August 14, 2011

The Daring Cooks Make Appam

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appam with crispy edges and slightly soft center

I added pigeon peas to the carrots recipe

Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.


Thanks Mary for challenging us to cook South Indian food. I rarely cook Indian food and never liked it in the past but in recent years, I have come to appreciate it and even bought a cookbook. I have cooked Kerala Chicken once and loved it but this is the first time I have heard of appam, a flat bread made with fermented rice paste and coconut milk and cooked in a small wok or skillet. The recipe for appam and dishes are here.

Initially, I didn't like its fermented flavor but the second batch I made which had less yeast and shorter fermentation period made delicious appams. I prepared a simple but yummy vegan dish to go with them, the recipe I adapted from here.

Fava Beans, Asparagus, and Potatoes with Grated Coconut

Fava Beans, Asparagus, and Potatoes with Grated Coconut 
½ cup grated fresh coconut
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 piece dried red hot chile
1 tablespoon dried red lentil
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 cup peeled fava beans, half-cooked
1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup tiny potatoes, halved or quartered, half-cooked
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon whole black mustard seeds
1 dried mild red chili, crumbled 
1 clove garlic, finely minced
6 fresh curry leaves, julienned
2 teaspoons powdered jaggery or raw sugar
  • In a small skillet, toast separately coconut, lentils, and chile. Put them in a blender together with the toasted sesame seeds and blend to a paste, adding a little water if needed. Place the blended mixture in a large skillet or small wok and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vegetables, tamarind paste, salt, and water; let boil, lower heat to medium low and simmer, covered, until potatoes and beans are tender and asparagus still crisp but tender. 
  • In another skillet, heat the oil and saute mustard seeds, dried chile, and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the curry leaves and sugar and cook for 1 minute. Stir into the vegetables; turn heat off and let rest for 10 minutes before serving with warm appams.
I also cooked the Sri Lankan Beef Curry provided by Mary but replaced the green chiles with hot reds. Do try this delicious dish.

Beef Curry On Appam
delicious beef curry and appam 

And for breakfast the other day, I added 4 tablespoons sugar to 1 cup of batter, and cooked them thicker than regular appams.. I added grated sharp cheddar on top for a sweet, salty, and coconut-y rice pancakes. I love it!

Sweet Appam
sweet appam for breakfast


Makey-Cakey said...

I went with a fava bean (or broad bean, as we call them in the UK) curry too. Your Sri Lankan beef curry looks fantastic too - making me hungry just looking at it!

Ruth H. said...

Yummy looking dishes! The fava bean, asparagus, etc. dish looks fabulous, an I am wanting to reach through the screen to try that sweet breakfast appam! I am so glad you had fun with this challenge. Thanks for sharing with us!

Andy said...

Great job! They look yummy.

shelley c. said...

Great idea, adapting the appam to suit your tastes better. And all of your accompanying dishes looks wonderful - that fava bean-asapragus dish looks spectacular! Wonderful work (as always!) on the challenge.

chef_d said...

Love your appam, curry and the other vegetable dishes you made. Great pictures...will definitely try making them sweet too!

sara (Belly Rumbles) said...

That was clever adapting the appam mix, your final batch look fantastic.

Unknown said...

You did a great job.

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