Appalu – Naivedhyam for Lord Ganapati (Vinayaka Chavithi/Ganesh Chaturthi)
Tomorrow we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi and I have many of you writing in asking for some traditional festival recipes. I have already blogged a few Ganesh Chaturthi festival recipes like Undrallu, Kudumulu, Paala Undrallu and Biyyam Rava Kudumulu.
Usually festive meals mean long hours in the kitchen but for Ganesh Chaturthi festival, the cooking seems effortless as most of the traditional recipes hardly take much time to prepare especially today’s festival recipe, Venna Appalu. A favorite rice flour based sweet with a crisp exterior and a melt in the mouth soft interior. Each home have their own version of preparing Appalu. The version I am blogging today has only 3 ingredients going into its making and can be prepared in less than 20 minutes. Sweeten your celebrations by offering this traditional Andhra sweet to Lord Ganapati tomorrow.
Update: This is definitely not a beginner recipe. You will have to make sure that you use only home made rice flour. The instructions on how to prepare rice flour at home is given in the ‘Tips’ section below. The preparation or mixing of dough needs to be done carefully. It should hold shape and not be too soft or too hard on touch. Adding less ghee will yield a rock like texture to the appalu. Add more ghee will make the dough dissolve in the hot oil. Store bought rice flour will not work for this recipe.
Appalu – Ganesh Chaturthi Recipe Recipe
- Rice flour - 1 1/2 cups (freshly ground at home-refer tips below)
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Ghee - 2-3 tbsps (melted)
- Cardamom powder - pinch (optional)
- Oil for deep frying
- Melt ghee and allow to come to room temperature. In a bowl, mix rice flour, sugar and ghee till it forms a smooth dough. (Initially add only 1 tbsp ghee and mix. If it appears like bread crumb mixture, add another 1-2 tsps ghee and mix. Only add more ghee if the dough needs to shaped to a lightly soft on touch dough)
- If necessary, wet you hand with milk, to form a smooth yet slightly stiff dough. It should hold shape. If its not holding shape, add a few drops of milk, a little at a time.
- Deep fry oil in a heavy bottomed vessel on medium flame. While the oil is heating up, grease your hand and make small lemon sized balls of the dough. Lightly flatten on top and place carefully into the hot oil.
- Deep fry on medium flame till they attain a light brown color. Do not touch the appalu till they attain a light brown shade. Use the ladle to move them or flip them over to cook the other side only after they attain a light brown shade. Continue to deep fry till they reach a deep brown shade on a medium high flame but not high flame.
- Remove onto absorbent paper and cool. Serve as neivedhyam/prasadam.
- How to prepare rice flour at thome - Soak 2 cups raw rice overnight. Drain the water and keep aside for 30-60 minutes. (spread it on a cloth or newspaper to dry). Grind this rice to a fine powder. Sieve the ground rice flour and use the sieved soft rice flour. Grind the left over coarse rice flour again to make a smooth powder. Use this to prepare modaks, kudumulu and appalu.
- If its not forming a smooth, soft dough, wet your hand with milk and mix. If necessary add a few drops of milk, not more than a tablespoon.
- If the dough become runny, add a few tablespoons of rice flour and sugar and mix.
- Be cautious while adding ghee to the dough. Add one tablespoon of ghee initially and mix. Thereafter add 1 to 2 teaspoons and mix. Add just enough so that the dough holds shape.
- The oil should not be too hot or else the appalu will burn quickly and not cook inside.
Appalu aka Venna Appalu make for a traditional Ganesh Chaturthi recipe. An Andhra style sweet made with rice flour, sugar and ghee especially for festivals.