Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Jhatpat Appey

This is my entry for the monthly Weekend Breakfast Blogging, an event show-casing my favorite meal of the day! WBB is the brainchild of Nandita from Saffron Trail. This month, WBB is being hosted by Trupti of The Spice Who Loved Me. True to the name of Trupti's blog and her obvious love for traditional Indian spices, the theme for the month is: SPICE IT UP!

Breakfast is a meal marked by polarizing differences between people: some love breakfast and would not dream of skipping it, others cringe at the thought of eating anything at all between noon. Some are content to eat a bowl of cereal every day for the rest of their lives, others want a sugary fix of doughnuts and cream-filled pastries, yet others want the traditional breakfast spread of eggs, toast and meat, and a small number like me crave spicy savory food first thing in the morning!

India is home to a feast of savory breakfast dishes, and they are on a weekly rotation in my home. Some of my favorites include:
1. Breads in the form of parathas, that either have vegetables mixed in the dough, or stuffed inside. Potato parathas and spinach parathas are the ones I make most often.
2. Indian-style eggs: Indian savory french toast, or spicy scrambled eggs.
3. A whole family of brunch dishes are based on a fermented batter of rice and urad dal, including steamed cakes called idlis, paper-thin crepes called dosas and thick pancakes called uttapam.
4. An Indian pantry staple: coarsely ground whole wheat- semolina or rava or sooji provides an opportunity to make "instant" versions of many of these dishes that traditionally call for fermented batter.

Today, I am sharing one such "instant" dish that is my mom's specialty. It is a dish of little stove-top savory cakes called appey in Marathi and appam in several Southern Indian languages. Because this version is so quick and easy, my mother calls them Jhatpat Appey (jhatpat is a cute word that means "quick" or "express"). The little cakes need their little "cake pans" or molds. All these years, I could never make appey because I did not have this special equipment, but this time, my mother gifted me a pair of beautiful non-stick appey molds (available in India at about 300 rupees per mold, about 8 dollars, and they might be available in Indian stores in the US). Each one comes with a cute little wooden tool that is pointed at one end, useful for flipping over the appey while cooking them. This is what the appey molds look like:

Equipment update: Thanks to Priya's comment, I now know that a very similar pan called the Aebleskiver pan is used for making Danish pancakes and is sold in US stores. It seems that these pans work well on a gas stove as well as an electric stove. Read more about the pans in this post from Live2Cook.

The "spices" in this spicy recipe are all fresh flavorings. No "real" spices like cumin and garam masala are used here at all, instead, all the savory taste comes from the bright notes of onion, ginger, fresh chilies and cilantro. The addition of some chana dal provides interesting taste and texture, and a dash of color to the appam. The batter gets better if it is allowed to rest a little, so one could do the soaking right at the time of brewing the first cup of tea or coffee, and then rest assured that a wonderful breakfast is awaiting them in a little while.

Jhatpat Appey

(My mother's recipe, makes about 42 two-bite appey)
1 1/2 C rava/ sooji/ semolina
2 T chana dal
1 C plain yogurt (low-fat OK, tangy yogurt works best)
Baking soda (a pinch or two is all you need)
Non-stick oil spray
2-3 T minced onion
1 heaped t minced ginger
2-3 green chillies, minced (or to taste)
2-3 T minced cilantro
salt to taste
1. Soak the chana dal in a small bowl of water for 30-60 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix the rava and yogurt, along with enough water to make a thick batter, and cover and leave aside for 30-60 minutes.
3. Make the batter: Add soaked chana dal to yogurt-rava mixture, then add all the flavoring ingredients and salt to taste, and add enough water to make a batter that is a little thicker than pancake batter.
4. Spray the appey molds with non-stick spray, then heat them on the stove.
5. Take a third of the batter into another bowl, add 1 t baking soda to it, mix gently until bubbles form, then ladle the batter into each of the hot molds, like so:
6. Cover the pan for a couple of minutes. Once the underside is done, use the tool to flip each appam over:
7. Once both sides are cooked and crispy, remove the appey from the molds. Make more appey using the same method- adding baking soda at the last minute before cooking.
8. We served the appey with fresh coconut chutney and eggplant sambar for a delicious savory breakfast.

Verdict: This recipe is a keeper! I will be making this often. It is especially nice to serve to guests...the appey are fun to eat, and look pretty, and can be made in large batches, making them a convenient brunch dish. I will also try making the traditional appam with fermented batter, now that I have the molds. If you want really crispy results, put some extra oil in the molds...but for me, the spray gave great results, with the minimum of added fat.

For a wonderful collection of spicy brunch recipes, check out Trupti's round-up: Part I and Part II.


  1. Sundar! :)
    Mom never made these.. have tasted them at neighbours placein India ;)
    they r oh sooo yummy.. ur pics truly make justice to this lovely dish!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I too make this, with fermented batter for savoury,sweet using rawa.In our side or chettinad side its so popular as "KULI PANIYARAM".In tamil, kuli means shallow the vessel is used especially for that receipe and for appam as you said.

  3. Excellent! I love them:))

  4. They look so delicious....I want to have them grandmother made it for us when we used to visit her, she still does it in her own style

  5. I love these. At my wedding last September, I got a carton with the picture of an appa chatti... I was so excited that I told Amma we don't have to buy one now... sadly, it turned out to be a beautiful brass lamp. So, I still have to go buy one of my own to make these. :-)

  6. looks yum! i got the appe tava on my last trip, they taste so good with coconut chutney, will make sambar next time :) the sweet version is also pretty tasty :)

  7. I would normally make it with left over idli/dosa batter....... but the idea of making it with semolina is great!! :)

  8. Let me share with you my breakfast quirks. :) I have never been a breakfast person. It is only recently that I have been forcing myself to have breakfast (in the form of cereal).

    Back in Guyana whenever I would visit my aunt and uncle's house for summer holidays, they always made savoury breakfasts and I would eat it! I think if I had my druthers, that savoury would my choice when it comes to breakfast options. The thing is, I am not motivated to cook that early in the morning :)

  9. Wow! The Golden Brown Appey looks yummy and is definitely a scene stealer. Tamilians make the 'suyyam' ( a form of swtt appam but deep fried- our versions of mini donuts ) but Jhatphat Appey seems to be nutritious as well as lower in calories. What a nurturing mom you have , so loving and caring and so supportive of your one Hot stove blog!

    After reading your blog, i am reminded of the following Wise saying :"There are only two lasting bequests we Mothers can give to our children. one of these is Roots , the other wings ." Nupur , all these rich heritage is reflected in your blog! Keep up the great work! i hope you have something exciting lined up once A to Z is over !


  10. Where did you get those moulds Nupur ? I had seen them at Indira's too

  11. They are cute Nupur. With sooji, its a unique idea. Viji

  12. btw will that skillet work on a electric stove?

  13. I had never seen this dish prepared by either parents(konkani) or in laws(maharashtrians) and summers in belgaum.....but you know what I had seen this dish on mahanandi.Apparenlty its called ponganalu in telgu

    whats appe for one is ponganalu for another!! who knew....

  14. Arts, if you manage to find the molds, they are really easy to make!

    G V, I heard about the sweet ones! They sound delicious, but I don't have much of a sweet tooth :) Thanks for sharing their other name!

    Asha, thanks:)

    Bhags, I bet your grandmother's version is delicious, and that she uses the "real" cast iron molds for these.

    Raaga, LOL we are true foodies aren't we? We love appa chattis much more than decorative things :) Do get yourself one of is worth it, or drop hints next time someone is giving you a gift ;)

    Richa, I'll have to try the sweet version next time!

    Coffee, I'm going to try with fermented batter too, but the rava version needs no prep, so it is convenient at times.

    Cynthia, LOL :) Well, the truth is, breakfast dishes are amazing for lunch and dinner as well! So you can enjoy this at leisure :)

    Anon, yes, my mom is very supportive of the blog indeed! She often gives me gifts "for the blog" :)

    Sandeepa, My mother bought them in India. She says they are widely available in Maharashtra at least. It is Nirlep brand.

    Viji, glad you like them!

    Supriya, good question! I don't think it will. You might need to make some creative adaptations to use these molds on an electric stove.

  15. Your pictures look so delicious! I have never tried these before, but will be sure to pick up a set of molds on my next trip. Thanks for the detailed instructions.


  16. Hi!
    Its called kuzhi paniyaram in tamil.. though it is made in rice,urad dhall batter.. sooji is really different... photos are lovely...

  17. Thats the big problem here [:(]
    Atleast u can get somewhere in US but not here.. Anyways, the "appe patra" is now on my "get frm India" list ;)
    Hey i have a question, is this mould put directly on gas? I mean its not steaming like idlis right?
    If yes, then I dont think there's any scope to try appe on my electric hot plate! :(

  18. I love these !! Its been ages since I had them though. This is one of the dishes that never finds its place in a restaurant menu :(

    The pans can also be found in the US and are called Aebleskiver pans. Aebleskiver's are Danish cakes, you can read about them here. I found these pans in Target, they are not regularly stocked in the store, but the website has them here

  19. Jhatpat Appey!! WOW!! I love these .. I have blogged about the fermented batter type! we call it 'gulpangdi' , though it is sweet! and my best friend, who coould not pronounce that calls it 'woh tortoise shell wala, idli ke atey wala snack'!!!

  20. Those look absolutely delicious. I'll be lookng for those pans, for sure. What a great way to change up the typical American brunch menu!

  21. Hi Nupur,

    Pics look gorgeous!
    We are GSB konkanis and my mom made this very often!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Supriya H

  22. Hi Nupur,
    Appe looks great.Thanks for sharing the Jhatpat version.I too have the aebleskiver pan(the bottom is uneven just like appe pan) and it works great on the electric stove.cant wait to try this jhatpat version.Durga

  23. I loved your recipe for 'jhatpat appey'! I always make them the traditional way and it always has to be planned a day or two in advance. This is a great recipe for those times when you just want to eat them instantly!
    Btw, I have a mould for appe which my mom sent me from India. it is a nonstick one and it works fine on an electric(coil) stove.

    1. Hey... I am desperate to buy appe pan as many dishes can be made with almost no oil in it.. But I have an electric stove.. Came across your positive comment of using them on electric stove.. Can you please let me know the brand you use ??
      Highly appreciate your reponse. :)

  24. Hi Nupur,
    Thanks so much for sharing the quick version of appe. I have this pan, but seldom use it. Now with your recipe I am sure I'll use it more often. BTW, I love ur pav bhaji recipe, now I just make pav bhaji without onions.

  25. btw, which rawa should be used ? the fine or coarse one?

  26. Gorgeous! Haven't had appe in a long time.
    Another addition to the list that my kids and I will request my Aai to make when we visit Pune next month. thanks for the reminder!

  27. Namita, glad you like them :)

    Usha, I will try the urad dal version soon!

    Aarti, yes, it *is* put directly on the flame but see the comment from Tee below...she has used it on electric stoves successfully! YAY! Also, you might be able to find that Danish cake pan in Europe.

    Priya, thanks So much for the links and the info! This will be very useful for anyone who is trying to make this in the US. And I'm going to try making these Danish cakes! :)

    Manasi, tortoise shell :) LOL that is cute, and so true! It does look exactly like that!

    Lydia, you would love these! Like Priya commented, you might be able to find the pans in some kitchen supply stores.

    Supriya H, thanks :)

    Durga, oh you have the Danish pan? Let me know if you try this version :)

    Tee, oh really?? The nonstick one works on electric stove? That is good to know...I was pretty unsure of that. Thanks for letting me know...couple of people wanted to know this.
    The rava is simply labelled "sooji (upma rava)", it feels pretty fine to me. But I'm not sure. I have a feeling this recipe would work with any rava, it is rather forgiving.

    Isha, let me know if you get a chance to try this recipe :) and I'm so glad that you enjoyed the pav bhaji! I appreciate your feedback!

  28. Hi Nupur,

    Appe looks pretty.

    Hi girls,

    Look for Aebelskiver pans in US. It is the same as our Appe or Appam molds. We have a cast iron pan in Lodge logic brand.

  29. A big correction from my side...sorry about this people :(
    I actually have a cast iron mould for appe, not a nonstick one. I don't know why I thought this ???? I just checked again and realized the my mistake...guess its really been a long time since I made appe ;)
    I am really sorry about this misinformation.

  30. What a nice entry! I just got one of these pans recently and I am waiting to try it out....I will use your recipe, Nupur..

    thanks so much!


  31. Hi Tee,

    I think the non stick appam molds from India should work fine in electric ranges. These molds are "Hard Anodized". I used once in my friend's home and didn't feel any difference.

  32. wow...Appeys look fantastic...have to try them...not sure if I have the courage...~grin~...maybe I will just drool looking at the pictures instead...thanks for sharing

  33. We call this Kuzhi Paniyaram. You can even do this with left-over idli batter..

  34. Nupur - those sound delicious! I've been shopping around since reading your post and like some of your other readers came to the conclusion that the Danish pan was probably the way to go (I couldn't find an on-line US source for the appam pan). I can't wait to try your recipe!

  35. Nupur,
    Thanks SO much for this recipe. I've had the kuli panyaaram/appey mold for a few months now and have never had enough leftover idli/dosa batter to try them. Thanks to you, I'm going to inaugurate the pan this weekend.

    Your summer rolls and the dip in the previous post look super yummy. A quick dip recipe: equal parts of rice wine vinegar + soy sauce, and some water + sugar/brown sugar to taste + crushed peanuts (excuse the vague measures) - goes well with veg rolls.

  36. AWWWW ....Thanks a tonn for this recipe... I am grt fan of appey but can not manage to keep fermented batter all time ...also the tava I have is one of stone which takes huge oil :(((

    got to get this non stick one !!

    will update u how the appeys turn out :))

  37. live2cook, yes, it looks like Aebelskiver pans are the way to go, in the US.

    Tee, don't worry about it! If the cast iron pan works on the electric stove, then there is no real reason why the non-stick one should not.

    Trupti, thanks so much for hosting!

    Dilip, thanks

    Suganya, yeah, that should taste delicious too!

    Cathy, I'm going to try my pans to make some Danish pancakes :)

    Anon, let me know if you try it! And the dipping sauce sounds delicious...I love those bits of peanuts in the dipping sauce in restaurants :)

    Saaya, I have heard that with repeated use, the cast iron pans become well-seasoned and need less oil. Good luck :)

  38. Hi Nupur, your new pans are so pretty -- I have seen these in the store and almost hesitated to buy because I was holding out for cast iron -- your finished dish looks so brown and crispy though, that I might have to give in! I'm not much of a breakfast person, but when I do eat it, I like something savory like this. The appey look wonderful and with eggplant sambhar, what could be better! :)

  39. Made these today for our lunch boxes! just that @ 6 am was in no mood to add onion , ginger... so that calls for another round!! thanx, loved this recipe!!! Hats off to ur Aai for this!!!

  40. Hi Nupur,
    I m Devi Balaji. A lovely dish...we do this with the left over dosa/idli batter with doing mustard-urad dal seasoning, onion, curry leaves, g.chillies. This is one way to empty the batter which is 3 r 4 days old. This wil taste great if the batter is bit sour. Great snack during weekend.
    I m a regular visitor to your blog and looking forward 4 nxt round up in A to Z of Indian Vegetables...

  41. Linda, cast iron is worth holding out for! But then, these require little to no oil, so it might be a difficult choice :)

    Manasi, glad you liked it! I'll tell Aai that you tried it :) Did it taste good cold in the lunch box though? One possible trick: making a ginger/chili/coriander/onion mixture the night before and saving it in the fridge.

    Devi, Thanks so much for your comment! Will definitely try your suggestion next time I make these!

  42. Hey Nupur, may be you could mention the Aebleskiver pans in the post too so ppl coming by your post will find the info right here. I came by these pans last year & intended to make a post on it but haven't bought them yet!! And by the way things are going I don't think I will be buying them anytime soon :( Your post seems to be a much better place for the information :)

  43. HI Nupur, Appams are my favorite snack - especially with afternoon tea! Yours is such a simple and lovely recipe... thanks for sharing...

    I make them with leftover dosai batter that has been fermenting for 2-3 days (like the batter for oothappam - which is a thick flat dosai-type dish)...

    Oh, before I forget: you had asked about mor-kozhambu: yes, sure, it can be done with chou-chou (chayote squash), carrots, why even green plantains :-) Give it a try and let me know...

  44. Hi Nupur!
    tried out your recipe yesterday...Loved it!!! This sure is a keeper...thanks for sharing!

  45. Made these for breakfast..abSolutely yum!

  46. Nupur,
    I must say you are so very organized and detail oriented.
    I come from a GSB family and have been eating appey since childhood. But the elaborate descritpion with pictures here is just too good. Anyone new to appey can make them without a mistake.

    And yes thanks for the jhatpat version, I will try it this weekend.
    You rock!!

  47. Hi Nupur,

    I came across this recipe on your blog a year ago, and bookmarked it. I tried it out one lazy Saturday afternoon and loved the results. Since then, have made many a time, each time, adding some new ingredient, or tweaking it a little and it has never failed me. It's a huge hit in my family, and I don't know of a single person who hasn't complimented me for it. Thanks. When are you getting back to regular blogging?

  48. Hi Nupur,
    Nice recipe. I am from Kolhapur too and my mom used to make this. Just a little veriation- she used to add 1 tbsp of rice flour and 1 tbsp of besan to this mixture and appey comes out very good.

  49. Hi Nupur,
    I tried this appe yest for dinner. I added 2-3 tspn of rice flour to it. They came out very very well! We enjoyed this with sambhar and coconut chutney. Had a very satisfying dinner! Hubby loved those cute beauties. I prepared these today morning again for his lunchbox. Boy, he was so happy!
    Thanks Nupur for this wonderful jhatpat recipe. We loved the pleasing name too "Jhatpat Appey" :)

  50. hi, thanks for this sharing, specially the part in which you have written about how to use the appam patra. I tried appams first time at one of my friend's place. Some how i have managed the patra but was not sure to cook in patra. As usual i started searching and found your write up in the blog. really, very very thanks to u.

  51. Hi Nupur,

    I have been following your blog for some time now and your recipes have always come out well! This recipe of yours has been an instant hit, and someone wanted me to patent this recipe! I have been making pakodis with this pan, and it works out well, esp since I don't want to deep fry the pakodis. Thanks for the recipes.

  52. thanks for sharing this recipe, my appey came out very well..I had gotten the pan this time during India visit husband loves this version of Appey ..thanks :)

  53. I made these for breakfast today. I had earlier tasted them at a neighbour's place. She used Eno salt instead of baking soda. So I tried Appey with both Baking Soda and Eno salt in different batches. As the quantity of baking soda is not mentioned in your recipe, so, I think I had put in a little extra because of which it left an aftertaste. The Eno ones came out perfect. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. Thanks for your feedback. I'm sorry I forgot to mention the amount of baking soda. I've updated the recipe to say that only a pinch or two is needed.

  54. Nupur, for this recipe, do you have any suggestions to substitute the yogurt with something else? My husband is allergic to yogurt (!)
    Let me know.
    Also, I know based on your post on idlis that idlis freeze beautifully. Do you think appey will freeze well too?

    1. Surabhi- I'm sorry but I don't know of any substitutes. I'm guessing your husband is allergic to dairy in general? You might ask vegan cooks if they have any ideas, maybe soy yogurt would work but I've never tried it. Also I've never tried to freeze these.


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