This Indian version of a coconut macaroon also called Nei appam or unniyappam is a vegan dessert. The traditional recipe involved frying the batter in oil. But in this post, I give you a healthy, baked version that you can make easily and enjoy with your family without any guilt.
Many of my childhood years were spent in Kerala. One of the most memorable dishes was Nei appam which had 5 main ingredients – rice flour, coconut, jaggery, banana and elaichi. The original recipe calls for blending the ingredients (authentic versions also involve fermentation), which are then fried in ghee or oil. I have retained the flavor essence of the recipe, but without the rice flour and the frying.
Step by Step Photos
Making of coconut butter
Making of Jaggery (Indian molasses) syrup
Blend and bake
Makes 8 pieces
2 cups shredded unsweetened dried coconut
1/3 tsp powdered cardamom
1/2 large banana
2-3 Tblsp jaggery syrup or molasses
- Preheat oven to 300F (Note- this is not the normal 350F.) Coconut burns easily at high temperatures, so please go low.
- Add 2 cups of shredded unsweetened dried coconut to the food processor. Let it run for a 3-4 minutes. Open and stir a couple of times to mix well. Continue to blend until it becomes a thick sludge like coconut butter.
- Boil 2 cubes of jaggery in about 1/4 cup of water until it becomes a thick molasses like liquid.
- Add 1/2 piece of banana, powdered cardamom and 2-3 Tblsp of the prepared jaggery molasses to the coconut butter and blend.
- Scoop out the blended sweet mixture in individual serving sizes. I used a 2tsp OXO cookie scoop for this. Place the batter on an oiled cookie sheet.
- Bake the ‘appams’ for 25 minutes. The bottom gets burned easily, so don’t be fooled if the tops are not completely brown.
- Take them out and leave them to cool for 10 minutes.
- Ta-da!! Tasty, vegan, low-glycemic macaroons a.k.a nei appams ready.
This recipe is also inspired by the macaroon recipe at the detoxinista blog. She has some very cool recipes, so do check it out if you have time.
Coconut contains very little carbohydrate per serving (just 1 g in a 15 g portion). But it is high in fat (5 g in a 15 g portion) and the fat it contains is nearly 90 per cent saturated.
Do try the recipe and let me know what you think… Are you a fan of coconut? Post your thoughts and comments below