The past month and a half I have had the blessing of being able to live with my Mum for an extended period of time. I love being able to watch her do her thing in the kitchen, which is undoubtedly her, little space of peace. Today she was in the mood to get her Achappam mould out and fry a nice big batch of Achappam : Keralite Rose Cookies. It is a very popular Christian Keralite snack. It is mildly sweet and crunchy and serves as a great accompaniment to a warm cup of tea any day.
Today was particularly nice because both my mom and mom-in-law were busy at preparing Achappam together. There is nothing quite as heartwarming as seeing two women share their love and joy for cooking and food.
In Keralite households, we never run short of delicious teatime snacks. This particular snack has an interesting shape. Something like a flower I think which is probably why it is also called Rose cookie. These treats are available in bakeries across Kerala but there is something incredibly special about homemade Achappam.
If you are interested in these deep fried rose cookies scroll below for the recipe, which is one that has been passed on within the family and is off the pages of Mummy’s recipe book.
1-cup raw rice (pachari)
3-4 tbsp. sugar (See note below *)
1-cup coconut milk
2 tsp. black sesame seeds
1 tsp. white sesame seeds (optional)
Salt a pinch
Oil for deep-frying
Soak the rice in water for at least 2 hours. Drain the water through a sieve and let it sit till the water has completely drained out.
In a blender, add a portion of the drained rice with enough coconut milk to cover the rice. Blend well till smooth. Pour the blended mixture into a small deep bowl.
Proceed to add the remaining rice with some more milk. Crack in the egg. Also, add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Blend the mixture.
At this point, you can taste check and add more sugar if desired*.
The consistency of the batter should be like that of an idli batter. It should neither be too thick nor too thin. If the batter is too thick you could add some more coconut milk.
Pour the remaining batter into the deep bowl. Add the sesame seeds and stir in well. Keep aside covered for 35-40 minutes.
In a deep, wide pan heat enough oil for frying. The achappam mould should be placed into the oil while heating. This will ease the process of the batter separating from the mould into the oil.
Wait till the oil gets really hot, not smoking hot.
Transfer some of the batter to a small vessel.
Dip the achappam mould into the vessel. Please note that the mould needs to be dipped only half way through and not completely.
Dip the mould in the oil. Shake it a little to help the batter ease out of the mould into the oil.
Once the edges start to brown, flip the achappam over. Remove the crisp, brown achappam using a slotted spoon onto a newspaper.
Enjoy with your favorite cup of sweet tea.
* If you add too much sugar the achappam batter could get burned quickly when dipped into hot oil.