Indian Cooking Challenge: Sarvapindi ~ Ginnappa
Sarvapindi or Ginne appa is a rice flour pancake popular in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. I never heard or saw my cousins or aunts from Andhra region talk or prepare this pancake. So I am assuming this is from Telangana region of the state. It gets the name Sarvapindi or ginne appa based on the method of preparation. Sarva is a kind of a pot and pindi is flour. Sarvapindi is a snack prepared with flour dough made in a sarva. Ginne is a vessel or a bowl and appa is a snack. Plenty of herbs, sesame seeds and peanuts are added to rice flour to make the dough and then the dough is pressed into a wide pan to make the pan cake. It is then cooked on low flame to cook the rice cake. Sarvapindi is similar to thalipeeth, a snack from Maharashtra but it is prepared with a fixture of flours. When saw Nupur’s post I thought, oh this is how it is made in my neighboring state! Sarvapindi is also similar to akki roti, a specialty from Karnataka but the difference here is the preparation. From the recipes I have seen for akki roti, the rice flour is added to hot water to make the dough unlike for sarvapindi, where room temperature water is used.
Do you see the shape of a bowl/vessel/pot in the appa~pancake?
When Srivalli asked me to suggest a recipe for ICC, sarvapindi & sakinalu came to my mind. I never made these two items at home. We have already covered most of the traditional recipes in ICC and of these two recipes; sarvapindi is the easier one to prepare. I called up my cousin to get the recipe for sarvapindi as that is the easier of the two items that I had on mind. She gave me approximate measures so I called my mom and then my aunt. All three of them did not have exact measures and they said they just go by hand. Moreover, this recipe is so flexible that you can add anything you like as long as you season it well and cook it on low flame. Since I did not have any measurements to give to give Valli, I made the recipe at home 3 weeks ago before sharing it with her. I thought of making it again to take good pictures but never got to make it until today. I probably would have skipped this ICC too but since I suggested the recipe, I thought I should at least post the recipe. When I made it today, I pretty much followed the same recipe I gave Valli but I made two pancakes or appas instead of three. Also, I did not have curry leaves and instead substituted it with more scallions & cilantro.
Total Time: 40 – 60 minutes
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 – 40 minutes (about 20 minutes per appa or pancake)
Yields: 2-3 depending on the size
- ¼ cup Sesame Seeds washed
- 2 tbsp. or little less than ¼ cup Roasted Peanuts soaked (5-10 minutes, until you finish the prep work)
- 1 cup or 165 – 170 grams Rice Flour
- 5 – 6 Green Chilies or ¾ tbsp. Green Chili Paste coarsely ground
- 1 tsp. Jeera
- 1 Garlic Clove (medium size.)
- ½ cup Onion finely chopped
- 1 large or 2 small Green Onion chopped (approx. 2 tbsp. (heaps) or ¼ cup loosely packed)
- ½ cup (approx…) tightly packed chopped cilantro
- 5-6 Curry Leaves chopped or 1 tbsp. chopped curry leaves (I did not have any curry leaves today so added 1 more green onion & more cilantro)
- 1 – 1 ¼ tsp. Salt
- 1/3 Water (You may need little less than that)
- 2 – 3 tbsp. / 6 – 9 tsp. Oil (2-3 tsp. per cake if you make 3 pancakes or 3- 4 ½ tsp. if making 2 pancakes)
- Wash sesame seeds in warm water.
- Soak the roasted & split peanuts in water.
- Coarsely grind green chilies.
- Grind ¾ of the chopped onion, garlic, jeera and salt to fine paste.
- Chop the herbs.
- In a bowl take rice flour, add chili & onion pastes. Mix until the pastes are nicely blended into the flour.
- Add remaining chopped onions, herbs, sesame seeds, peanuts and mix well. Taste the flour and adjust the seasoning. You can add little chili powder if it is a not spicy enough.
- Gradually add water to make soft dough. The dough should be like chapati dough.
- Divide the dough into 2 or 3 equal parts and make round balls. Today I made 2 balls.
- Rub a 10” frying pan with 1 ½ – 2 tsp. oil. (I meant to add 2 ½ – 3 tsp. but I forgot and added only 1 ½ tsp. oil). Today I was not in a mood to spend too much time in the kitchen and used two pans to make the appa. I used one non-stick & one hard anodized pan.
- Take one of the dough balls and press it into a flat cake in the pan. Use your fingers to press the cake. Wet your hands if needed. Thinner the cake, crunchier it will be. Using your index finger, make holes to the cake.
- Sprinkle or lightly brush 1 tsp. oil on the pancake. Or you can pour little oil in the holes.
- Put the pan on a medium heat, cover and cook it for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cover, reduce the flame to medium low- low heat and cook for 10 – 12 minutes or until the cake is light golden brown in color. Move the pan around every 2-3 minutes for even cooking (What I mean by this is, we normally place the pan on the stove such that the center of the pan is directly on the fire. Every 2-3 minutes, move the pan towards the center of the fire. Move the pan around 3-4 times so that all corners of the pan are directly under the pan at some point during the cooking process. This is done to make sure the pancake is evenly cooked.)
- Flip the cake over and cook for another 2 ½ minutes. My hard anodized pan is not very wide and the shape of my cake was like a bottom of a pot. Even if I flipped it, it would not have cooked properly, so I continued to cook it for another 2 1/2 minutes without flipping it. Remove from the pan.
- If you are using one pan, let the pan cool and repeat the same steps for the rest of the dough balls.
- It is usually faster to use 2 pans to speed up the process. Sarvapindi is usually cooked in a very wide pan with very liberal amount of oil on very low heat.
These are collage of pictures of preparation of sarvapindi. I took these when I made it the first time before sharing the recipe with Valli. You can click the image to see the large image.
- The cooking time is based on my stove. My aunt said she cooks the pindi on low heat only. She does not cook it on medium heat even for 3-5 minutes. But my mom & cousin cook it on medium heat until the pan is hot and then reduce heat to low. All three of them said they never checked the time and it usually takes 15 – 25 minutes.
- This preparation requires lot of oil. The amount of oil mentioned is the minimum. For crunchier taste and, if one wants to indulge oneself, they can use up to 4 tsp. per pancake (if making 3 cakes) or 6 tsp. per cake is making 2 pancakes with the given measurements.
- Some people cannot take the heat of green chilies, they can substitute it will chili powder or with ½ green chilies and ½ chili powder.
- Peanuts can be substituted with chana dal and it has to be soaked for at least ½ – 1 hour.
- My mom & aunt do not grind the onion and instead use chopped or sliced onion. My cousin grinds the onion. I ground most of the onion and used very little chopped onion.
- Peeled and grated bottle gourd can also be added to the dough. If using bottle gourd, you can use only chili powder instead of green chilies. Also, you may not require any water to make dough, as grated bottle gourd releases water.