Neyyappam or unniyappam is an all-time favourite sweet from south India made during Krishna Jayanthi and also during Karthigai Deepam. In some regions they are also called sweet paniyaram.
(soaked for 5 hours)
4 to 5
and oil for frying
Wash and pre-soak the rice for at least 5 hours.
Cut the coconut pieces into tiny bits and keep aside.
In a pan put the jaggery in approximately 50 ml or 1/4 cup of water and put this to boil for few minutes.
Strain the melted jaggery.
Strain the rice and put this in a grinder jar, remove the skin of the cardamom and add this to it, grind this until the rice is powder coarsely.
Stop the mixer, add ginger powder, bananas cut and crushed into pieces, and the melted jaggery to this and continue grinding. Do not add any water.
You will get a thick batter which will be smooth in texture but also have small graininess from the rice.
Remove the batter into a bowl. Add the baking soda to this and mix well. Close the bowl and keep aside for few hours before preparing.
In a small tadka pan, heat some ghee, when hot add the small coconut pieces and fry them until they become brown. Put the fried coconut into the prepared batter.
To prepare the neyappams or unniyappams, you need a special mould called ‘appakara’.
Put the appakara on the stove, pour little ghee along with some oil into each cavity.
Check if the ghee is hot, when it is hot enough, reduce the flame to medium and then pour the batter into each cavity with the help of a small spoon.
Just put batter upto 3/4 of the cavity and leave some room as the neyyappams will rise and swell up.
After some time you will notice that the neyyappams have left the sides and browned on the underside, now it will be easy to flip them over.
Let it turn to a nice brown color on the other side too.
Remove the neyyappams on to absorbent kitchen napkins.
You can also prepare the batter in advance and leave it in the refrigerator and make it whenever you need. The batter stays good for upto 4 to 5 days.
But when we prepare this for Krishna Jayanthi or Janmashtami we make it fresh, of course.
When the neyyappams are hot, you may sprinkle some sugar (this is optional). The children will love it with a dash of sugar on the top.