Deep fried golden-brown unniappams are a part of Sri Krishna Jayanthi celebrations

Today is Ashtami Rohini, the birthday of Lord Shri Krishna. On Shri Krishna Jayanthi, there are special unniappams made in Guruvayur temple as nivedyam (sacred consecrated offering). Generally, in homes in Tamil Nadu (Brahmins) and in North India, the footsteps of Baby Krishna are etched as coming from the threshold to the puja room in rice flour solution.

Ingredients

Serves 10, depending on the size of the mould (appa Kaara).

Fine rice flour – 3 cups

Plantains (Kadali or Paalenthodan) – 6-7 nos

Jaggery syrup – 2 and a half cups, or to taste

Dried ginger powder or Chukku – 1 tsp

Cardamom powder – 1 tsp

Dried coconut – 1 cup

Ghee, to fry the coconut – half cup

(You can fry the coconut in coconut oil also)

Coconut oil – 3-4 cups, to deep-fry

Method

Slice the dried coconut into half-cm slivers and deep-fry in ghee or coconut oil until golden brown. Once it is done, it gives off a heady aroma. Set aside.

Knead the ripe plantains with the fine particled rice flour. It should have no lumps. Now, add the jaggery syrup. Stir well until smooth. If it is overly thick, add a little boiled water. The batter should be like a thick, dropping consistency (like idli batter). Tip in the ghee-roated dried coconut pieces and stir well. Next, add the flavorings such as dried ginger powder or chukku and elaichi or cardamom. Stir nicely. Keep aside for 45 minutes. Give a nice thorough stir. Wash and dry the mould. Pour coconut oil midway into each groove.

Once the oil starts to bubble, reduce the flame and pour the batter upto three-quarters of each groove. The unniappam will rise up and roll over. The appams will form nice, round, bouncy balls.

When deep golden brown, remove each unniappam with a small wooden stick or the pappad skewer. Offer and serve warm.