Appam is a type of South Indian pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. It is a popular food in South Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.The way it is made in both the states differ a lot. It is also very popular in SriLanka where it is commonly referred to by its anglicized name as Hoppers. It is eaten most frequently for breakfast or dinner.
It is a staple diet and a cultural synonym of the Nasranis (also known as Saint Thomas Christians or Syrian Christians) of Kerala, India.Milk hoppers or Palappam has a crisp lacy edge from being cooked in curved pans like woks.When cooked, the middle portion is firm to the touch but remains soft inside and is tastier as a result of the coconut milk/coconut.
- Raw rice ( Pachari) – 1.5 cups
- Grated coconut – 3/4 cup ,heaped
- Cooked Rice – 1/2 cup
- Sugar- 1.5 to 3 tbsp(adjust to your taste)
- Yeast – 1/4 tsp
- Water – 1.5 cups
- Salt- to taste
- Wash the rice well and soak it for about 4 to 5 hours.
- Grind together drained raw rice, grated coconut , cooked rice and 3/4 cup water to form a smooth batter.
- You can adjust the quantity of water depending upon the type of rice you use.(normally pachari is used).Basically the batter should be a bit watery so that the edges turn out really thin.
- Add in sugar,yeast and remaining water and mix for about 30 seconds or until sugar and yeast is completely dissolved.Adding sugar also aids in getting crispy edges..
- Transfer the batter to a large bowl.Cover and let it ferment for about 5 to 8 hours( depending upon the temperature conditions) in a warm place , until almost doubled in volume.I always leave it overnight for better fermentation
- After fermentation( for about 5 to 8 hours) add salt to taste.Gently stir the salt in.Cover and keep aside for at least 30 minutes.The batter will rise a bit and will be light and foamy.
- Heat the appachatti over medium high flame.Rub it with some oil if you are using an iron appachatti.( Skip this step if you are using a non stick appachatti.) Gently pour a ladle full of batter into the pan.
- Immediately swirl the pan to spread the batter in a circle.Cover and cook for about a minute or until the edges turn golden brown.Covering with lid is important else the appam wont get cooked in the middle.
- Carefully remove the appam from the pan.
- Appam goes well with almost all traditional Kerala non-veg dishes(chicken stew,mutton stew,vegetable stew,egg curry,fish molly etc)
You can also make use of thari kurukiyathu for better fermentation.In this method i haven’t used it..To know about how to make Thari Kurukku.Refer here in the vattayappam recipe.