Vattayappam - Pongappam

Yesterday I have made some appam batter (a specialty from Kerala). Appam can be made with or without yeast. If I can avoid yeast I always prefer that version.
I don’t know why, but I feel it is healthier.

In cold season, if you don’t want to wait 2 days to eat your appam, yeast is a must.

So yesterday I was in hesitation: yeast or no yeast? That was my question. [#PoorReference] – LOL.

I finally ended up making the yeast mixture in order to put it in the appam batter.
Then later, the sun was shining more and more and I thought “okay, before autumn starts to show up its colors, I shall make it once or twice without yeast”. So the appam batter was done without yeast.

That is how I was left with my bubbly yeast mixture. What to do? Throw it?
I could, but I didn’t felt like doing so.
I had no idea in which recipe I could use it and was quite lazy to google, so I took my phone and asked my fellow cooking lovers on my WhatsApp group “my kitchen stories”.

Very quickly Shana gave me few recipes as such pizza dough, naan, battura and chicken bread.
I was very much tempted by the pizza dough but I have already planned to make appam.
That’s when the word “vattayappam” came to my mind.

It has been sometime I wanted to give a try to this snack known as “pongappam” or “vattayappam”.
It’s a snack/cake and can also be eaten with a curry according to the amount of sugar you decide to put in.
I believe this snack is more popular among the Christian community since the composition of the recipe is exactly of the appam’s (which is a Christian specialty) but the cooking process is what distinguish from each other. Here the vattayappam is steamed. So basically the vattayappam is a steamed rice cake.

Why I did wait this long to try out something I pretty much like?
I don’t have the proper vessel to steam it and I always try to do the original way, otherwise I am not fully satisfied. 
Once, my mom told me to make the vattayam in an idli vessel. So yesterday I decided to follow her advice.

So finally, google came to my rescue (as always) in order to find a good recipe.
The first reference was Maria’s menu’s recipe, NO SURPRISE, right? 
LOVE her blog.
Excellent recipe: only few sentences, straight to the point.

My touch and experience:
-          The vessel: “idli thattu”. Very convenient, as my mom told me, I didn’t even had to cut the cake. You get individual appams ready to be presented to your guests. It looks pretty too.
-          I took the half of the quantity and I was able to fill one full idli pot. In one round I finished the vattayappam batter. No wastage of batter or time. 
-          I used less sugar, and honestly it was not purposefully, but that allowed me to try the savory version. I ate it with mulakku itta meen curry (spicy fish curry) and I kinda liked that too. Next time I will try this with beef curry. I am sure it’s a better combo.
-          I have added a pinch of cardamom powder. I would say it is a must for the sweet version of the vattayappam. It gives such a fresh flavor.
-          The recipe asked only for 3 hours fermentation. I left the batter to ferment overnight because I planned to make it only the day after.

My first trial was a success. What else do we need? 
Here is the link … Give it a try … Maria's Recipe