No, Neyyappam is not a tongue twister. It is a sweet snack from the God's own country. It would be tough to find Malayalis, born and brought up in Kerala, whose mouths do not water at the mere mention of Neyyappam. The name Neyyappam comes from two independent Malayalam words—ney, which means ghee and appam, meaning pancake. Most of us know that Neyyappams are rice pancake fritters deep fried in ghee, but there are some interesting facts about this snack that you may not be aware of.
Neyyappam without 'ney'
As weird as it may sound, over years, Neyyappams are increasingly becoming ney (ghee) free. Ghee is not a part of the batter for the snack and instead is the medium in which it is traditionally fried. However, due to cost and health factors people have gradually moved over to other edible oils for frying Neyyappams.
A gift for mother-to-be
In older days, it was a part of the tradition to present pregnant women with Neyyappams. The snack was believed to be good for the mother and child's health and well-being.
A daughter's right
Among the Central Travancore Catholic Christians, daughters of a deceased parent hold the right to make and serve Neyyappams to the guests during the traditional 40th day memorial service.
The original recipe for Neyyappam includes bananas among most important ingredients, but many people prefer to use 'chakka varatti' (jackfruit jaggery jam) instead. Although, it gives similar moisture and texture to the fritter, it tastes distinctly different from the original.
It's sugar free
Ever heard of a sugarless sweet? Neyyappam gets its sweetness from jaggery, and not sugar.