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June 22, 2010

Ethakka Appam Recipe | Pazham Pori Recipe | A Kerala Snack Recipe

Ethakka appam, pazham pori, whatever its called, holds a special place in the cuisine of Kerala. Its a quintessential Malayali snack and you get to buy it in every restaurant, roadside snack carts, trains, hostel canteens, college cafes, you name it! For making the perfect Pazham Pori, you need very ripe bananas (more on the banana used for pazham pori, below) as this could really make ir break the taste of your ethakka appam.

Ethakka Appam Recipe

Yes, it's deep fried, yes, it's coated in all purpose flour, but Pazham Pori is worth it and I want you to take my word on this.

Ethakka Appam Recipe

The bananas used for Ethakka Appam is Ethappazham (the raw version of which, Ethakka, is used to make the famous Kerala banana chips!). It won't taste the same or as good if you use any other kind of banana. Its also called Nenthram Pazham but I can't seem to find a more representative English translation for Nenthram pazham except plaintain.

On to the how-to now.

Ethakka Appam / Pazham Pori Recipe
Serves 2 : About 8-10 pieces

Ingredients
1 Ethapazham / Nentham pazham / Ripe plaintain (the riper and blacker the skin, the better)
1 cup all purpose flour or maida
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
A pinch of turmeric powder
About 3/4 cup water (more or less)
Coconut oil to deep fry

How to Make Pazham Pori

Ethakka Appam

1. Place the flour in a wide bowl.

Ethakka Appam Recipe

2. Add sugar, salt and baking soda. I used brown sugar but white sugar works perfect too.

Ethakka Appam Recipe

3. Add about 1/2 cup water and adjust as you go, to make a batter that's slightly more watery than dosa batter. It shouldn't be too thin, otherwise, the appams will be too oily.

Ethakka Appam Recipe

4. Add in a pinch of turmeric powder. This is only meant for the colour bit and doesn't change the taste or flavour in any way.

Some people add jeera to ethakka appam. I personally don't like biting into them but feel free to add it in if you want.

Ethakka Appam Recipe

5. Cut the plaintain into half and then slice each half midway vertically. Further slice each of the quarters into 2-3 thin pieces. Dunk these into the batter.

Ethakka Appam Recipe

6. Heat the coconut oil until its all bubbly. You have to use coconut oil for the authentic taste. Anything else is a blasphemy so don't tell me if you used vegetable oil or *shudder* olive oil.

I used a super small kadai so that I need only very little oil and that reduces wastage.

Ethakka Appam Recipe

7. When the oil is just short of smoking hot, add in the banana pieces coated with the batter.

Ethakka Appam Frying

8. Fry until golden brown and drain on paper napkins.

Ethakka Appam Kerala Banana Fritters

9. Serve Pazham Pori warm with tea.

The ethakka appams get soggy and the coating gets chewy and soft once cold so this is best served warm. But when I was a kid, I used to wait till it got cold and chewy :)