It had come to my dismayed attention that, I was flooding this space with posts about running and probably sending a wrong message that I have been doing little else in the kitchen and eating front. And since that is not true, I decided I should do something about it!
So without further ado, here are some pictures and a recipe thrown in somewhere in its midst of the beautiful fall we have been having this year! Fall colors with snow is an awesome picture, I have come to realise. And considering the fact that I love snow and winters, as much as any sane person would hate it.. I am reveling in all the colors and the magic white carpet 🙂
Before you wonder, The lines above were doled out before the October snow storm hit us as a surprise and had us out of power and warmth for almost 5 days! My relationship with snow will take a while to recoup after this for sure ! 😐 Nevertheless this post is for the white pallor that never fails to amaze.
There is a little white in every picture – The snow white aapams and stu (married with veggie kurma), the kasavu I wore for the diwali potluck dinner and of course the dusting of snow itself against the rising sun and colors of nature! Enjoy!
Let me start off with the aapam and stu recipe —
- 2 cups of raw rice – soaked overnight
- 1 cup of cooked white rice – ( that is a cup full of cooked rice and not 1 cup of raw rice set to cook ) — I am harping on this because, I made the mistake once of cooking one cup of raw rice, which yielded almost 3 cups of cooked rice and it was a huge disaster. Here is how i tried to assuage the damage done, but it was a mini-adventure.
- 1 cup of shredded fresh coconut
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Salt to taste and a spoonful of sugar
- Yeast – 1 tsp dissolved in warm water ( important. Needed for fermentation)
- Grind the cooked and raw rice to a smooth consistency adding water as needed. Then grind in the coconut and coconut milk. Finally mix the yeast into it. And let it ferment and rise to almost double its quantity in about 8 hours in a warm place.
Now, the ingredients I have mentioned are the easy-to-procure. For the recipe that my mother makes, she uses ‘nalikeram’ or the translucent, wobbly tender coconut, that is scraped off the sides of the opened green coconut shell and that yummy coconut water it held also goes into the batter.This is used instead of the shredded coconut i mention and helps the fermentation process without having to add yeast.
I have also known of a traditional recipe, which involves adding a dallop of the toddy made from palm trees into the batter, which of course is a great fermentation agent.
So if you have access to any of these, go ahead; I am sure your aapams will turn way fluffier and softer than mine!
A quick click of my aapam-chatti. It is a concave pan with two wooden holders. This is one of the new non stick models currently available back home.
- Pour a ladle full of fermented batter to the center of the pan. Hold both wooden ends and swirl it, so that the batter spread like a net.
- Make sure you batter is not too runny, else it will not stick to the sides of the pan. Close the pan with a lid and check back to see if it is cooked. Usually based on the thickness of your aapam it is done in about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Just hold the two end again and slide the aapam on to your plate! DONE 🙂
My stu recipe is not a “typical” Kerala ‘naadan’ one per se. Especially since i dont let it run with a lot of coconut oil. But I think it works well for the aapams. And feel free to improvise it.
Potato ( 1 medium ). I use red potatoes too.
Garlic – 1 clove
cauliflower ( i find it spoils the synchronization of the veggies, so I avoid adding it)
- Cut the veggies to same length, length-wise, vertical almost like avial, a little shorter in length.
Green chillies and ginger are the only ones to give u the hotness, so add atleast 6 to 7 green chillies, cut lenghtwise and ginger also cut lengthwise
- In a heavy bottom pressure cooker –
add 1 tsp of ghee
Fry 1 mace, 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 4 cloves, 5 cm cinnamon stick
also add 3 whole cashew nuts
Grind this with a cup of coconut cream OR thick coconut milk OR grated coconut(i did this) to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
- Now add some coconut oil OR regular cooking oil to the cooker. Fry the onions, just until translucent, don’t let it brown.
- Add the veggies and stir them around for not more than 5 minutes.
- Add thin coconut milk ( i used goya light coconut milk ). add the entire can with water just to drown the veggies.
- Add salt and sprinkle turmeric if u want it to be yellow. Typical curry is white.
- Let it cook on a high flame for 15 min. Following which reduce flame to low and let it simmer for 10 min. turn it off.
- After the steam is gone, add the coconut spices paste and mix well.
The curry will be little watery unlike kurma consistency. have it hot with aapams 🙂
And this is what I wore when i served the aapams and stu for the Diwali potluck. Of course! is it white too and a lot og gold strewn everywhere 🙂
More pictures to end the post… I particularly love the yellow spread against the morning sun!