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- Duration: 30 minutes
- Serves: 5 people
Spice Level: Zero
Heating of the Unniyappam is the most crucial step in its preparation. High heat will burn the Unniyappam from the outside, leaving the insides uncooked. Also, heat makes the Unniyappam absorb a lot of oil. The authentic trick is to let the batter rest for at least 6 hours, or overnight, so that the rice particles soak up enough moisture and are able to fight the onslaught of the oil.
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Unniyappam is a popular Malayali snack prepared from rice, sugar, gud and ghee. Keralaites prepare it mainly during festivals such as Vishu, and to mark important family functions. Unniyappam is also the main offering at the Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple near Kollam in Kerala. Cooked using secret ingredients by the temple priests, the Kottarakkara Unniyappam has a unique taste that has attracted crowds from across different castes and creeds. Long queues form at the temple’s prasadam counter all through the day, every day. It is believed that Unniyappam was the first offering made to the idol of Lord Ganapati after its installation by the legendary carpenter-sculptor, Perunthachan. The prasadam even has a special puja dedicated to its name, the charge for whose conduct is as high as Rs 40,000. Interestingly, all the puja slots at this temple are sold out till the year 2026.
- Rice flour (2 cups)
- Maida (refined wheat flour) (¼ cup)
- Gud (jaggery) syrup, warm (¾ cup)
- Coconut, grated (½ cup)
- Kela (banana) (2)
- Hari elaichi (green cardamom) powder (1 tsp)
- Ghee (2 tsp)
- Water (2 cups)
- Oil (to fry)
- Heat the ghee in a pan on a medium flame. Add the grated coconut and stir-fry till it turns light brown.
- In a mixer-grinder, grind together the banana, roasted coconut and elaichi powder.
- Mix the rice flour, maida, gud syrup and the banana-coconut mixture. Then, slowly add in the water to form an idli-like batter.
- Now, keep the batter aside for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
- Heat oil in an Unniyappam kara (a special tawa with circular moulds embedded in it) on a high flame.
- Slowly pour the batter into the moulds and cook till both sides turn dark brown.
- Take off the flame and serve the Unniyappam hot or cold.