Kandhar Appam is a festive sweet preparation. Though many claim that it originated in Chettinad, it is very popular in Thirunelveli district also. It is usually prepared during Deepavalli, the festival of light and sound that is enjoyed by anyone with a sweet tooth 🙂 Though the homemade sweets have been replaced by the commercial North Indian sweets oozing ghee, kandhar appam is still the reigning Tamil sweet during the festive season.
The use of dhal, jaggery, coconut and cardamom with rice gives a most exotic and unusual flavour to the sweet. I found this recipe in my mother’s recipe book, and to my surprise I came across it in many Tamil recipe books written by housewives. I have standardised it and also ground the coconut along with the batter to get a smooth texture.
Kandhar appam, surprisingly, provides a very high quality vegetable protein due to the combination of rice and black gram dhal. The protein content is also enhanced by this combination, with rice giving 6.8g per 100g and the black gram dhal providing 24g per 100g. The jaggery also provides a small amount of iron and calcium. I am proud to say that this Tamil sweet is not only highly calorific but also rich in proteins and minerals.
- ½ C Raw Rice
- ½ C Parboiled Rice
- ½ C Split Black Gram Dhal
- 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
- 1 C Jaggery bits, packed
- ½ C Coconut scrapings
- 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Vegetable Oil for deep frying
- Soak the raw and parboiled rice, split black gram dhal, and fenugreek seeds for 2 hours.
- Grind the soaked mixture with the coconut scrapings, salt, and cardamom powder in a mixie or blender or wet grinder
- Crush the jaggery bits using a rolling pin. Add to the ground batter. Pulse for 10 seconds or grind for 2 minutes. Add sufficient water to get a thick dosai batter consistency.
- Heat the oil in a kadai or wok. Test the temperature by adding a drop of the batter. If it rises immediately to the surface, the heat is just right.
- Scoop out the batter in a large ladle, and drop small amounts of batter into the oil. You will get 5 or 6 appams.
- As soon as the appams rise to the surface, turn them over and fry till light golden brown.
- Remove and place on absorbent paper to remove excess oil.
- The jaggery is packed in the cup when measuring so that there are no air spaces. If you just pile the jaggery bits, you will get a different amount each time.
- The appam will darken in colour even after it is removed from heat. Therefore, fry it to a light golden colour.