Aapam & Thengaipaal

Aapam with coconut milk is a classic combination relished very dearly in Tamilnadu. This is generally had as a holiday breakfast as it is considered sedating and the recipes slightly vary from household to household due to choice of taste and texture. I have inherited the recipe for aapam from my mom and adapted part of the coconut milk recipe from my mom-in-law. Coconut milk is known for healing ulcers though high in saturated fat while poppy seeds have nerve soothing effect and are slightly tranquilizing.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 60 min (Soaking & Fermenting time excluded)
Cooking Time: 15 min

For Aapam:
1.       Raw rice – 1 cup
2.      Idly rice – 2 cups
3.      Fenugreek – 2 tbsp
4.      Salt to taste
5.       Oil as required
For Coconut milk:
1.       Coconut – 1small
2.      Milk – ½ cup
3.      Water – ½ cup
4.      Cardamom – 3
5.       Poppy seeds – ½ tbsp.
6.      Cashew nuts – 4
7.       Sugar – 5 tbsp

Step 1: Wash and soak both the rice together and fenugreek separately for 2 hours.
Step 2: Grind the fenugreek for 2 minutes first and then add to it the rice and grind until a very fine texture is obtained.
Step 3: Now add slightly less salt than for dosa batter and mix it to thinner than dosa batter consistency.
Step 4: Let it ferment overnight or until it is fluffy and you smell it fermented. Then refrigerate it until use and between uses.
Step 5: For preparing aapams, heat the aapam tawa and slightly grease with oil if required; pour a ladle full of batter in the centre and rotate the tawa by holding in both the hands to flow in circle and form a nice aapam.

Step 6: Cover with lid for 2 min and take out when the centre is cooked and borders look brown. It forms a shallow bowl shape and is soft & porous in the centre and crispy on the edges.
Step 7: Serve hot with coconut milk.

Coconut milk:
Step 1: Soak poppy seeds and cashew nuts in water for an hour.
Step 2: Break and grate or chop the fresh coconut.
Step 3: Grind well the coconut, poppy seeds, cashew nuts, cardamom and sugar in the mixer jar along with the milk.

Step 4: Strain it using a mesh and collect the coconut milk in a bowl. Grind the residue once again with plain water and strain it into the previously obtained coconut milk.
Step 5: Repeat if you think the residue had some juice left in it, else discard it.
Step 6: Stir the coconut milk; adjust sugar and consistency. Refrigerate it immediately, and use within a day or two.

*Prepare Coconut milk an hour in advance and refrigerate it for better taste and convenience.
*Aapam requires minimum or no oil when prepared in non-stick aapam pan.
*Generally grinding in wet grinder renders better batter than mixer ground batter.
*Usually coconut milk is prepared by simply grinding the grated coconut with some water, squeezing and filtering out the milk and adding cardamom powder and sugar to it. If using ready coconut milk, thin it with water or milk, mix cardamom and sugar.

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