Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kerala Unniyappam

Hello every one, How are you all doing? Unfortunately I am not getting time to visit other fellow blogger's posts and participate in many events as much as I like to do . Do be patient with me. I am not going out of touch. Just having a bit of problem with time management I guess ... Thank you every one for your kind and warm birthday wishes sent to me yesterday. Birthdays are always special. And when friends and family are with you wholeheartedly on the occasion, it does become very very special. Thought a lot about what dish should I make specially for my birthday.. I mean its the first time I am getting such kind of opportunity to cook in detail. Till last year, either I was pampered at home or I was at work and hardly had any time to cook. Should it be a cake? or a traditional Payasam? Wondered a lot.. but then I decided against making anything special, thinking to go traditional on my star birthday. Ha ! Another occasion to celebrate:)  Then I chanced upon some Bananas (Palayam Thodan) in a Kerala Store here last week end and decided to make Unniyappam on a whim. Oh yes, I think, most dishes are made depending on our moods/whim, rather than the necessity :). 
Unniyappam is a delicacy from Kerala prepared mainly with Rice, Jaggery and Bananas and loved by one and all :) The name Unniyappam means "Small Appam or Small pancake". It is typically made with a Unniyappa Chatti (Paniyaram Pan - kind of Aebleskiver Pan) which gives small appams. Unniyappams are made using Palayam Thodan Bananas which are quite small in size and not the regular ones. When we are outside Kerala and do not find the usual Palayam Thodan Bananas, we use the regular Bananas to make Unniyappams. Ofcourse, a little taste difference will be there. but still tasty :) Now, Unniyappam is different from Neyappam (another Kerala delicacy).  Neyyappam which means Ghee Appam, is made with Rice, Bananas and Palm Jaggery and fried in oil in a regular pan. Yes, Even though it is named as Neyyappam, Ghee is used very sparingly or sometimes not at all used for making it and always fried in oil and not ghee. Hope this has been helpful. 

I wanted to take step by step pictures of how I made it. But couldnt manage that as the unniyappams were made in a bit of hurry. By the way, Unniyappam is both mine and hubby's favorite. So glad that I made something that my hubby loves immensely. Writing down the recipe munching on the lovely unniyappams :)

Kerala Unniyappam:

Prep time: 20 min
Wait Time: min 1 hr
Cook Time: 15 min


2 cups Rice Flour
3 small Palayam Thodan Bananas(If using regular Bananas, reduce the quantity, may be 1 small Banana would be sufficient)
2 cups of grated Jaggery (Grated with a knife into small pieces rather than properly grating them)
3 Cardamom pieces
Few Coconut pieces (Optional)
1 Tbsp Sesame seeds (Optional)
1 Tsp Ghee
1 Tsp Baking Soda
Oil for Frying


Step 1: Add the jaggery pieces to a pan and heat them. Add a little water and let the jaggery melt. Once melted, switch off and strain them to remove the impurities.

Step 2: Add cardamom and 1 Tbsp Sugar and grind them in a mixer to powder form. Keep the ground cardamom powder aside.

Step 3: Peel the Bananas and cut into small pieces. Add them to the same mixer from step 2 before washing it(so that the bananas also get a flavor of cardamom and sugar) and mash them well to a smooth paste.

Step 4: This step is optional. Required only if you are using coconut
Heat 1 Tsp ghee in a pan and once hot, add the sesame seeds and coconut pieces and fry till the coconut pieces become slightly golden brown.
Note: You can skip the coconut pieces if you like. You can also roast a little coconut(less than 1/4 the cup) and roast them in ghee to slight golden color and use them instead of coconut pieces or skip them altogether. 

Method of Preparing:

Step 1:

Mix Rice flour and mashed bananas in a wide bowl. Add melted jaggery slowly and keep mixing with the flour. Add the roasted coconut-sesame mixture if you are using and cardamom powder. The batter will be slightly thick. But not too much. Add little water if you need for mixing everything together. Add the Baking soda and keep mixing the batter till it becomes a little frothy. Unniyappam batter has to be mixed for a long time so that it becomes soft.
Note: Rice Flour makes the unniyappams a little crisp when taken off the flame. Some people do add wheat flour along with rice flour for getting a good texture. It seems, my mom has steamed the wheat flour and used them fully instead of Rice flour and made unniyappams as well. That was a long time back and only her colleagues remember it still now.But I havent tried that one yet nor has my mom in any recent times.  

Step 2:

Keep aside the batter for a minimum of 1 hr.
Step 3:
After an hour, take out the batter and mix it a little more. Add water if you feel it is very very thick. Heat the Unniyappam pan. It is better to try out one unniyappam at first to determine the sweetness and softness. Add 2 - 3 Tbsp of Oil to the hole in the pan. Keeping the flame to medium, let the oil become hot. Now carefully add 1 big spoon of batter to the unniyappam hole. The oil will come up immediately. Try turning the unniyappam to the other side with a wooden skewer when the bottom is almost cooked. 
Remove the unniyappam when the color becomes golden brown. Be careful and not let it burn. Need constant monitoring and a little patience as I will too eager to taste them immediately off the pan. 

Step 4:

Repeat step 3 till the whole batter is finished. Serve the yummy unniyappams hot :)

Sending the recipe to the event "Winner's Choice giveway" at Gaujarati Zaika


  1. This is in my to do list for long :) looks super yummy and perfectly made dear !!

    1. Thanks dear :) Hopefully you get to make it soon :)

  2. Cute and very addictive unniyappams, fantastic treat for a birthday, i would like to have these delicious appams than a slice of cake.

    1. Thank you Akka. My hubby bought a cake for me. But it was very creamy and we rather preferred eating these unniyappams rather than them :)

  3. Looks so perfect n yummm.... i am already drooling...

  4. i've been wanting to try unniappam for so long, even told my HD to get an unniyappam pan from india last year, but i'm yet to make anything in it!!! hehe... urs looks wonderful...

  5. Its been sometime since I had them.. you have done it perfectly :-)

  6. Soft unniappams...favourite of all at home

  7. Delicious unniyappam looks very soft.


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