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Achappam

Achappam

Achappam

Achappam
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Course: Fried Cookies, DiwaliCuisine: IndiaDifficulty: Medium
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Achappam are a crispy fried pastry popular in the Kerala region of India. They have very little sweetness to them and are much like Scandinavian rosettes. Indeed it is thought that they were originally brought to India from that region, although the Achappam recipe ingredients of rice flour, coconut milk and sesame seeds indicate it was adapted to locally-available fare. These are a delicacy of the Christians of the Kerala region and much prized for Christmas and weddings. In Kerala and surrounding regions of Southern India it is also popular to make during Diwali. To make Achappam, you need an inexpensive Achappam mold (see note*) or you can use a standard Scandinavian rosette iron.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups plus 2.5 tablespoons sifted rice flour (sift first, then measure), or 500 grams for better accuracy

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (white is ok, too)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 2-3 cups vegetable oil (amount depends on how large your pan is but it should be about 1.5 to 2 inches deep)

Directions

  • To measure the rice flour, you must sift it first, and then measure out. For more exact measurements, I recommend you use a kitchen scale and weigh out 500 grams (17.5 ounces) of sifted rice flour. Mix the flour well with the coconut milk. Add eggs, sesame seeds, and salt. Slowly stir in sugar. In a small, shallow pan or wok, heat vegetable oil until hot enough to fry. To test the heat of the oil, drop a small bit of batter into the oil…it should sizzle and bubble quite a bit. The amount of oil you need depends on how large your pan is. It doesn’t need to be very deep, but should be deep enough for the cookie to float; 1.5 to 2 inches deep. Put your achappam mold in the hot oil to heat it up for a couple of minutes, then dip it in the batter. The batter should only come up about 3/4 of the sides of the mold. Dip the batter-covered mold in the hot oil and hold it there until the achappam detaches from the mold and floats freely in the oil. You may have to wiggle it back and forth or gently help it detach with a fork. Turn it over so that it cooks on both sides. While one cookie is frying, keep the mold in the hot oil to keep it hot for the next one. When evenly golden, remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. These are ideally eaten fresh, but you can store them in airtight containers once thoroughly cooled.
  • The video below from Malabar Flavours uses a slightly different recipe, but shows the process of dipping the mold in the batter and then hot oil.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Also known as Rose Cookies, Rose Kokki, Achu Murukku.
  • Achappam recipe adapted from The Essential Kerala Cookbook by Vijayan Kannampilly, 2003
  • * Achappam molds, known as “achu”, are inexpensive and can be found on Amazon.com, Ebay.com or your local specialty Indian food boutique. You can also use a regular Scandinavian rosette iron.
  • Reviewers, please help us out and note the yield! Thanks!

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