The other day, when my aunt asked me if I was planning to make Neyyappam this weekend, she sparked a new recipe–reinventing tradition, as I like to call it. Neyyappam is a dessert that Tamilian/Keralan families make for a festival called “Avani Avittam” made of rice flour, brown sugar, coconut, cardamom, etc and fried like a fritter or doughnut in neyyi (ghee/brown butter/clarified butter). I hesitated when she asked for a few reasons: I don’t have the special pan needed to fry the dessert, and I only really like neyyapam when it’s hot, crispy and fresh off the stove–I think they’re kind of a waste of effort otherwise :). But we started talking about alternatives, and came up with baking them in a muffin tin. Yesterday, when it came time to make them, I decided to not just use the traditional recipe but bake them, as I found out just now that someone else has already tried & blogged about, but to futz with the recipe while I was at it to make them into breakfast muffins that have the flavor of neyyappams. Normally I don’t use butter much in my muffins, but for this, I needed the flavor of neyyi.
If you’re looking for a traditional baked neyyappam–substitute out the eggs (use 1/4 cup yogurt instead), and put the rice flour back in. You can try this recipe. (I swear I only landed upon these now when I was looking for a link to the traditional neyyappam recipe to link to for a comparison! 🙂 You also might want to add more sugar (i did a very low sugar version).
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup cooked oatmeal (this was a last minute addition–it was sitting out from breakfast). You could use oat flour or grind up some oatmeal to add
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 eggs ( if you want to keep this eggless you can do without, or add 1/4 cup yogurt instead. or 2 T flax mixed with water)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 1 inch pieces of coconut
- 1.5 T butter
- 2 T flax seeds
- 1 T brown sugar (add more to your liking if you wish)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (non traditional but i just felt like it)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 and line 9 muffin cups with liners
- In a blender, combine bananas, oatmeal, cinnamon, and cardamom. grind until smooth (you could leave oatmeal til later if you want more texture. this was to mimic the texture of neyyappam). Add coconut and pulse (you want a few “pieces” in your batter, but for the coconut to be distributed around)
- Pour out into a bowl
- add your eggs, flax, and brown sugar
- heat a small pan and add butter. cover with a lid and let bubble away until it is browned (usually for neyyi you just let it melt until clarified, but i went the additional step for the flavor of browned butter).
- Add the butter to your batter
- pour batter into muffin tins and bake until golden and a knife comes out clean, roughly 20 minutes.