Friday, March 12, 2010

Appam & Putumayam - South Indian traditional dishes

This scene could have been in Chennai or Colombo. Well no, this is at The Palms food court at Blackburn Road. The hoppers or appam is a pancake made from fermented rice flour batter. These pancake are quite bland and usually have to be accompanied with sambal, a thick chilli based sauce served as condiments and a small side dish curry of your choice.

The appam is served with a choice of two types of sambal, from the three that are offered, i.e. Pol sambal - which is a grated coconut mixed with ginger and lime juice and some garlic, Katta - a sambal made from dried Maldive fish flake with chilli paste, shallot and salt, or Seeni sambal- a spicy caramelized onions and dried Maldive fish flake condiment.

I had this 'Special Hopper Deal' which includes three plain hoppers and one egg hopper with a Pol (yellow turmeric) and Seeni sambal, and a small serve of lamb curry.

You can also order a Jaggery hopper as a snack or dessert, which is simply the same appam pancake except that Jaggery, the palm sugar is added in. Instead I choose to have the Putumayam - a rice flour dough serve with brown palm sugar and grated coconut.

The appam and putumayam is very familiar to me, as I have lived with the large number of Tamils from South India in Malaysia. I practically grew up with these foods, and I considered myself lucky to be able to continue to enjoy these foods in Melbourne.

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