Sunday, August 14, 2011

Daring Cooks' Challenge: Appams and Curry

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.

The Daring Cooks really challenged me again, taking me out of my baking shell. but it was a great challenge, especially since i love indian food. making indian food from scratch was almost out of the question for me though. it seemed too complicated for me, especially with the long list of ingredients and spices used in the recipes. so, as always, i was pretty nervous taking on this month's challenge but, yet again, i managed to pull through and made delicious appams with sri lankan beef curry that even my picky dad really enjoyed. 

original recipe says this makes about 15 appams, but mine only made 8...
1 1/2 cups raw rice, soaked in 4 to 5 cups of water for 3 hours and drained
1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup water, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons cooked rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup thick coconut milk, from top of an unshaken can

1 1/2 tablespoons cooked rice

1/2 cup coconut milk, from top of an unshaken can
dissolve sugar in the room temperature water (important! the yeast will be slow-acting in cold water yet die in really hot water)  

 add the yeast and leave in warm area for 10-15 minutes until frothy 

 i slightly slowly stirred it after nothing really happened in 5 had that yeast smell, which is good, but it didn't get as frothy as i hoped...

 take the drained raw rice and grind with the yeast mixture until smooth.
i used my mom's monster mortar and pestle!...but it was taking too long and the yeast mixture was splashing everywhere so i just busted out my mom's blender after awhile. 

add the cooked rice and grind to combine. the consistency should be thick and not too smooth.

 pour the batter into a large bowl and cover in a warm place for 8-12 hours to ferment the yeast!

 yess!! it's totally supposed to look like that! so beautiful. 

 add the coconut milk and salt to make the batter a little thicker than milk. 

 mix that around and let it rest for half an hour or until bubbles are formed when stirred.

 like these sexy bubbles!! 

wipe some vegetable oil with a paper towel onto a nonstick pan and heat it on medium heat.

 ladle some batter ( i think i might have put in about...2 tablespoons...or 3..the first couple of times were just test-runs for me, just figuring out how much to put on the pan to make perfect ones) 

 then immediately swirl the pan around to distribute the batter evenly to make an almost perfect circle...this was my first attempt. the batter stuck to the pan so quickly, i couldn't swirl the batter fast enough to coat the whole pan. but after the first two times, i got the hang of it, quickly ladling the batter into the pan with one hand and swirling the pan right away with the other hand. 

 cover the pan and cook for two minutes. the center should puff up and be shiny...except mine didn't really do that. but it should be dry to the touch. if it's still slightly wet and spongy, the yeast didn't really cook fully though, making the appam taste like raw yeast. 
i made mine pretty crispy all over because i preferred crispy over soft.

then serve immediately! with some curry! 

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