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Tuesday, 10 September 2013


THE SECRET TO SOFT APPAM: Appam is best had with egg curry, chicken curry, mutton curry, beef curry, vegetable curries like chana masala, green peas masala and so on and on....I guess you could try it out with most. My favourites are vegetable masala in coconut milk, egg curry and chicken masala.  It would surely make your breakfast a delightful experience.

If you are thinking what an appam is.......... Appam is a fermented pancake that is made in every home in kerala. I am sure every keralite would love it. This is one of those recipes which are very simple but definitely has its tricks and turns. If you do not get your batter right, believe me your appam would definitely be a be very alert. But do not worry, it is very simple. You may require some practice to perfect them.

Appam batter is normally made with grinding soaked rice, coconut, sugar, coconut milk and yeast or soda powder. It is time consuming and at the same time very tricky. I swear I have tried making it so many times, even tried the instant ones but none of them came out so perfectly. It does not have the true taste of the mouth watering palappams but still better than the instant ones.

I owe a big thanks to my second sister in law for this. Her house owner had taught her this recipe. I have made few changes to it to enhance its taste like adding coconut milk.


White Rice or Raw Rice – 2 cups
Aval or Poha or Beaten Rice – 1 cup
Thick Coconut Milk – ¼ to ½ cup 
( around 5 tablespoons of coconut milk powder)
Yeast – ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon
Sugar – 1 tablespoon


Soak the white rice and beaten rice for at the least 4 hours. You may even soak the beaten rice just half an hour before grinding it. Grind the soaked white rice and beaten rice together.  Dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water. Mix in the yeast and coconut milk to the ground mixture. The batter is ready.  Leave it overnight.

In the morning, add salt to the well risen batter. The appam is ready to be cooked. To cook, add a sccop  or ladle of the batter to slightly hot pan at its centre. You may have to swirl or rotate the pan, if you are using an appam pan. If you are using a flat one, just spread it out like the way you would do for  dosa or pancake. Cover it with a lid. Remove from the pan, once it is well cooked.

NB: You may cook the appam using a appachatti or a non stick appam pan to get the shape of a palappam. You may even cook it in a normal pan; this would make your appam flat.

The consistency of the batter should be runny but not too runny. Even if the batter is slightly thick, you may add a bit of water just before cooking to get the right consistency. If the Batter is too runny, it may stick to the pan.

If your batter is too runny, you may add in nicely soaked and ground rice flour to get the right consistency. You may also add in the  appam or idiyappam flours that you get to get the right thickness. In such a case, leave the batter again to ferment or rise for an hour.

I have used instant yeast. In that case, if you add around 1/2 to 3/4 th of a tablespoon, your appam batter would be ready to cook within an hour or so, well depending on your climate too...

You may also use soda powder instead of the yeast and sugar mixture. In that case, add a pinch of soda powder around 15 to 20 minutes before you cook.

You may also use a mixture of yeast and soda powder. 

Check on your yeast and soda powder levels, it may hamper the taste of your appams. 

You may choose not to use coconut milk. In that case, you may not get it very tasty. 

Instead you may also try by adding one small shallot and few cumin seeds while grinding the batter, it definitely gives a different taste. The taste and smell might not appeal to everyone.