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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Potato Appe / Aloo Appe / Aloo Ponganalu

Appe / ponganalu / paniyaram / paddu are a breakfast or a snack item from the south Indian cuisine. They are prepared either using a fresh batter or using leftover batters used to make idli / dosas, the most popular breakfasts of the region. The batters are made with soaked rice and lentils that are ground and fermented, which usually needs advance planning.

There are a few instant versions as well like the one using semolina. Here is an interesting, instant kind that uses potato. I had bookmarked it from a weekly magazine a while ago because of the usage of potato in an appe recipe though I was equally skeptical because of the same reason. 

I kept wondering until the last minute of  preparation whether the mixture is going to stick to the pan and whether I should use the batter to prepare something else. There was no need to worry as they rise well and can be easily flipped if one waits patiently to let the bottom sides cook. They appear fragile at the beginning stages of cooking compared to the ones made with fermented batter. And they taste fabulous, served warm with a chutney on side.
Ingredients for tempering:
2 tsp. oil
1 tsp. each - Bengal gram (split chickpeas), mustard seeds, & cumin seeds 
1 tbsp. minced curry leaves
Ingredients for appe: (Yield - 18 - 20)
1 tbsp. flattened rice / poha 
1/2 cup semolina
2 tbsp. rice flour 
1 large sized potato / 1/2 cup mashed potato 
Salt to taste
1 green chili, finely minced
1 onion, peeled & finely chopped
1 tsp. finely grated ginger
A handful of cilantro, finely minced 
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk (Skim milk will do.)
1/4 tsp. baking soda or Eno's fruit salt
Oil to make appe

Prep work:
* Peel a large potato, cut into chunks and boil in water. Let it cool down and mash it finely.
* Wash and soak the flattened rice / poha in water for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the water.
* Chop onion, ginger, chili, curry leaves and cilantro. 
* Heat 2 tsp. oil in a small pan. Add Bengal gram, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds to the oil. When Bengal gram starts turning reddish, add the minced curry leaves.

1. Add semolina, rice flour, poha and mashed potato to a bowl. Next add minced onion, cilantro, ginger, chili, and salt to the bowl.
2. Mix all the ingredients well to combine. Make sure that there are no potato lumps in the mixture.
3. Pour 1/2 cup milk to the mixture and stir well to combine. Cover and let the mixture sit for about 15 - 30 minutes. 
4. Add the tempering / tadka to the semolina mixture. Add extra milk if needed at this point and stir well. (I soaked the mixture for about 30 minutes and added extra 1/4 cup milk.)
5. Heat the ponganalu / appe skillet and add a few drops of oil in each mold. 
6. Add baking soda or fruit salt to the mixture and mix well vigorously. (I added about a little more than 1/4 tsp. Eno's fruit salt, sprinkled a tbsp. water over it and mixed well.)
7. Fill the molds with batter, cover the skillet with a lid and cook on low medium heat until the batter doesn't appear raw on the surface. Or use a skewer and gently lift to check the bottom to notice if any golden brown spots formed.
8. If golden brown spots are formed, add a drop or two of oil on the surface of each of the ponganalu and flip them using a flat spoon/skewer. 

9. Cook until the other side lightly browns as well. (The appe would be slightly fragile compared to the regular appe because of the addition of potato. Be careful while flipping them and wait until the bottom sides of the appe are cooked well.)
10. Remove them and repeat the process with the remaining batter. Serve them warm with a chutney of your choice.  

This is going to be my contribution to this week's Blogging marathon. Check the page link to see what other marathoners are cooking.


Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Oh wow! My little one loves to take appam for school lunch and this is a great idea to make for him. Love how crispy this has turned out.

Radha said...

This is great for weekend brunch! This will be loved here! flavors sound great!

Srividhya said...

This is a great instant appams with potatoes. Yes, I totally get about waiting patiently for the bottom side to cook. Will definitely give this a try.

Narmadha said...

Potato paniyaram looks so crispy and lovely idea to make instant ones with rava.