Appam and curry..Daring Cooks August 2011 challenge

 Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.

I have to say that I was worried that I won’t be able to make it this month. My schedule has been so busy and hectic these past couple of weeks but I am really glad I managed to make this month’s challenge.

I was kind of worried that my family won’t like the curry, with all the spices and flavors in it I was worried it was going to be too much especially for the kids. It turns out my family had a broader mind than I had expected. They loved the curry! and demanded that I should make this dish more often. Thank  you Mary!

I have tried the appams before, I served them with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon and cardamom. This was my first time serving them as a form of bread. The kids liked the sweet version better.

Servings: Makes about 15. I find 3-4 are enough for a serving

1 ½ cups (360 ml/300 gm/10½ oz) raw rice( I used one cup rice flour instead )
1 ½ teaspoons (7½ ml/5 gm) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar
½ cup (120 ml) of coconut water or water, room temperature
1 ½ tablespoons (22½ ml/18 gm) cooked rice
½ teaspoon (2½ ml/3 gm) salt
about ½ cup (120 ml) thick coconut milk (from the top of an unshaken can)


1. Soak the raw rice in 4 to 5 cups of water for 3 hours.
2. Dissolve the sugar in the coconut water or plain water and add the yeast. Set aside in a warm area for 10-15 minutes, until very frothy.

3. Drain the rice and grind it in a blender with the yeast mixture to make a smooth batter. You can add a bit of extra water if needed.(I skipped the soaking and grinding steps because I used rice flour) Add the cooked rice, and grind/blend to combine well.

4. Pour into a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 8-12 hours. You not only want the mixture to rise and collapse, but to ferment. When it is ready, it will have a slightly sour and distinctly yeasty smell. Don’t worry–they are mild tasting when cooked!

5.Add the coconut milk and salt, and a bit of water if necessary, so that you have a batter that is just a bit thicker than milk. It bubbles after you add the coconut milk.

6. Heat your pan over medium heat. Wipe a few drops of oil over it using a paper towel. Stir the batter and pour in 3-4 tablespoons, depending on the size of the pan. Working quickly, hold the handle(s) and give the pan a quick swirl so that the batter comes to the top edge. Swirl once only, as you want the edges to be thin and lacy.

7. Cover the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Uncover and check. The center should have puffed up a bit, and will be shiny, but dry to the touch. When ready, loosen the edges with a small spatula and serve immediately. These need to be served hot out of the pan.

Chai Pani’s Malabar Chicken Curry (recipe vis A spicy perspective)

I changed the recipe a little to fit my family’s taste, I will write the recipe I made and you can check the original one by following the link in the title.

1 lbs. chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces (I used some left over grilled red garlic chicken “recipe coming very soon” )

1/4 cup vegetable oil .

3/4 teaspoon curry powder

1 large onion chopped

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

2 1/2 teaspoons  ground coriander

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (leaves and/or stems)

2 chopped tomatoes

1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup water

Pour oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the  onions. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the onions to soften until they are dark and soft enough the smash with a spatula.

Add the  coriander, turmeric, and cilantro—mix together.

Raise the heat back to medium and add the tomatoes, salt, and lime juice.(at this stage my husband walked in and you’re COOKING the salad!!)

Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have disintegrated and the oil separates out—15-20 minutes.

Add ½ cup of water and 1 cup coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat.

In a separate skillet, heat 1 Tb. of oil over high. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown on all sides, leaving the centers pink—2-4 minutes.

Add the chicken to the curry and simmer 5-7 minutes until the chicken has cooked through.

 This is a GREAT make-ahead! Letting the curry sit overnight enhances the flavors!

You can serve this with basmati rice instead of the appam

Thank you Mary for the amazing challenge and for being a wonderful hostess.You can check out the rest of the recipes Mary suggested and the creations of my fellow daring cooks here