Unni Appam, also known as unniyappam, nei appam, is a Kerala speciality. The addition of jaggery gives this snack a delicious taste. I have eaten unniyappam in Kerala on different occasions, and each time I discovered something new about it. I have created my own version here and you can choose to fry the unniyappam in lots of ghee or use minimal ghee – however, the important thing to note here is that unniyappam will never taste nice if ghee is not used!
300 ml water
125 grated jaggery
3 ripe bananas, peeled
250 g rice flour
125 g plain flour
2 tablespoons melted ghee
10 g dry roasted sesame seeds
100 g coconut chips
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon salt
ghee for frying
1. Make syrup by boiling water and jaggery in a small saucepan till the jaggery dissolves. Strain and cool the syrup.
2. Pour the syrup in a blender. Put in the bananas and blend till smooth.
3. Heat wok on low and dry roast the rice flour, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes or until the raw smell vanishes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and leave it to cool.
4. Add in the plain flour, melted ghee, blended banana, sesame seeds, coconut chips, cardamom, ginger powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.
5. Combine to form a smooth batter with dropping consistency. If you find the batter too thick, add a bit of water at a time and stir well until you get a thick but not runny batter.
6. Leave aside for half hour.
7. Heat an unniyappam pan and add 1 teaspoon ghee to each compartment. If an unniyappam pan is not available, use a small frying pan and make flat pancakes.
8. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of the prepared batter into each compartment, till they are three-quarters full and cook. Turn the appams and fry until crisp and golden brown on both sides.
9. Serve warm.