Appalam making is a leading cottage industry prevalent in my maternal grandfather’s village. As a kid I was completely awestruck watching women & girls in our neighbourhood kneading mountainous dough, rolling appalam at lightning speed, and stacking dried appalam like a tower. Whenever I was upset with my cousins or siblings I used to run to one of those houses and spend endless hours there watching them making appalam while enjoying their warmth & the food. During my mother’s recent visit there, they fondly remembered my childhood favorite appala-poo and prepared them along with appalam specially for me, even though they are not into this business currently.
Their enduring affection triggered me to post this recipe for appala kootu that I relished for the first time in their house. So far I have not seen anyone in our family making this delicious kootu, yet I tried to replicate the same and the recipe is as below:
Yields : 1 cup
- Bengal gram (split chickpea/ kadalai paruppu) – ½ cup (100 g)
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Water for cooking lentils – 1 cup (200 ml)
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Appalam (papad) – 5 Nos.
- Coconut pieces – 7 (each 1 inch)
- Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
- Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Shallots – 7 Nos.
- Coconut Oil – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
- Split black gram (vellai ulundhu paruppu) – ½ tsp (optional)
- Curry leaves – a few
- Asafoetida powder (hing/ perung-kaya podi) – ¼ tsp
- Wash lentils & soak for an hour.
- Heat a cooking bowl in high flame after adding lentils, water & turmeric powder into it.
- When water begins to boil, reduce the flame to medium.
- Meanwhile fry appalam in hot oil and keep aside.
- Prepare coconut paste & tempering as shown below and keep them aside.
- When lentils are cooked soft add coconut paste, salt & water (100 ml) and bring it to a boil.
- Add crushed appalam and give a quick stir.
- Remove from flame.
- Add tempering and mix well.
- Now appala kootu is ready to serve.
Appala kootu goes well with paruppu & puli-kuzhambu (any kara-kuzhambu or rasam).