Unniyappam or Neyyappam is traditionally made with powdered raw rice as the base. My athamma (dad's sister) makes the most amazing unniyappam with plain flour as the base and it's delicious, not to mention fail-proof. I first tasted it a couple years back and since then the taste had been haunting me. This time, she made it for me in our ancestral home in Alappuzha as I watched and clicked.
Unniyappam-Neyyappam-Easy Diwali Sweets Recipe
Preparation time: 3-6 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes 40 unniyappam (neyyappam)
Recipe Source: Athamma
1.5 cups of all-purpose flour /maida
1/2 cup of rava / semolina
2 tbsp of rice powder
1/2 to 3/4 cup of ripe banana, pureed
1.5 cups of melted jaggery (adjust to taste)
4-5 green cardamom seeds, powdered
A pinch of baking soda / soda-bi-carb (optional)
1/3 cup of grated coconut
2 tbsp of ghee (how to make ghee at home)
2 cups of oil, for frying
Salt to taste
How to Make Unniyappam (Neyyappam)
1. Melt grated jaggery in some water until you get a thick-ish liquid of pouring consistency. It's hard to give exact measurements here. You can adjust sweetness levels according to your preference later on so no worries. After melting, measure out the required amount of jaggery.
- Make sure to use ripe bananas when making the unniyappam. You can use pretty much any kind of banana. Athamma said she used to only use palayamkodan (a variety of banana most easily available in Kerala) but the unniyappams drink too much oil so she switched to using poovan banana. The kind we get in Singapore is the long green/yellow kind and that will work just fine too.
- If the bananas are not too ripe, don't omit the soda powder. The bananas help to ferment the batter a bit which make the appams soft.
- You can use small coconut pieces instead of grated coconut.
- We cooked the neyyappams in coconut oil but you can use any regular cooking oil or even ghee (the word neyyappam means ghee appams!). Since we are adding some ghee to the batter, that should give it a nice flavour without you needing to cook it in ghee.
- The appam chatti should be kept on medium-low heat always otherwise the insides won't cook. Try to cook one appam first and check for sweetness levels before proceeding.