Appe (or Guntapangalu as my paternal gradmother calls in Kannada, but why bother with a complicated name when you have a easier name!) is a fairly easy to make snack, which is commonly made in the four southern states of India. There are several different variations in this recipe depending on the local produce and family traditions.
In order to make Appe, you will however have to invest in an Appe pan. This pan is traditionally made of stone or cast iron and now-a-days, non-stick ones. My mom swears by her cast iron one and I agree that the flavor turns out much better and the texture is crispier on the outside too. However, the cast iron and stone ones also need a lot of oil to be added to separate the appe. Therefore, in the interest of good health (as if I really care!) I prefer the non-stick one which uses just a small drop of oil in the cooking process.
There are many variations one could use to mae the batter itself. Since I am always looking for quick fix options, I went for a store brought, ready to use idli batter. Almost all supermarkets or grocers have a guy with a grinder making some fresh batter outside these days in India, but if that is not an option for you, you can use any of the ready mixes (MTR, Gits etc) available in Indian stores across the world to make the basic idli batter. So, here goes…
Store bought Idli batter (500gms);
A fistful of finely chopped coriander leaves;
1 big red onion, finely chopped;
4 green chillies and ½ inch piece of ginger, pounded into a paste together,
½ teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds (optional),
Salt to taste,