Today the 30th of November, tomorrow and the day after are the karthigai deepam festival days this year. The Barani deepam is lighted today, tomorrow is the sarvaalaya deepam, when in all Hindu temples numerous lamps will be lit and celebrated.
This day usually conjuncts with the full moon in the star of Krithigai and is believed to be the day that Lord Shiva appeared in the form of light which neither Vishnu nor Brahma could find the beginning or the end of.
At many homes lamps are lit and arranged in beautiful patterns, just as how Deepavali is celebrated in most northern states of India.
As per family traditions the neivedhyams made and offered to the Lord. In my parents home it is Adhirasam, pori urundai, godhumai appam sweet and savoury appam- uppappam. I follow this tradition as my mother-in-law does not cook any of these. She lights lamps and offers fruits.
I had a very hectic week, last week as we hosted the weekly Vishnu sahasranamam chanting at home. I took it a bit easy this morning without realising today is the festival. When I opened my mail box there was a mail to share this recipe. I follow S. Meenakshi ammal recipe but my mother makes it differently. So before sharing the recipe I wanted to confirm with her if store bought rice flour will work well and wanted her recipe too. This is what she gave me and I think the result with store bought flour was equally good.
Traditionally, rice is soaked and pound to a flour or ground to a thick batter with the Urad dhal and the appams are fried in oil like the vadas. For those who want to make it without deep frying, you may use the appam pan and make them. Since I wanted to try with one tweak, I did not venture the other. I have made them fried in oil. These appams will sure ooze oil, so make them and share as many, so you may eat less and be free of guilt.
Now the recipe ( Makes 12 appams):
Rice flour 200 ml
Urad dhal 2 tablespoons
Channa dhal 2 teaspoons
Moong dhal 2 teaspoons
Fresh coconut scrapes 1 table spoon
Green chillies 2 chopped
Ginger 1cm long piece
Slightly sour curd 1/3 volume measure of the rice flour
Curry and coriander leaves few chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for frying ( keep less and fry one at a time)
Wash and soak urad dhal in water. Grind to a smooth paste as for idlis.
Mix the rice flour, salt, urad dhal paste and the curds to a lump-free batter. Add some water to obtain a thick batter.This should be as that of thick idli batter.
Wash and soak the moong and channa dhal in water for a few minutes, drain and add to the above.
Leave this aside for a few hours.
Just before frying add the chopped chillies, curry and coriander leaves and the coconut scrapes.
Mix well adjusting that the batter is of pouring consistency.
Heat oil in a deep pan until it smokes. Reduce heat to medium and pour a ladle full of batter in the hot oil.
The appam will slowly rise to the surface and fry. Using the ladle toss some hot oil on the upper surface as it cooks. Turn once and when the appam is golden on both sides remove with slotted ladle. Drain on absorbent tissue.
This appam can be made using the appam pan. Make the batter as that of idli batter, a tad bit rarer than the above.
If you are not offering as neivedhyam, you may replace the curd and urad dhal by a big ladle full of left over idli batter. This results in very soft appams.Wish those of you who celebrate, a very happy festival of lights!