Tag Archives: karuppatti/palm jaggery

The Appam Remake: Sivapparisi Karuppatti Paniyaram/Banana Fritters with Red Rice and Palm Jaggery

  


  

The versatile deep fried Appam was posted a year ago with wheat flour and banana. The flexibility of this snack is its adaptability to a number of grains or milled powders of those grains- raw rice, rice powder, wheat flour, refined flour, millet powders and so on.. Here I have tried red rice powder in combination with wheat flour. The Appam batter here is not deep fried but gets a healthy makeover as Paniyaram – which is made with less oil in the Paniyara chatti.
  


  

Now, when does the true urge to make appam set in? Any guesses??

You buy bananas;
consume a few;
give away a few;
forget the following day about the bananas;
third day- the bananas have become extra ripe;
changed colour;
become softer inside;
the urge to make Appam arises!

Well ripe banana is synonymous to Appam in our household. Sometimes, we deliberately leave aside a banana or two to be transformed into Appam. I think the tempting factor is the addition of cane jaggery or palm sugar to bananas, that makes it a super special delicacy, yet it is a hard core simple recipe to handle.

Well ripe Banana here acts as a softener and the flour of your choice and sugar with water make it a beautiful batter.  In Tamilnadu cuisine, rice flour is added to deep fried snacks like vadai, bhajji, kara sevu and many more to enhance the crispiness. Karuppatti paniyaram  or sweet paniyaram in many places are made with raw rice and palm/cane jaggery alone.

I tried the appam as its healthier variant ‘paniyaram’ with the combination of red rice flour, wheat flour, ripe banana and palm sugar. This powdered Cambodian palm sugar was the last of the batch and I have no more of it, which I realized only after the batter was done and no photos clicked. Hence, the picture shows unrefined cane sugar instead of palm sugar.

The addition of equal quantity of red rice powder, made the paniyaram extra stronger to withhold its shape with the beautiful texture of crispiness than soft.
  

Sivapparisi Karuppatti Paniyaram/Banana Fritters with Red rice and Palm Sugar
  

Ingredients

  


 

the last batch of palm sugar powder


 

  • sivapparisi maavu/red rice flour – 3/4 cup
  • gothumai maavu/wheat flour – 3/4 cup
  • panai vellam/palm jaggery (powder)- 1 cup
  • elakkai podi/cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • chukku podi/dry ginger powder – 1/2 tsp
  • baking soda – 1/2 tsp
  • well ripe soft banana – big – 1 no.s ; if small – 2 no.s
  • salt – a pinch
  • water – as needed to make a thick batter
  • oil – to fry in paniyara chatti/mould

  
Method of Preparation

  


  

  1. In a blender, add both flours, palm sugar,banana, cardamom powder, dry ginger powder, salt, baking soda with water and blend into a thick batter, almost like a cake batter.
  2. The only ingredient left out is oil
  3. Pour the batter in a bowl and adjust water if needed
  4. Heat the Paniyaram Pan and pour 1/2 tsp oil in each mould and let the oil heat up
  5. Pour 1 dinner spoon of batter in each and let it turn golden brown. Because of the palm sugar, the golden brown would be darker brown
  6. Flip the half done paniyaram, for the other side to cook
  7. When done, remove and place it first in an open container. Immediately closing the container would soften the paniyaram.
  8. Sivapparisi Paniyaram is ready.

  

Note

  


  

  1. One can replace palm sugar with cane jaggery. Dissolve jaggery in water and strain for impurities and make a thin syrup.
  2. The syrup can be used instead of water with all the above mentioned ingredients to make paniyaram batter.
  3. The flexibility of this appam/paniyaram is that one can even omit the banana, or replace the red rice with wheat flour with banana.
  4. If one doesn’t have paniyara chatti, feel free to deep fry or even make wonderful pancakes with the same batter.

 

Home made Healthy Caramel Popcorn (with palm jaggery) – A Promise Kept!

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While on our recent flight, when my daughter asked for a caramel popcorn snack, I obviously restricted her not only due to the white sugar caramel.. but I could imagine a long list of unnecessary components dancing their way into the box. I was and am truly scared of the butter… too much salt… baking soda…. corn syrup… preserving agents and other unknown ingredients in the pack. I know I sound quite obsessed with healthy food. And as always, I promised her to make a healthier version of Caramel Popcorn at home.
Though in a while relaxing my obsession, I bought her a pack of caramel popcorn and tasted to find the original taste and texture of it. Crispy, buttery, salty, perfectly sweetened with caramelized sugar –  it definitely tasted good. Reading the ingredients, I couldn’t control the guilt of having those unwanted preservatives and unknown elements included in the pack to increase its shelf life.
Now, to keep up the promise..(by the way, I am approximately 75% good at keeping up my healthy promises in the kitchen), I decided to try a healthy caramel popcorn version not altering the taste of the packed junk that we had.
Off late, I have been quite successful in making peanut and sesame candies with jaggery syrup. With that confidence of getting the right syrup consistency, I went to fetch cane jaggery from my storage. In a corner, I saw the ‘chukku karuppatti’ specially bought from Thiruchendur Temple.

 

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Chukku Karuppatti is a flavourful/healthy combination of palm jaggery and dry ginger, moulded for storage in a hand-made palm leaf box. It is a household remedy for cold, cough and indigestion. So, you guessed right… caramel would be made from ‘chukku karuppatti’ – ‘dry ginger palm jaggery’ – that would aid in digestion too!
Here’s how I made it .. from scratch… with dry corn and no added ingredients. I prefer the taste of popped corn made from the humble pressure cooker than one made in a microwave.
Palm Sugar Caramel Popcorn – flavoured with dry ginger

 

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Ingredients

for pop-corn

  • dried corn (to pop-up) – 1 cup
  • oil – 1 tsp
  • salt – 1/2 tsp

 

pressure cooker popcorn

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for caramel

  • chukku karuppatti/palm jaggery with dry ginger – 1/2 cup

Cane Jaggery can also be substituted for Palm Jaggery

healthy brown syrup

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Method of Preparation

coating popcorn in palm syrup

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  1. Melt 1/2 cup palm sugar in 1/4 cup water either in minimum heat or by just stirring
  2. Keep the palm sugar aside at this melted level
  3. Before making caramel, it is better to make popcorn as the thickened syrup would harden quickly
  4. In a pressure cooker, take 1 tsp oil and salt; add dry corn and mix well
  5. Close the lid without the whistle and let the corn pop up in a few minutes
  6. Pop corn is ready
  7. Open the lid and keep aside and start making caramel
  8. For caramel, in a wide bottomed pan, take the already melted palm sugar and make a two string consistency syrup
  9. If one feels the quantity of syrup is too much for the quantity of popped corn, take the extra syrup and store for any other candy next time
  10. Immediately add the popcorn in the syrup and mix well
  11. Crispy Caramel Popcorn is ready
  12. Cool and store in an airtight container.

 

 

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It is truly a great feeling of satisfaction and pride to have fulfilled a promise given to your young one!

 

Vaazhai Pazha Appam/Banana Wheat Flour Fritters (south indian style)

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Appam is a simple sweet that can accommodate itself into any occasion… household snack or a festive sweet. Like the Vadai, this one is a comfort food for all purposes. The distinguishing quality is the simplicity involved in the making of appam. The versatility of vadai was written in the post on vadai (dosaikal.com/ulundhu vadai); I shall call Appam the sweet version of salted vadai in terms of Versatility.

It is also a healthy snack with whole wheat flour and jaggery. A plain appam can be made with whole wheat flour and jaggery as main ingredients. This one has the added flavor of banana. It is almost a fried version of banana cake. Hence, it can also be a remedy for finishing off those over-ripe soft bananas left in the fruit basket, not fit to be had as a fruit anymore.

It is certainly a quick sweet for unexpected guests. It can be made very fast, with jaggery syrup ready in fridge. Even without the syrup, appam batter can be mixed in a jiffy with or without blender, with hands or egg beater too. It can also be an awesome holiday snack or a rainy day comfort snack.

Apart from the special sweets made for specific festivals, Appam can be a sweet made for many festivals and orthodox prayer days as a quick morning Puja Delicacy.

 

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Jaggery Syrup

  1. In a pan/vessel, immerse jaggery in just enough water
  2. Once jaggery is dissolved, strain for impurities
  3. Keep the strained jaggery water in a pan on stove, add cardamom powder and dry ginger powder
  4. Boil the mixture till it thickens a bit, say for 5 mins till the syrup takes the flavor of the powders well
  5. Cool and store the syrup in fridge
  6. Use when needed in sweets.

Vaazhai Pazha Appam/Banana Appam  (Banana Whole Wheat Fritters)

Ingredients (makes appr. 40 appams)

 

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  • vaazhai pazham/ripe banana -2 no.s
  • gothumai maavu/whole wheat flour – 2 cups
  • arisi maavu/rice flour – 2 tblsp
  • vellam/jaggery – 1 cup
  • uppu/salt – a pinch
  • baking soda – 1/2 spoon
  • elakkai podi/cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  • chukku podi/dry ginger powder – 1 tsp
  • water – as much required for dissolving jaggery
  • oil – for deep frying

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Method of Preparation

Different Versions of Appam

I. Deep-fried Appam

 

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The below given recipe is the deep fried version.

  1. Dissolve jaggery in just enough water and filter for impurities
  2. Mash the well ripen bananas
  3. In a mixer-grinder bowl, mix whole wheat flour, rice flour, mashed bananas, jaggery water, salt, cardamom powder, dry ginger powder and baking soda and blend to a fine paste
  4. Use little water initially to dissolve jaggery, so that if more water is needed to make a medium consistency batter, water can be added then
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan
  6. Pour the batter through a spoon and fry till done
  7. Appams would be soft and fluffy because of the addition of baking soda.

II. Less oil Appam – Vaazhai Pazha Paniyaaram

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Paniyaara Chatti/Pan used to make Paniyaaram (dosaikal.com/paniyaram), can be used for a low fat, less oil Appam. Just grease the moulds of pan with little oil or pour 1/2 tsp of oil in each mould and fry both sides. The non-fried appam is called inippu paniyaram/sweet paniyaaram.

 

  1. Pour very little oil in the paniyaaram moulds
  2. Use the same batter and fry on both sides

III. Healthier version using Palm jaggery  –  Karuppatti Appam or Paniyaaram

Substitute the jaggery (made from sugar cane) with palm jaggery (made from palm). Palm jaggery is the same as jaggery, in the shape of a small-hard ball. Dissolve in water, strain for impurities and use as in recipe. Deep fry or use paniyaara chatti as preferred.

dosaikal 7 179

 

IV. Using powdered palm sugar – Karuppatti Appam or Paniyaaram

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Using powdered palm sugar is the easiest and healthiest of all. The dissolving and filtering process of jaggery can be omitted and mixed directly with the other ingredients. Deep fry or use paniyaara chatti as preferred.

 

  1. Using palm sugar makes the batter darker and appam more brown in colour. The taste is almost the same but be rest assured about the high nutrient qualities of palm sugar in comparison to cane jaggery
  2. For 2 cups of wheat flour, 2  well ripen mashed bananas and 1 1/2 cups of powdered palm sugar (instead of 1 cup of jaggery)
  3. Substitute the jaggery in the recipe with powdered palm sugar and follow the same instruction for deep fried or paniyaaram version of Appam
  4. Deep fry or use Paniyaara chatti a preferred.

Note:

  1. Quantity of jaggery/palm sugar can be altered as per preferences.
  2. Grated coconut (1/4 cup)  can be added for additional flavor.
  3. Usage of rice flour aids in crisper appams.
  4. Keep a watch with water. Less water can be rectified by adding more water. More water needs more flour and more mashed bananas, which might create chaos.
  5. Always use well ripen very soft bananas for soft flavorful appam.

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Adai Pradhaman/ Ada Pradhaman

I have always felt jaggery based sweets are more traditional… might be because special occasions are marked by those made of jaggery. Pongal is celebrated with sarkkarai pongal which is sweetened by jaggery. Diwali though not a traditional tamil festival, is marked by adhirasam which is again made of jaggery. Or more so because, in today’s world everyone prefers making the comparatively easier sugar based sweets to the time-consuming  jaggery based sweets.

Adai pradhaman is one such sweet. Though it is more popular as a kerala payasam or kheer, the people of tirunelveli district of tamilnadu, having proximity geographically to kerala also prepare this payasam. When we were young, adai – flakes of cooked rice – the base of this payasam was not available in shops in chennai. My grandmother used to send from tirunelveli where it was made in bulk. In kerala, it is made fresh for the payasam.  Nowadays it is very easily available in packets in most of the indian shops even if we live abroad.

Till today, I believe adai pradhaman is the most heavenly and divinely of all payasams! The smell of adai or flakes of cooked rice, cooked in jaggery, and coconut milk added slowly would travel around the house… not to leave the cashewnuts fried in ghee poured on top of it.  Another payasam to come close to this would be paasi paruppu payasam/ dehusked green gram (moong dhal) payasam (recipe shortly).

Unlike Kerala where adai pradhaman is a festival sweet, in tamilnadu or more specifically tirunelveli, it is prepared for guests and special occasions. Sometimes it used to be a sunday special and I used to be so delighted to have tirunelveli special in chennai! Now to the recipe..

This recipe needs thin – 3rd milk, medium thick – 2nd milk and creamy thick – 1st milk of coconut to be added gradually in the rice flakes cooked in jaggery. Here, I have minimised work by using canned coconut milk.

 

Adai Pradhaman

Ingredients

  • adai/flakes of cooked rice – 200 gms
  • vellam/jaggery – 400 gms
  • coconut milk – 1 can – 200 gms
  • ghee – 2 tbsp
  • cashewnuts – 12 no. halved
  • cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • dry ginger powder – 1/2 tsp

the humble Nut

 

palm jaggery might give a darker colour to the payasam

 

cooking adai

 

jaggery might have impurities

 

 

 Method of Preparation

  1. Boil water in a big utensil
  2. Always add adai to boiling water as these  flakes might stick to the bottom of the utensil if water is cold
  3. Adai should be completely immersed in water and there should be enough water to cook the adai 
  4. When it is cooked soft, drain and wash in cold water 
  5. In a separate pan, take jaggery and 1 cup of water
  6. When jaggery is melted, filter it
  7. Cook adai in filtered jaggery in a hard bottomed wide cooking pan
  8. After about seven minutes add half the canned coconut milk
  9. Simmer for five minutes. If the payasam tends to thicken, little water can be added to adjust the consistency. This thickening might be due to the thick canned milk. Mostly this doesn’t happen when thin and medium thick 3rd or 2nd milk is gradually added
  10. Add cardamom powder and dry ginger powder and mix well
  11. Now add the remaining coconut milk and let it cook for another five minutes
  12. Payasam is done. Turn off the stove
  13. Fry cashewnuts till golden brown in ghee and pour it on the adai pradhaman
  14. Tastes best when served on a banana leaf. Tackle it with all five fingers and palm to send it to the taste buds of the tongue.  

 

Adai Pradhaman

 

Aval Sarkkarai Pongal/ Rice Flakes Jaggery Pongal

Aval in tamil, poha in hindi and rice flakes in english is also called flattened rice or beaten rice. This is an easily digestible snack as well as a whole meal. Aval can be soaked in water or milk to make it softer. When soaked it swells to nearly double the quantity. It can be an evening snack with sugar or jaggery or a breakfast dish in the form of uppuma or even aval dosai/dosa.  When I host, I make aval sarkkarai pongal as a dessert served hot.

aval

 

Vellam/Gud or Jaggery is a traditional unrefined whole cane sugar. It is considered healthier than refined sugar since it retains more mineral salts (Wikipedia). It contains various essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins of the sugarcane juice and is also high on calcium which is required for maintenance of bone strength. Being rich in iron, it prevents diseases like anemia and also contains essential nutrients like magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is vital for the proper functioning of the nervous system and potassium regulates blood pressure and heart functions. (www.agriculturalproductsindia.com)

Karuppatti is another form of unrefined sugar made from palm sap. It is darker in colour than vellam and is traditionally considered healthier. I remember when we went to our grandparents’ house for vacation, elders use to have karuppatti kaapi/palm jaggery coffee or kadunkaapi or black coffee with palm jaggery.

In these fast paced modern days, usage of vellam or karuppatti is reduced to desserts. There is a real health need to go back to the old tradition of using jaggery in our day-to-day eating habits.

vellam and karuppatti

 

Aval Sarkkarai Pongal (serves 2)

Aval Sarkkarai Pongal is rice flakes or poha halwa made with jaggery. Palm jaggery or karuppatti can also be used.

Ingredients

  • aval/poha/rice flakes – 1 cup (thicker variety)
  • vellam/gud/jaggery – 3/4 cup (grated)
  • grated ginger – 1/2 tsp
  • ghee/clarified butter –  4 tbsp
  • cashew nuts – 2 tbsp
  • cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • freshly grated coconut – 1/2 cup

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash aval two or three times, soak in water for 20 minutes and strain the water away
  2. Heat vellam/jaggery with 1/4 cup water and let jaggery dissolve
  3. Add grated ginger to jaggery and make a medium thick pouring syrup
  4. Strain the syrup
  5. Heat a pan with 2 tbsp ghee and add jaggery syrup and flattened rice
  6. Stir till aval soaks in all water and the syrup is well coated on the aval
  7. Add freshly grated coconut and stir till it mixes well
  8. Add cardamom powder
  9. Fry cashew nuts in 2 tbsp ghee
  10. Pour it over the finished aval pongal and mix well.

aval sarkkarai pongal

Some useful tips

  1. Dissolving jaggery in water and straining helps in removing sand or other impurities from jaggery
  2. Boiling grated ginger helps the juice and spice of ginger to get into the syrup; dry ginger powder can also be added
  3. Straining the jaggery syrup is done after boiling it with ginger so that ginger doesn’t come in the pongal
  4. 250gms jaggery with 2 tsp grated ginger or dry ginger powder and 1/2 cup water, can be boiled, strained and stored in the fridge for even 3 months.
  5. This syrup can be used for other jaggery based desserts and also as a substitute for white sugar in juices or porridges
  6. Thinner variety flattened rice would give halwa consistency easily; the thicker variety is useful to have a coarse texture – One can choose as the family prefers
  7. This pongal I have made is coarse in texture – Hence, a metal ladle is preferred. Wooden spatulas might mash the aval too much
  8. Thinner variety aval need not be soaked for more time
  9. Usage of coconut and ghee can always be altered.