Neyyappam: Thiruvananthapuram Special/ Sweet Rice Fritters

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This is one of the snack/sweet that has a lot of sweet memories associated with it. Appa used to buy and bring it for us while coming back from his work. I love the spongy inside and crispy outer covering of Neyyappam. 
Neyyappam literally means sweet rice fritters fried in Ghee (clarified butter). Even though Kerala is small state, every dish made in south, central and northern part of the state differs from each other widely. Malayalam language dialect also varies drastically. Neyyappam is usually made with jaggery in other parts (baring Thiruvananthapuram) of Kerala and fried in ghee/clarified butter.  In rest of Kerala other than Thiruvananthapuram Neyyappam and  Unniappam  have similar batter only difference in their shapes. Unniappam requires a pan similar to Aebleskiver pan, and Neyyappam made with scoop of batter directly fried into the Ghee/ oil. However, in Trivandrum, southernmost tip of Kerala, it is made with Palm Jaggery (Karipetti) instead of Jaggery. 
Even though it is named as Neyyappam, ghee is scantly used and only for frying few coconut pieces in them and  fried with any refined oil or coconut oil. Cuisine of Thrivanthapuram is highly influenced by neighboring Tamil Nadu as it is very close to the bordering towns. In Chettinad cusine, I read that there is similar dish, and is called Karupatti paniyaram. I haven’t tasted yet, but I would love to. 
I was looking for the recipe of Thiruvananthapuram special Neyyappam for a long time; I had seen one vaguely in an episode of cookery show however, host didn’t give much information on how it is made. Then last week I saw an episode of Flavors of India: Thiruvananthapuram by Lakshmi Nair in You tube.
In that one she visit a local place where Neyyappam is made and she clearly explains how it is made by asking the person who was making it. I have tried her recipes and it is always easy to follow. So I decide to give a try. I want to make it very authentic. So I used homemade pounded rice flour. I remember Amma used to make it like that. She doesn’t use any store bought rice flour for the snack or sweet dishes. I soaked raw rice for 5 hours and then pounded into fine powder. Dissolve in melted palm jaggery/karipetti along with mashed small banana and extra spice kick from dry ginger powder and cardamom powder. They are beautiful puffed rice fritters you fell in love with as soon you have a bite. I was happy to recreate a long lost classic dish; with its full flavors and taste which was familiar to me from my childhood. 
I am going to explore more Thiruvananthapuram special recipes such as Vada kootu curry (Urad dal dumplings in spicy gravy), Kara Vada etc. Stay tuned. Here goes the recipe for Neyyappam. If are looking for a change try this one, the sublime taste will take you another level. 

  Print recipe from  here

What you need

 Rice flour: 1 ¾ cup (I got this much rice flour pounded from 1 cup of raw rice)
Palm Jaggery/Karipetti: ½ cup
Dry ginger: ¼ teaspoon
Cardamom: 3 no( crushed)
Coconut: 2 tablespoon ( Chopped into small cubes)
Banana: 1 ( I used small banana)
Water: 3 cup for soaking+ ½ cup of making the batter
Ghee/Clarified butter: 1 teaspoon
Oil for frying: 4 cup ( I used canola oil)

How I made

Soak 1 cup of raw rice in 3 cup of water and keep aside for 5 hours. Then drain it in a colander and spread in kitchen tissue to remove excess water. Once it dried for 5 minutes in kitchen tissue pound them into fine powder and set aside.

In sauce pot heat 1/2 cup of water and palm jaggery until palm jaggery gets dissolved well into the water. Strain them to remove any impurities and set aside.

Mash the banana in a small bowl and set aside.

In a small pan heat 1 teaspoon of Ghee and add 2 tablespoon of chopped coconut fry them until they become golden brown color. It will takes about 2 minutes

In a bowl mix rice flour, palm jaggery water , mashed banana, dry ginger , crushed cardamom and fried coconut to form a batter similar to that of pancake batter . Set aside for 30 minutes

After 30 minutes heat oil in thick bottom pan, when oil reaches 350 F add ¼ cup of batter into oil. Fry them 1 ½ minutes each side until they become dark brown color. Better results when you  fry 1-2 in a batch. Remove them using a slotted spoon and drain excess oil using a kitchen tissue.

Enjoy with coffee or tea.

Preparation time: Soaking rice: 5 hours
Making batter: 30 minutes
Resting time for batter: 30 minutes
Frying: 20 minutes
Yield: 10 no
Verdict: Yummy
Will you make it again: Yes I will


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  1. says

    Ahha, I too am from TVPM. The neiyappam looks mouthwatering.My mom too makes it tvpm way. But I do not remember using banana-oh I am not sure.Kara vada is my pa’s favourite and we make it at home but vada koottu kari is a tvpm specialty I have never tried. I too make Lakshmi Nair’s recipe.
    Too tantalizing neiyaapams .I too have good memories associated with it.

  2. says

    Sounds and looks like a great snack! I loved the video, I didn’t understant a single word but I enjoyed watching it hehehe.

    Have a great day!

  3. says

    I’ve never had these sweet rice fritters but your post and recipe, both are tempting me to try them out. Thanks for sharing these delightful delicious treat :-)

  4. says

    Neyyappam looks perfect n tempting ketto..Ethu kazhichittu ethra kalamayi..Njan novil nattil pokunundu..Ennittu venom kothi ellam theerkkan :)

  5. says

    what an elaborate presentation- thanks a lot- you rock! The fritters looks so out of this world- must try it myself one day- will let you know how they turned out!