Thursday, 20 September 2012

Recipe for "Appam"

Appam, a fermented rice pancake, is a specialty of Kerala. It is especially popular among the Christian communities of the state. If you look at its history, the appam is supposed to have been introduced by the Portuguese centuries ago, from Ceylon.

Often called 'plain hoppers' in English, the appam can be made with slight variations.  Its mild flavors usually gel best with a savory curry seasoned with traditional spices and condiments. It is usually eaten as a starter for lunch, dinner or even as the main dish for breakfast. This simple recipe shows how a soft and easy to cook appam can be made. It is often served along with a vegetable stew in coconut sauce. 

         Ingredients for 10 Appams

  • 1 cup uncooked white raw rice
  • ½ cup cooked rice.
  • 2 tea spoon urd bean/ urad dal,(skinned black gram)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • water for soaking rice, ½ cup for grinding
  • ½ teaspoon yeast


Soak the urad bean and raw rice in water for four hours. Grind the soaked items till the batter becomes smooth and reaches a single cream consistency. Beat half a cup of cooked rice in a blender and mix it into the batter. Also stir in the yeast in half a teaspoon of lukewarm water, as well as 5 teaspoons of sugar. Transfer the batter into a wide mouthed container and keep aside for 6-8 hours, preferably overnight. The next morning the batter will have doubled. Add salt to taste. The batter can be refrigerated for later use.

To fry the appams, use a tava or a small bowl-shaped pan which has either been dabbed with oil or which has a non-stick coating. Pour a full spoon of batter into the middle of the tava. Slowly rotate the pan so that a thin layer forms on the sides and the middle remains thick. Cover the pan with a lid and remove the appam with a spatula after 2-3 minutes, when the sides become slightly brown. Serve hot.

  • 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 in the blender so that the mixture swirls and grinds properly. 

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