salt and sugar in a bowl. Stir and gradually add the maida and rice flour until a batter is formed. Add the sesame seeds.

Cut the bread slices into small pieces. I sliced each bread slice into 12 pieces.

Heat oil in a pan. When hot, take each piece of bread, dip it in the batter and fry it in medium heat, turning sides.  Remove from oil when the sides start to brown. Serve warm.

Click here for more Indian Snack Recipes in this blog.


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