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Friday, June 05, 2015

Kalathappam | Steamed Sweet Rice Cake | Traditional Malabar Snack Cake

Kalathappam is a traditional North malabar snack cake made of ground rice,shallots,sliced coconuts,cardamom powder and jaggery.I wasn't familiar with this appam until my friend Priya bought this snack cake for one of our friend's baby shower.I liked the snack then and so asked her the recipe.Priya called her mom and jotted down the exact measurements as her mom makes it.She gave me this recipe and I already tried it twice,fool proof one.We loved the appam,Thanks Priya for the delicious kalathappam.

Traditionally this appam/cake was cooked in fire hearths(aduppu) with ember(kanal) in them and placing a thick bottomed pan(uralli) and pouring the batter in that by smearing oil.The pan(uralli) is then covered with a clay pot(mann chatti) which again is layered with ember(kanal).The appam gets cooked in this heat from top and below and gives a nice crust on them.Those appams made in the traditional way are very flavorful.But recreating this in our traditional homes isn't possible with fire hearth and ember.Pressure cooker does the magic here and we can eat the same kalathappam.Sounds easy right?? Baking soda is the main leavening agent and it tastes and feels almost like a pressure cooker cake but with rice flavors.Do give this a try if you love it and enjoy !!

*pachari/long grain rice 2 cups(400gms)              
cooked rice 2/3 cup
jaggery 3-4 cubes or 1/4 kg(250 -300gm)     
baking soda 1/2 tsp a pinch
cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
water 1 cup +1/2 cup

to garnish
shallots sliced thin 4 large/6-7 small
cashews a handful
sliced coconut a handful
coconut oil 1tbsp
ghee 1tbsp

  • Wash and soak the rice in water for 3-4 hours.Grind the rice with cooked rice adding water(I used about 1 cup) as needed until smooth.
  • Melt the jaggery in a pan adding half cup water and strain the impurities.Add the diluted jaggery to the rice mixture.Add the cardamom powder and salt to taste.Finally,mix the baking soda in a ladle of batter and then add to the whole batter just before steaming.Mix well.(The batter should be as thin as neer dosa batter)

  • Heat coconut oil and ghee in a pan.Add the shallots,cashews and sliced coconut.Saute until shallots turn slightly pinkish brown in color(takes 3-4 minutes on medium flame,you get a nice aroma of the fried shallots).Remove in  a plate,retaining the ghee and oil in the pan.Keep aside.
  • Swirl the cooker with the retained ghee oil mixture and simmer the heat to low,loosely cover with the cooker lid too(helps to retain the heat inside).Let it warm up for 2 minutes.

  • Spread one portion of the fried mixture and then pour the batter in the cooker.Garnish with another portion of the fried coconut,shallots and cashew mix.Cover the lid(don't use weight on the cooker),increase flame to high and cook for 5 mins.Thereafter,lower heat to minimum(simmer) and cook for another5-8 mins(I gave 8 mins).Switch off flame.Leave the cooker on stove top for 15-20 undisturbed(the appam gets cooked with the reserved heat).
  • Remove from stove after 20 mins(don't leave the appam for more than 20 mins in cooker as the vapor dribbles down the sides of the appam and it may turn soggy),open the lid,gently remove the appam from the cooker.Cut in pieces and serve !! 

*You should always use good quality long grain rice.
* Always check the sweetness before steaming.It should be slightly on the higher side so that after steaming it gets correct.I added only 1/4 kg of jaggery but if you have sweet tooth,alter the amount of jaggery.
* Try to use dark colored jaggery to give a nice dark color cake.
* I added both the portions of fried shallots,cashew mix  before steaming as it was floating on top.But if you find the fried garnish sinking down then reserve one last portion of fried shallots,cashews and sliced coconut for final garnish after steaming.
* I used a 5 liter pressure cooker to make the appam.

Check out more Malabar delicacies,if interested-
* Kaya Pola
* Meen pathiri
* Unnakaya 
* Ari pathiri 
* Irachi pathiri
* Malabar Prawns curry
* Thalassery Chicken Biriyani
* Dates Pickle


Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips sounds different . ..thanks for this traditional innovative dish

Culinary Adventuress Piyali Sekhar Mutha said... Best Blogger Tips

These unique dishes made so perfectly by moms reach us through Blogger friends like you and I thank you for that . It's a delicious looking cake with the nouvelle use of onions in it. You have made it with perfection and passion and I loved the trivia associated with it.

meena said... Best Blogger Tips

Kalathappam looks kidilan I must say best of what I have seen so far. Nice pics too Julie.I wonder how u took out the appam from the cooker as the rim is narrow on the top.

Gloria Fernandes said... Best Blogger Tips

looks very delicious..def a must try ...

great-secret-of-life said... Best Blogger Tips

very interesting recipe Julie.. new to me

Merry Tummy said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow looks lovely, never heard of this type cake:) Lovely pics Julie

FLAVZCORNER said... Best Blogger Tips

Never heard of this cake. But it looks like colored vattayappam. I am sure it tastes yummy due to the ingredients that goes into it.

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Looks inviting !!

Priya said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow!! baked rice appam looks delicious.Traditional recipes can never be forgotten.loved the recipe

Remya said... Best Blogger Tips

Love it ..Amma used to make it as an after school snack

Babitha said... Best Blogger Tips

very authentic

Thermofan. Marisa G. said... Best Blogger Tips

Good morning dear Julie. I'm surprised with your recipe. It's totally new to me. Love the cardamom flavor and the way you bake it it's very interesting. Have a very nice weekend. Cheers from a very hot Valencia

Beena said... Best Blogger Tips

Kothipichu. Love it

Home Cooked food said... Best Blogger Tips

what a delicious and yummy treat from humble rice.

Archana said... Best Blogger Tips

This is a new dish for me. I am surprised that onions are used in a sweet dish. Looks yum.

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

@Meena Kumar Yeah,dt's true..its slightly complicated to remove from cooker but I just slided it out like we do the ccoker lid,slightly tilted..comes out good :)

Treat and Trick said... Best Blogger Tips

New to me and looks so good....

Rafeeda AR said... Best Blogger Tips

I was introduced to this by my mil, till then I had no idea! She makes it really so well, and hers always has beautiful stretches, I have tried to watch her make it but I fail each time I make! Hehe... looks amazing, Julie...

Jaisy James said... Best Blogger Tips

heard a lot abt kinnathappom. never tried ...will try soon

Shabbu said... Best Blogger Tips

Delicious it..

Anu Yalo said... Best Blogger Tips

Yummy..Didn't get a chance to taste it..

Sona said... Best Blogger Tips

One of the best kalathappams I have seen.. Nice clicks and looks delicious..

Sherin said... Best Blogger Tips

We make kalathappam as part of peshaha before Easter. My mom makes them in a pan, covered. Same toppings. Goes to show the cuisines actually have a lot to do with the region than religion.

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

@Sherin DeepuThat's so good to know,Sherin..never knew that its made for Pesaha..we make vattayappam at our place for Pesaha;same state but different dishes for the same occasion :)

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

@Sona SThanks Sona for the big compliment :)

Anupa Joseph (Palaharam) said... Best Blogger Tips

I have never seen so beautiful kalathappam ever looks good...perfectly made

mildly indian said... Best Blogger Tips

Fantastic.. I like the way you have given timings as I always flaw up here.

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

@seema doraiswamy thanks dear :)