The tradition of Unniyappam nercha
During the annual feast of the death anniversary of St Gregorios of Parumala, on November 2nd, Unniyappam nercha is an essential offering globally. The feast, of the patron saint of many orthodox churches world over is celebrated by devotees for a week or more.
Unniyappam nercha is served on various occasion during the festival – after the holy mass, procession and padayatras. There is an increasing number of Churches with St. Gregorios as a patron saint in many places in India and abroad.
During the festival, the Kerala Christians bring unniyappam as offering to the Church. And the unniyappam nercha is distributed to devotees coming to the Church.
Unniyappam is a fried rice snack with jaggery and sugar, prepared in a special mould. My mother’s generation were experts in preparing Kerala dishes. So they prepare hundreds of unniyappam as offering to the Church.
I learned unniyappam by trial and error method. Searching for recipes on the internet and taking tips from mother and aunties.
This year two weeks before the festival, I made a trial version of unniyappam, so as to get myself prepared for the main day when I have to fry more than a hundred unniyappams.
My friend Manju visited me just a few minutes after I finished preparing the unniyappams. She liked it so much so that she asked me to share the recipe on youtube.
I am sharing the trial version itself. Newly married girls who are preparing unniyappams on a large scale for the first time, will find the video useful.
The video is shaky and not of high quality since this video was not initially taken for publishing. I hope the video gives some help for you prepare large number of unniyappams.
In cities like Delhi, where the devotees lack time, they have found some tricks to prepare large quantity unniyappams quickly. I will share one of the quick recipe tricks here.
Rice flour – 2 Glass (All purpose rice flours available at Kerala Stores)
Jaggery – 250g (I used a dark brown, chocolaty taste version. Hence the colour and taste were good)
Coconut – 1 full (cut into small pieces)
Sesame Seeds (Til) – 2 tblsp
Ghee – 5 tblsp
Robusta Banana – 4 Nos
Oil – 1 litre
Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp
Melt the jaggery in 1 glass of water. Mash the bananas in a blender. Mix the jaggery and mashed banana.
Roast the coconut in 2 tablespoon ghee, until golden brown.
Mix the coconut, sesame seeds and baking soda in the batter.
Keep aside for 45 minutes.
Keep the unniyappam mould on one gas stove burner. On another keep a frying pan with 2 glass oil.
When the mould is hot add 1/2 teaspoon ghee in each mould. Now fill the moulds with oil. Let it get very hot.
Now pour the batter. If the batter is thick, add warm water or melted jaggery.
When the unniyappam turns brown at the bottoms turn them using a fork or a thin skewer. When both sides are a bit brown, transfer them to the frying pan in which the oil is boiling. Fry until the unniyappam is Crisp and brown. Remove on a plate spread with tissue paper.
With 2 glass of rice flour, I prepared 50 unniyappams.