Monday, September 28, 2009

Navrathri neivedhyam – neiyappam

Have a glimpse of golu at my house this year! We managed to move into the present house by the middle of last week. We did most of the soft moving ourselves. Between my husband, his driver and myself, we moved clothes, electronics, books, our CDs, cassettes and kitchenware in the boot of the car making as many trips required.
We arranged most stuff in place, leaving those that would go on my show case, buffet and China cabinet and my books. These were to be attended to when the company -hired movers would bring the furniture in. We had also brought the cardboard cartons that house my Golu dolls and decorations. Having done all this, we had the house partially functional before the furniture was moved in.
That evening after a thorough sweeping and mopping we set the golu up.
One of the many thrills of blogging is that I was introduced to an Indian lady living here through my blogger friend Shobha of Anubhavati. Once while chatting with her on gtalk, she mentioned about her friend M who lives here.
The next day she mailed M, gave her my telephone number and to me hers. We got in touch and decided to meet over this festive season.
Having set the golu I called M over to visit my golu, warning her that the house might still be a mess with a carton or two unopened lying at most inconvenient places. She seemed not to mind at all. Very well, I can say this because she even brought another friend along. They both came with their children who I simply loved from the minute they got off their car. That day, I spent few happy hours talking to the ladies on random topics. So much for blogging! A BIG THANK YOU Shobha.
On the day that conjuncts with the Moolam Star (Usually will be the 7th day of Navrathri, sometimes the 6th) the Saraswathy aavahanam is done in some homes. Most people arrange this on the Maha navami day though. I do the aavahanam on the Moolam day. That day I offer appam as one extra neivedhyam as will be pittu on the Friday during Navrathri. These are not standard practices. I’ve picked them up because an aunt would do or some elderly neighbour suggested that. Having followed one year I make it my practice. The idol of Goddess Sarawathy is placed over a stack of books that will also be worshipped on the day of the pooja. Usually they may comprise of our school books, the books that are used in our day to day lives and such.
The Goddess of Knowledge is worshipped among knowledge rendering books.

This is a picture of the Saraswathy pooja done on the Maha Navami day.
This recipe of neiyappam is a combination of two recipes handed down to me. I first learnt it from my neighbour living a floor above mine in Manama in 1992. Later, I improved on it when my cousin made it for the pooja we had at my Chennai home. It worked well for me. You get soft appams with right amount of sweet taste to them.

1 cup (heaped) raw rice
1 cup (level) powdered jaggery
¼ teaspoon powdered cardamom
1 tablespoon dessicated coconut
Ghee/ oil for cooking
Wash rice well until water drains clear.
Soak in some water for an hour.
Add 2 table spoons of warm water to the jaggery. Dissolve and strain the scum out. Keep reserve.
Drain the soaked rice and grind to a stiff paste initially adding small quantities of water. Once the rice is fine add the jaggery dissolved water and grind further to a smooth batter. Take care not to make it very thin. The batter should be like that of dosa batter.
Remove from the jar of the blender. Wash the jar with some water and recover the adhering paste. Retain this water.
Take a small portion of the batter, add to the recovered water that you washed the jar with. Mix well. Take this in a pan and keep on low fire. Stir continuously. This will thicken while cooking. Stop cooking while the consistency reaches that of infant feed (koozh).
Mix this cooked semi solid batter to the ground batter. Adding cardamom and coconut, mix them well. Leave aside for two hours.
Place your appa karal (appam mould) on the stove. When the pan is warm add some ghee in each of the indentions. Allow the ghee to reach smoking point. Add the batter to fill the indentions, just below level. Cook until done. Check if it is cooked well by inserting a tooth-pick and drawing it out. If it comes out clean the appams are done. I close the pan with a lid. But I’ve seen people don’t find it necessary.
These appams will be soft and porous.
I shall post randomly other recipes that featured during Navrathri. Meanwhile, Happy Dussehra for today.


  1. perfect prasadam,yummy.I was missing u lata....couldn't see u more than a week.

  2. the golu is beautiful and I feel i should have been present to take the prasadam

  3. Wow!! arrangement looks nice and Beautiful. And prasad looks yummy.

  4. If I were still living in Khor Fakkan, which I did in the early 90s, I would have invited you, Indu!

  5. Lovely post! nei appam looks mouthwatering!

  6. The golu looks wonderful and the neiyappam looks just perfect and tempting !

  7. Golu looks really beautiful Lata. I love Neiyappam. BTW are you from Kerala? just curious.

  8. wow nice appams . my dauhgter will surely love this. and it is nice to meet indians when we live in abroad, that too like u in ghanna should be very happy

  9. Wow.. nice photos lata.. beautiful golu..!

  10. Arrangement looks beautiful and dish yummy !

  11. Beautiful Golu..awesome clicks..Neiyappam makes me hungry..

  12. your golu looks very beautiful. nice to know that you had a nice time with your new found friends.

  13. Those were very beautiful pictures and that sweet is perfect for that occasion

  14. nice golu and neiyappam looks so mouthwatering

  15. Lata,
    When I clicked on your web page, I knew I was going to find something very interesting. And I was right, the golu looks beautiful. And the sweet that goes with it. I am looking forward to Diwali now. I am sure you are too.


  16. The golu looks beautiful.
    Got nostalgic.
    I like ur saraswathi idol. looks very nice & beautiful.
    Appams are my favvvvvvv.
    i don't have the appa karal. Should get it in my next trip to India

  17. Hi Lata,
    I am so glad that you found lovely new friends in Ghana...It`s always awesome to have a tradition and to continue it...In the strength of so many difficulties and small small issues, to continue our tradition through all of it...
    Cheers for you to find many more friends in the days to come...


  18. golu looks awesome... and neiyappam is yummy :)
    My mother makes neiyappam for kaathigai...

  19. Display looks awesome.. you r doing a great job.. sure ur daughter is missing all these. She should be proud of her mom.


Welcome and thank you for taking time to drop by.
I appreciate your valuable comments and tips.
I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.