A healthy snack made with shrimp roast and rice dough and is steam cooked…
This is a traditional snack made in the Malabar region of Kerala. For me, anything wrapped in banana leaf is a delicacy. I happened to have banana leaves in my freezer that was bought last year for serving Onam Sadya. The sight of banana leaf tempted me to make this dish and I was wanting to make a healthy one. This is steam cooked, shrimp stuffing along with the rice dough, and the aroma from the steamed banana leaf made this a perfect snack or meal.
You can replace shrimp roast with mussel, fish, beef, or chicken roast.
If you don’t have banana leaves, wrap the appam in an aluminum foil and steam cook.
How to store banana leaf: I wish I could pick fresh banana leaves from my backyard. Fortunately, some Asian stores sell frozen banana leaves. Banana leaves can be kept in the freezer for a few years. Before using, thaw and wash them well under running water.
- Rice Flour- 1½ cups ( I used Double Horse Idiyappam Flour)
- Water- 1½ cups
- Salt- ½ tsp
- Grated coconut- ½ cup (optional)
- Marinate Shrimp
- Shrimp- 15 (if large, half the shrimp)
- Chili powder- 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
- Coriander powder- 2 tsp
- Garam Masala- ½ tsp
- Salt- ½ tsp
- Making Roast
- Coconut Oil- 2 tbsp
- Onion, chopped- 4
- Ginger- Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
- Curry leaves- 1 sprig
- Tomatoes, chopped- 2
- Kashmiri Chili powder- ½ tsp
- Black ground pepper- ¼ tsp
- Salt- 1½ tsp
- Cilantro, chopped- 2 handfuls
- Banana leaves
- Firstly, let's make the shrimp roast.
- Into a bowl, combine shrimp with all the spices for marinating shrimp. Keep aside.
- Place a saucepan over medium heat, add oil.
- Add chopped onions, season with 1 tsp salt.
- Saute for a few minutes.
- Add ginger garlic paste, and curry leaves saute till onions turn golden brown. This will take sometime, saute the onions ocassionally to prevent sticking to the pan.
- Add tomatoes, cook till mashed up.
- Add the marinated shrimp along with Kashmiri chili powder, ground pepper and ½ tsp salt.
- Cook covered till shrimp has cooked well and water dries off.
- Open the lid, saute and cook till the roast turns dry and shrimp starts to brown a bit.
- Taste and add more salt if required.
- Add chopped cilantro, combine well,
- Remove the pan from the heat and keep covered.
- Place a wide saucepan over medium heat, add water.
- Let water come to a slight boil.
- Add salt and rice flour. Using the back of a wooden spoon combine well till well incorporated.
- Add grated coconut, combine well to the dough. Adding coconut is optional.
- I've used Double Horse brand rice flour used for making Idiyappam. If you are using some other brand, adjust the amount of flour and water accordingly to make a soft and smooth dough.
- Remove the pan from the heat, let cool down for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, while the dough is still warm we need to knead the dough.
- Knead well for 5 minutes till dough turns soft and smooth.
- Divide dough into 6 equal parts and make into a ball shape. Keep aside.
- Cut the banana leaves into squares, wash well under running water and pat dry using a kitchen paper towel or cloth.
- Use the wooden board used for rolling chapati or a clean even surface.
- Place the banana leaf over the wooden board.
- Grease with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place one rice dough ball. Using your fingers or right palm flatten the dough. Dip the fingers in water to prevent from sticking. Make into a thin round shape without breaking apart.
- Place 2 tbsp shrimp roast on the center.
- Using the banana leaf, fold the dough into a semi circle.
- Using your fingers, glue the edges of the dough. Since the dough is soft, it will glue well.
- Wrap with banana leaf, place in a steamer basket or stainless plate.
- Repeat this and you will be able to make total 6 appams.
- Place a large wide saucepan or steam cooker over medium heat, add 1 cup water.
- Place the steamer basket or plate with the banana leaf wrapped shrimp stuffed appams into the pan.
- If you don't have a tight lid for the pan, cover tightly with an aluminum foil.
- Let steam cook for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat; let rest for 5 minutes.
- Take the steamer basket out of the pan.
- Serve the appams wrapped in banana leaf and enjoy!
Banana leaves can be stored in the freezer for a few years.
Shrimp can be replaced with mussel, fish, chicken or beef.