Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.
This month’s hostess’ blog is one of my regular and favourite hang-outs, so I couldn’t wait to find out what she had planned for us. Mary didn’t disappoint.
I’ve made naan bread many times, and I’ve also had the unleavened bread chapatti in Indian restaurants, but appams were entirely new to me. They are basically yeasted pancakes, except that they are egg-free. And made from ground rice instead of wheat flour. And shaped more like a crêpe.
There was a lot of resting time, but overall the preparation was mostly similar to pancakes or crêpes. And, since I can almost never manage to make perfectly round crêpes, there’s no reason why I should have expected to be able to make perfectly round appams.
The appams tasted very mild, and I loved their light, slightly spongy texture.
As a main dish, I chose the chemeen pappas, or shrimp in coconut milk. I thought I had all the necessary ingredients on hand, but then realized I had no curry leaves. I searched and searched my (admittedly very cluttered) pantry, but couldn’t find any. I ended up using dried basil instead – not a substitute by any means, but the result was surprisingly palatable.
The shrimp were great, spicy with just the right amount of heat, and a great sauce that was just begging to be mopped up with the appams – and naturally, we obliged.