This scrumptious snack dislodged itself from the memory shelf when I came across Malabar Spice's loveletters. We called it 'madakku san' and my husband knew them as 'mutta kuzhalappam'. At malluspice's I came to know they were called loveletters!
For a long time I didn't get a chance to try making them as life kept intervening with its usual pace for things essential. An opportunity finally presented itself when I thawed a bit more fresh frozen grated coconut than necessary for the batch of idiappams . While scratching the head for a recycling idea, it dawned on me that the already sweetened coconut could be used for one thing and only one thing. Those lovingly made folded crepes of my Mom's! The 'kuzhal' in the name familiar to my husband dictated that I should role them up as at mspice's. Did it both ways and as expected they ended up delicious regardless of how the fold was. BTW, Mrs. KMM called these 'madakkappam'.
In The Mix
all purpose flour - 1 cup
salt - a pinch or two
whole milk - 1 1/4 cup
water - 1/4 cup
egg - 1
vanilla essence - 1/4 tsp
grated coconut - 1 cup (or whatever is leftover after making idiappams:-)
sugar - start with 2 tbsp. (unfortunately I didn't keep track of this but add enough to feel the
crunch of sugar among the coconut flakes when you surreptitiously
spoon some into your mouth.)
lemon juice - 1 tsp (little less)
oil - as needed
How To Do
Mix the milk, water and salt with all purpose flour and whisk well. It is a good idea to use a colander to filter out any remaining lumps. Then add beaten egg and vanilla essence. Mom told us that her latest venture, a vanilla plot next to our old garden is flourishing and that she even found a buyer for the venerable beans! I was incredulous when she first told me of this. Whoever heard of vanilla beans in their backyard? Don't they just appear in those expensive little bottles on the store shelves? Apparently not. Ask the people of Madagascar or Mexico. Granted most of the time they come from synthetic sources but whole natural bean extracts are equally popular albeit expensive.
Coming back to the recipe, mix the coconut, sugar and lemon juice together. Lemon juice is Mrs. KMM's idea as I don't remember Mom doing this. I would add a little less than 1 tsp for next time.
Heat a flat frying pan and brush with oil. Keep at medium heat just at first and then switch to low heat all the time since the crepe batter is rather flimsy and low heat will keep the spread under your control. Well sort of .... I had a tough time to get them into shape but since you can fold or roll them, the aesthetics are easily taken care of. Guess you can experiment a little with the batter consistency (only add warm milk) to get the perfect shape at one go. Pour the batter and stay where you are to transfer it to a paper lined platter as soon as the underside shows a familiar browning. Now comes the fun part.
Place a spoonful or as much as you want of the coconut mix right at the center like for a masala dosa and fold from both sides to get 'madakku san' as shown on the left side here.
Of course it is not fun to brush up just your own memories. Place the sweetened coconut on one end and roll away to get 'mutta kuzhalappam' as the husband remembers them. These 'loveletters' appear on the right side in the pciture. So here we are, enjoying a great snack because of idiappams! Who would've thought?