Neyyappam is a popular traditional styled sweet snack from the state of Kerala. It is typically a tasty pancake prepared from soaked raw rice, ghee and jaggery. The term ‘Neyy’ in Malayalam language denotes ghee and ‘appam’ refers to pancake. Neyyappam is generally prepared for special occasions and festivals like Vishu and Onam. It is also given as offerings to dieties during pujas and served as tea time snacks along with a cup of hot tea. Neyyappam is unique and special and the uniqueness in aroma and taste is due to the use of ghee and jaggery. For preparing Neyyappam, soaked raw rice is blended with jaggery syrup to a thick coarse batter. Maida is added to the batter and allowed to ferment for 4-5 hours. Spicy flavorings are added to the fermented batter and spoonfuls of batter are fried to a golden brown texture in ghee or oil. In this recipe I have fried the snack in oil but in traditional dishes ghee was used for frying.
Fried Neyyappam is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. There are many variations to the traditional snack. Some regions add cashew nuts for a crunchy texture. Nevertheless, the basic recipe for Neyyappam remains the same. Neyyappam has a close relative called ‘Unniyappam’. Look wise they look similar except for some differences. Neyyappam is crisp on the outside with a crispy frill on the side while Unniyappam is soft in texture with no frills. Unniyappam is of the softer side while Neyyappam puffs up like a puri and is hollow in the middle. For Neyyappam, banana is not added and hence there is longer shelf life. This is a healthy snack rich in carbohydrates and other nutrients. It you have a sweet tooth, you should try Neyyappam at home. And do send me feedback. You can explore a well detailed Kerala Style Traditional Neyyappam here.