Sweet Appam (Indian style sweet donuts)

Hola peeps. I was listening to a radio show this morning which was talking about the hindrance of social media in public speaking skills and how the world has come to a state where we prefer to hide behind our screens & interact rather than a face-to-face connect/ interaction. Can’t help but acknowledge the truth in it. It’s sad how there are multiple instances when people are physically together but so disconnected since each is into their own gadget and their own technical space so :). I have been increasingly becoming aware of this & I am trying to reduce my gadget time atleast while I am around Adya. I limit my TV watching to when he is sleeping in the afternoons on weekends or when he is actually playing something all by himself out of his choice (Keywords being his choice & not playing by himself because of lack of choice). While this approach is excellent physically & mentally and actually helps you connect better with people who are physically tangible, it’s sort of a killer for those friends & family with whom you get to connect only virtually. My cousin Nithya & I used to chat so much earlier on. We literally chatted every single day & I remember how she’d done some analysis on her most chatted with person & it turned out to be me and we both were super elated. However, she has been putting a conscious effort to reduce her gadget time (especially phone) and the great policy that she & her hubby Sriram have adopted is a strict NO CELL PHONE in the bedroom policy. If you think about it & do some research on it, you will understand that you will sleep better if you do not watch any form of technological screens 30 minutes to 1 hour before your actual bed time. While I take my phone to the bedroom, I do not see my phone as well. It was an effort early on but now a great habit. Anywho, the point I wanted to make here is that Nithya & I no more chat with each other often & we do not know a lot of things that happen in our lives anymore. However, the connect between us is still there & since we both are making a conscious effort to reduce tech taking over our personal lives, we both respect, acknowlege our efforts & we know that not chatting does not mean we are not close anymore. I have a long way to go but I have done a start & I am happy about it.

Anywho, about this appam, this was made for karthigai (back in Nov) but I am mega late in documenting this for the blog. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I got busy (pre-vacation) & then I got lazy (vacation & post vacation) :). Now, trying to get back on track on document all those that are yet to be finished & then ofcourse, start clicking/ documenting new ones. I am always happy when I document a family recipe especially something that is done for a traditional occasion. Appams are jaggery based donuts which are done as a part of the food items we offer to god on the day of Karthikai (festival of lights). I love these & have made them only once before. I did not have the appakar (the appam maker) and hence just deep fried in a vessel of hot oil (so looked like a vada). This one was completely done by mil. Yours truly is just documenting it for all our benefit :D.

Sweet Appam (Indian style wheat flour jaggery donuts)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Passive Time
15 mins
Servings: 5 persons
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 cups powdered jaggery
  • 6 pods cardamom
  • a pinch nutmeg powder
  • 400 ml water
  • 1/4 cup small coconut pieces/ shavings
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 50-75 ml refined oil for frying
  1. Dry roast the cardamom & powder it in a mixer. If using a mortar/ pestle, remove the skin & powder just the seeds. Mix this with a pinch of nutmeg powder.

  2. In a broad vessel, mix together wheat flour & rice flour. Set it aside. 

  3. In a vessel, add 1/2 cup water to the powdered jaggery & bring it to a boil. 

  4. Once the jaggery dissolves (stir to check), add the rest of the water & turn off the heat. 

  5. Mash the ripe banana and add it to the dry flour mix.  Also, add the spice powder (cardamom/ nutmeg) and coconut pieces/ shavings. 

  6. Now, pour the jaggery water as well over the flour mix & quickly stir using the backside of a spatula and ensure there are no lumps formed. 

  7. The consistency of the mixture will be similar to that of dosa batter. Set this mixture aside for 15 minutes.

  8. Heat appakaar/ appam maker with some oil & pour the appam mixture using a small ladle on to the appakaar.

  9. Flip after 2-3 minutes of frying on medium heat using 2 small spoons or something sharp/ thin. 

  10. Once both sides brown, take it off the stove & drain the excess oil using a kitchen towel. Set it aside to cool down. 

  11. Repeat this process for the remainder of the appam batter/ mixture. 

  12. The appam tastes best when it's a bit warm. So, serve when the appams are warm :). Ofcourse, in our case I had to wait to dig in till the neividhyam (food offering to god) was completed. 

Recipe Notes
  1. If you are making this for the first time, then use only 300 ml of water for the jaggery water. Keep 100ml hot water as is and use it only if required. 
  2. If you don't have the appam maker/ appakaar, you can fry this like regular vadas/ fritters. It won't have the donut shape, but it will still taste good. 
  3. If you have a non-stick appam maker, then the oil consumed will be much less.
  4. If you are lazy to dry roast the cardomom, you can skip it. but dry roasting it elevates the flavour.
  5. You can store this in an airtight container for upto a week. 

Stepwise pictures

Dry roast the cardamom pods & powder it in a mixer or using mortar pestle (use only the seeds and discard the skin). To this, mix a pinch of nutmeg powder. Set it aside.

In a broad vessel, mix together whole wheat flour & rice flour. Set it aside.

In a vessel, take the powdered jaggery.

Add 1/2 cup water & bring it to a boil.

Stir every now and then to check if the jaggery is dissolved.

Tyipcally, once the jaggery is fully dissolved, you will get a full boil like this.

Add the remainder water at this stage & turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, mash the ripe banana & add it to the dry mix. Also add the spice powder & coconut pieces.

Add the hot jaggery water to the dry mix & using the backside of a spatula, mix everything to ensure there are no lumps.

The backside of a spatula is thin & allows us to mix fast without the spatula loading on with the powder or getting stuck. Traditionally whisks will break since these are quite dense.

What you will have once you have mixed thoroughly will resemble that of dosa batter. Let this side aside for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, heat the appam maker/ appa kaar with some oil. Roughly fill each hole with 1/3 oil.

Using a small ladle pour the appam mixture into the appa kaar holes.

Let the appams fry for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

Flip to the other side using 2 spoons (in our case, 1 spoon and 1 poky long stick) and fry for another 2-3 minutes till both sides become golden brown.

Take it off the heat & let the excess oil get absorbed in a kitchen towel. Also, let it cool down a bit.

Serve warm or store it in an airtight container.

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