Archive for February 18, 2008

Sunny Side Up

palappam, sunny side up
a spot of springtime in February~ palappam ~ sunny side up
served on a canary-yellow twisted optic plate by Imperial Glass, circa 1927

The photo above is my entry for Click ~ Flour over at Jugalbandi,
home of multi-talented and sweet souls Bee and Jai.


It’s been a lonnnnnng winter.

Today the thermometer stretched its weary wings and nearly touched 60F.

And the skies opened.

No time to feel dreary due to rain, thanks to holidays from work and school. Instead, there was time to play at whatever we chose. For me of course, it was in the kitchen. Yes, this warm spring-like day was a welcome respite, however brief, however soggy; a happy reminder of more good things to come in the spring sunshine. The sun even made an appearance while I was taking pics — surely a good omen 😉

sunny-side palappam, reversed
the flip side

Long ago while blog-hopping, I came across a plate of beautiful palappams at Memories and Meals. In her post, Nav told of the sun making a long-awaited appearance, inspiring her to hop up and make the soft cakes.
Then she asked “Do you want to make them too”?.

“Of course I want to make them! But I hardly dare…” I said.

Nav replied so kindly, encouraging me. And oh, how I wanted to make them! Somehow I could never get up the courage to attempt it. I always remembered her kind words, and every so often I went back to gaze at the beautiful palappams — wishing I didn’t feel so intimidated by a bowl full of ground rice and coconut.

Oh, I had all the excuses. I didn’t have a mixie to grind rice. I didn’t have a chatti. Blah, blah. Let’s face it — I was a palappam dropout before I began! I got so worked up about it, I couldn’t bring myself to try. It seemed the fluffy snow-white palappams were destined to remain a delicacy untasted.

Now, year and a half later, I am not so timid (read: I have learned to actually *follow* a recipe, at least the first time!). I have a new mixie.
A few weeks ago I found a bag of roasted rice flour from Kerala, and an ‘appam chatti’ — a small, deep, non-stick frying pan I spotted at Home Goods. The rice flour saved me tackling the soaking and grinding that I tend to fear (not having made a decent dosa yet, when beginning from scratch like that!).

Having the flour on hand, I followed Gini’s super-easy palappam recipe. The only change I made was to use ‘lite’ coconut milk. I don’t have basis for comparison, but the batter rose like a charm.

I was so excited!

The ‘chatti’ worked perfectly ~ a quick swipe with an oiled paper towel and the palappams literally slid out onto the plate.

Did I mention I was so excited about these!

ta daa ~ a bright day indeed, with palappam!

creamy and rich, perfect with palappams ~ shn’s eshtu

Shn’s eshtu ~ perfect with palappams

To go with the palappams, I made Shn’s creamy-rich potato stew.
Again, I followed her recipe almost to the letter — the only change I made was to add a healthy measure of freshly cracked black pepper just before I turned off the stove. The combination was out-of-this-world fantastic — thanks so much Gini and Shn! And thanks to you dear Nav, wherever you are — I never would have tried palappams without you! 🙂

palappams and eshtu
palappams with eshtu ~ for sunshine on a rainy day



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