Daring Cooks August 2011/ Appam and Malabar Shrimp in Coconut Sauce.

Appam is South India’s answer to naan or flat bread. It is a fermented rice pancake with bubbly lacy edges. I know what you’re thinking…fermented? rice?…pancake? Those words should not be in a sentence together. Actually, they are excellent. Even though they take a time or two to perfect, they taste wonderful even if they come out less then perfect looking :).

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We also had to make South Indian or Sri Lanken dish to accompany our Appam. I really wanted to try out the curry recipe given to me at my wedding shower by our family friends Mike and Juls Hayes. However, it originated from Thailand, so I was out of luck there. Finally I found a shrimp recipe Meen Molee or Malabar shrimp in a coconut sauce, which I was really excited to try. Plus the appam was awesome with the sauce!

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Here is the recipe for the appam. It was required to use the challenge recipe……
Appam
Preparation time: Soaking the rice: 3 hours
Fermenting the batter: 8-12 hours (8 hours if it’s hot in your kitchen, longer if it’s cooler)
Mixing the batter: a few minutes
Cooking the appam: 2-3 minutes each
Servings: Makes about 15. I find 3-4 are enough for a serving

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups (360 ml/300 gm/10½ oz) raw rice
1 ½ teaspoons (7½ ml/5 gm) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar
½ cup (120 ml) of coconut water or water, room temperature
1 ½ tablespoons (22½ ml/18 gm) cooked rice
½ teaspoon (2½ ml/3 gm) salt
about ½ cup (120 ml) thick coconut milk (from the top of an unshaken can)

Directions:

– Soak the raw rice in 4 to 5 cups of water for 3 hours. You can soak it overnight, although I did not try that.
– Dissolve the sugar in the coconut water or plain water and add the yeast. Set aside in a warm area for 10-15 minutes, until very frothy.
– Drain the rice and grind it in a blender with the yeast mixture to make a smooth batter. You can add a bit of extra water if needed, but I did not. Add the cooked rice, and grind/blend to combine well. You can see that it is not completely smooth, but very thick—that’s about right.
– Pour into a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 8-12 hours. You not only want the mixture to rise and collapse, but to ferment. When it is ready, it will have a slightly sour and distinctly yeasty smell. Don’t worry–they are mild tasting when cooked!
– Add the coconut milk and salt, and a bit of water if necessary, so that you have a batter that is just a bit thicker than milk. Notice how it bubbles after you add the coconut milk. I recommend test-cooking one before thinning the batter.
– Heat your pan over medium heat. Wipe a few drops of oil over it using a paper towel (or hit it with a shot our two of baking spray). Stir the batter and pour in 3-4 tablespoons, depending on the size of the pan. Working quickly, hold the handle(s) and give the pan a quick swirl so that the batter comes to the top edge. Swirl once only, as you want the edges to be thin and lacy.
– Cover the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Uncover and check. The center should have puffed up a bit, and will be shiny, but dry to the touch. When ready, loosen the edges with a small spatula and serve immediately. These need to be served hot out of the pan.
– Make another, and another… Here you can see some that were made in regular skillets. I have found that the leftover batter can be refrigerated for a day or 2.
p.s. Dont be discouraged if the first one or two don’t come out….try again!

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Now I could have eaten the appam all day just by itself with alittle sea salt over the top…and trust me, I did make them into my lunch. However, they are even better with this awesome shrimp dish…heaven!

Malabar Shrimp in Coconut Sauce (Meen Molee)
Adapted from Julie Sahni’s recipe at the Food Network
Prep Time:10 minInactive Prep Time: — Cook Time:10 min

Ingredients
2 tablespoons of light vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon or more of ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon of ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon thinly sliced garlic
1 tablespoon or more anaheim peppers, chopped
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup shredded onions (I used a box grater)
1 pound of large shrimps, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup rich coconut milk or cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Kari or cilantro sprig for garnish
Directions
Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat until hot.
-Add coriander, red pepper, mustard, turmeric, ginger, garlic, green chilies, kari leaves, and scallions, in this order.
– Saute stirring for 3 minutes or until the scallions are wilted.
-Add the shrimp and stir-fry until they lose the pink color.
-Stir in the coconut milk and cook until the sauce is heated through.
-Turn off heat. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and serve. Serve over rice garnished with the herb.

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You need to try this! I’m loving it :).
Dream. Bake. Believe.
Love, Steffie

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