Sunday, 24 January 2016

Jaggery and Coconut stuffed sweet Paniyarams or Appes
"How many recipes do you have on your blog?"
"Around 300, maybe."
"When do you plan to cross 500 and more?"

We had just returned from my home, after that life shattering time.
It was not even a month , I would guess.
And that was B, asking me about my blog.
I gave him an incredulous look. Was he joking?
My blog is the last thing on my mind then. In fact I had forgotten that it even existed ... like a lot of other things ... then. The shock and trauma had hit me hard and I was having trouble sleeping, thinking, remembering .... all in all being a normal human being.

And he is asking about my blog?!
I could not even cook a decent meal then. I had forgotten how to cook too.
I would stand in front of the stove and stare ahead blankly. I would hold a vegetable in my hand and had no idea what to do with it.
And he is asking me write recipes?!

What I did not realise then was that it was one of B's numerous tries to bring me about.
He had thought that maybe doing what I loved doing most would at least give me and my heart some respite from the tormenting memories and pain.

And it worked ... albeit with a little time.
He kept asking me for this sabzi or that dal ... and I would go to the kitchen like a zombie and churn out the food.
But slowly I started to get into the mode of thinking. Thinking of what to cook, three times daily.
One day I even took out the camera and clicked some pictures.
Made some soups. Took out the tiles that I had bought when my kitchen was being done ... to photograph.
And slowly these efforts made their way back into my blog.

But the one thing that struck me is that I could not make tea anymore! 
Even today, the tea I make is just not edible, or drinkable, or even tolerable.
I have no idea how or why this happened .... but I cannot make a good tea anymore!
Life! And its strange ways indeed!
I made these Appes or sweet Paniyarams during sankaranti.

There is something about coconut and jaggery that fascinates me.
Mixed together, along with the infusion of the very heady green cardamom, it takes you on a whirlwind tour from temples and their prasads  .... to the kitchens of your childhood where the women of the family doled out pithes or just the narkel nadu ( coconut laddoos ).

I love the smell of jaggery and coconut being cooked together ... especially if with ghee. And sometimes, I add a good amount of freshly pounded black peppercorns.
The taste ... ah! another story altogether.
Most often I use this as a filling for the patishapta, or the bhapa pithe

I had the idli batter and some pur ready in the fridge .... so decided to make these Paniyarams or Appes.
I love the crisp covering they get when frying in the appe pan. Also, they require very little oil or ghee. Hence guilt free too.
Need :

The batter - ( find the recipe here ). It should be of free flowing consistency but not very watery.
The filling or the pur - ( find the recipe here )
A little oil or ghee

How to :

Heat an Appe pan like the one below.

Brush it with a little oil or ghee.

Pour in the batter till half full.

Place a little of the filling in it and cover with some more batter.
Cover and cook for around five minutes, on low heat.

Remove cover and flip them over.
Cook for five more minutes or till they turn golden brown and crisp, uncovered.

These can be served hot or warm.
Or at room temperature too.

But during winters, it is best to enjoy them hot.
That way, the crisp outside and the soft fragrant filling combine to give it a unique taste altogether.

I was making these in the kitchen while Mummy sat in my little kitchen chair with wheels, chatting. Papa dragged in a dining chair and B perched on the counter top.
And we chomped on these crisp appes hot out of the pan, with steaming cups of tea made by B, on a chilly winter evening.

There is a savoury version of this too, that I make often for breakfast.
Will make a post on that too ... soon I hope.

Take care folks.
And enjoy!!

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Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!