Appam or Palappam – one of the favorite breakfast of Keralites. Jewish people who migrated to India introduced this food item in the country.
Appam, a fermented rice pancake, is a speciality of the South Indian coastal state of Kerala. It is especially popular among the Christian communities of that state. Appam are often served along with a coconut-flavoured vegetable stew. It is also very popular in Sri Lanka, where it is known as “appa” (or “hopper”) and often served
- 1½ cups uncooked white rice
- 1½ cups fresh grated coconut
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons white rice, cooked
- water for soaking rice, and 2 to 2½ cups for grinding
- optional: ½ teaspoon yeast or kefir, to start the ferment
- Soak the raw rice in water.
- Grind the soaked rice until about ¼ ground.
- Add the grated coconut along with a little water and continue grinding.
- Add the sugar, cooked rice and yeast or kefir, and keep grinding until the whole mixture becomes smooth. It should be thinner than pancake batter.
- Transfer it to a wide open container and leave it to rise overnight.
- The next morning, add salt and refrigerate the batter until use.
- To fry the appams, use a tava or a small bowl-shaped pan with either a non-stick coating or a little oil or ghee.
- Pour a full serving spoon of batter into the middle of the pan and swirl it around a single time so that a little of the batter sticks to the sides.
- Cover the pan with a hot lid and remove the appam with a spatula after 2-3 minutes, when it becomes slightly browned around the edges. It should be round, with a thick centre and thin, lacy edges.
The batter should ferment overnight without any added starter, but often won't. Yeast (or better still, kefir) can be added to help it ferment. The grinding can be done in a blender. Make sure that there is enough liquid so that it all swirls around in the blender, mixing properly.